Diverse Discourse Lecturers
HEAD CURATOR AND DIRECTOR OF CURATORIAL AFFAIRS AT THE CONTEMPORARY AUSTIN
Matchbox 1 @ MATCH
Alex Klein is the Head Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs at The Contemporary Austin where she works alongside the curatorial team to shape the exhibition program at the Jones Center and steward the sculpture park at Laguna Gloria. She is currently working on projects with artists including Lubaina Himid, Guadalupe Maravilla, and Manik Raj Nakra. Her survey exhibition of Carl Cheng’s genre-defying practice opens in Austin in Fall 2024. Prior to her current role, she was the Dorothy and Stephen R. Weber (CHE ’60) Senior Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania (ICA). During her eleven years at ICA she originated numerous exhibitions, publications, public programs, and online initiatives with artists including Linda Goode Bryant, Ane Graff, Barbara Kasten, Michelle Lopez, Nathalie Du Pasquier, Sondra Perry, Suki Seokyeong Kang, and Trevor Shimizu. Previously she held positions in the Carnegie Museum of Art’s Hillman Photography Initiative, the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Roski School of Fine Arts at the University of Southern California (USC), and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. She is also a founding member of the arts workers advocacy group Museums Moving Forward. Klein received her MFA from UCLA, Los Angeles; her MA in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London; and her BA in Art History from Columbia University, New York.
DANIELA LIEJA QUINTANAR
Wednesday, October 19, 2022, 6:30 pm
Daniela Lieja Quintanar (Mexico City, 1984) is Chief Curator & Deputy Director, Programs at REDCAT, Los Angeles. From 2016-2022, she was Chief Curator and Director of Programming, LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions). She works between Los Angeles and Mexico, emphasizing contemporary art and curatorial practices that explore the politics and social issues of everyday life. She curated Intergalactix:against isolation/contra el aislamiento, an awarded exhibition and research project by Mike Kelley Foundation and Warhol Foundation Curatorial Research Fellowship. She was part of the curatorial team of MexiCali Biennial 2018-19. She served as Project Coordinator and Contributing Curatorial Advisor for Below the Underground: Renegade Art and Action in the 1990s Mexico at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, Getty PST:LA/LA initiative. In 2016, she worked with artist Teresa Margolles for her contribution La Sombra to the Public Art Biennial CURRENT: LA Water. In 2016, she was Research Assistant for the exhibition The Metropolis in Latin America, 1830–1930 of the Getty Research Institute, PST:LA/LA. She organized with LACE La Pista de Baile by Colectivo am, as part of the Getty/Redcat PST: Live Art LA/LA Performance Festival. She curated Unraveling Collective Forms (2019); CAVERNOUS: Young Joon Kwak & Mutant Salon (2018) and Emory Douglas: Bold Visual Language (2018 co-curated with Essence Harden); home away from by Jimena Sarno (2017), El Teatro Campesino (1965-1975), (2017 co-curated with Samantha Gregg) at LACE, Between Words and Silence: The Work of Translation and Down and to the Left: Reflections on Mexico in the NAFTA Era at the Armory Center for the Arts (both 2017, co-curated with Chief Curator Irene Tsatsos), and Acciones Territoriales (Territorial Acts) at the Museo Ex Teresa in Mexico City (2014). Lieja holds a BA in Ciencias de la Cultura from the Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana, Mexico City, and an MA in Art and Curatorial Practices in the Public Sphere from the University of Southern California.
CHRISTOPHER K. MORGAN
Wednesday, April 6, 2022, 6:30 pm
Christopher K. Morgan (he/him) is a choreographer, educator, facilitator, curator, and arts administrator. Known as a thoughtful advocate for cultural integrity, inclusivity and diverse representation in the studio and on stage, his Native Hawaiian ancestry and wide-ranging international performance career influence all aspects of his work. Morgan founded his contemporary dance company Christopher K. Morgan & Artists in 2011 to create performances that explore identity, social, and cultural issues. Grants and awards include a 2013 Native Arts & Cultures Foundation Fellowship, 2014 and 2019 NPN Creation Funds, 2014 and 2019 NEFA National Dance Project Production Grant, 2018 Native Launchpad Award from the Western Arts Alliance, and a 2019 Dance USA Fellowship for Artists.
Morgan is currently Vice President of Programming at Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Previously, Morgan was Director of the Center for Native Arts and Culture (CNAC), Portland, OR. Prior to that, Morgan was Executive Artistic Director of Dance Place in Washington, D.C., where he stewarded the organization through the triple pandemics of 2020 maintaining the entire staff with no layoffs or furloughs while continuing to pay artists and teachers. At Dance Place, he oversaw the curation of over 30 weekends of performances and artist-centered projects annually, a school for youth and adults, and continued Dance Place’s role as a neighborhood community arts center and nationally prominent performing arts presenter.
Thursday, September 30, 6:30 pm
Amanda Cachia is an independent curator and critic from Sydney, Australia. She received her PhD in Art History, Theory & Criticism from the University of California San Diego in 2017. Her research focuses on modern and contemporary art; curatorial studies and activism; exhibition design and access; decolonizing the museum; and the politics of embodied disability language in visual culture. She is currently working on two book projects: a monograph based on her dissertation solicited by Duke University Press, and the edited volume Curating Access: Disability Art Activism and Creative Accommodation under contract with Routledge that includes over 30 contributors from around the world. Cachia currently teaches art history, visual culture, and curatorial studies at Otis College of Art and Design, California Institute of the Arts, California State University Long Beach, and California State University San Marcos. She serves as caa.reviews Field Editor for West Coast Exhibitions (2020-2023).
Thursday, April 22, 3:00 pm
Larry Ossei-Mensah uses contemporary art as a vehicle to redefine how we see ourselves and the world around us. The Ghanaian-American curator and cultural critic has organized exhibitions and programs at commercial and nonprofit spaces around the globe from New York City to Rome featuring artists such as Firelei Baez, Allison Janae Hamilton, Brendan Fernandes, Ebony G. Patterson, Modou Dieng, Glenn Kaino, Joiri Minaya and Stanley Whitney to name a few. Moreover, Ossei-Mensah has actively documented cultural happenings featuring the most dynamic visual artists working today such as Derrick Adams, Mickalene Thomas, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Federico Solmi, and Kehinde Wiley.
A native of The Bronx, Ossei-Mensah is also the co-founder of ARTNOIR, a 501(c)(3) and global collective of culturalists who design multimodal experiences aimed to engage this generation’s dynamic and diverse creative class. ARTNOIR endeavors to celebrate the artistry and creativity of Black and Brown artists around the world via virtual and in-person experiences. Ossei-Mensah is a contributor to the first-ever Ghanaian Pavilion for the 2019 Venice Biennial with an essay on the work of visual artist Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.
Ossei-Mensah is the former Susanne Feld Hilberry Senior Curator at MOCAD in Detroit. Ossei-Mensah currently serves as Curator-at-Large at BAM, where he curated the New York Times heralded exhibition, Let Freedom Ring in January 2021.
Ossei-Mensah has had recent profiles in such publications as the NY Times, Artsy, and Cultured Magazine, and was recently named to Artnet’s 2020 Innovator List. Follow him on Instagram at @larryosseimensah and Twitter at @youngglobal.
Wednesday, October 7, 6:30 pm
Adriel Luis is a community organizer, artist, and curator who believes that our collective imagination can make a reality where we all thrive. His life’s work is focused on bridging artistic integrity and social vigilance. He is a part of the iLL-Literacy arts collective, which creates music and media to strengthen Black and Asian American coalitions; is the creative director of Bombshelltoe, which works with artists to highlight marginalized communities affected by nuclear issues; and collaborates with dozens of artists and organizations through his curate and design engine, Phenomenoun. Adriel is the Curator of Digital and Emerging Practice at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, where he advocates for under-served communities to be treated and represented equitably by museums and institutions. He and his team have been curating Culture Labs — an alternative to museum exhibitions, built on community-centered beliefs.
SENIOR CURATOR, TORONTO BIENNIAL OF ART
Wednesday, April 1, 6:30 pm
Candice Hopkins is a curator and writer of Tlingit descent originally from Whitehorse, Yukon. Her writing and curatorial practice explore the intersections of history, contemporary art, and indigeneity. She works as senior curator for the Toronto Biennial of Art and was a part of the curatorial team of the Canadian Pavilion of the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019, featuring the work of the media art collective Isuma. She is co-curator of notable exhibitions including the 2018 SITE Santa Fe Biennial, Casa Tomada; documenta 14 in Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany; Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art; Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years; and the 2014 SITElines biennial, Unsettled Landscapes. Her writing is published widely and recent essays and presentations include “The Gilded Gaze: Wealth and Economies on the Colonial Frontier,” for the documenta 14 Reader, “Outlawed Social Life” for South as a State of Mind, and Sounding the Margins: A Choir of Minor Voices at Small Projects, Tromsø, Norway. Hopkins has lectured internationally including at the Witte de With, Tate Modern, Dak’Art Biennale, Artists Space, Tate Britain, Yale University, Cornell University, and the University of British Columbia. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art and the 2016 Prix pour un essai critique sur l’art contemporain by the Foundation Prince Pierre de Monaco. Hopkins is a citizen of Carcross/Tagish First Nation.
CO-FOUNDER TEXAS BIENNIAL
Wednesday, October 2, 6:30 PM
Shea Little is the co-founder and Executive Director of Big Medium in Austin, as well as being a co-founder of the East Austin Studio Tour, the Texas Biennial, and Cantanker Magazine. He is also a working artist and has shown his work throughout the state both as an individual artist and also as part of the three-person collective, Sodalitas. He received a BFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York, NY.
Big Medium is a non-profit organization dedicated to championing and cultivating artists and contemporary arts in Austin and across Texas. By providing city and state-wide programming, affordable studio spaces, innovative exhibitions, and professional development opportunities for artists, Big Medium works to foster the arts, empower artists, and facilitate an inclusive cultural dialogue between artists and their communities.
Big Medium produces the West Austin Studio Tour, the East Austin Studio Tour, the Texas Biennial, and the Big Medium Gallery. The Texas Biennial is a geographically-focused, independent survey of contemporary art. For each edition of the Texas Biennial, different curators present the current trends of art-making across the state in unique ways and varied spaces. The next iteration of the Biennial will take place in 2020 and will again be located in Austin with plans to bring other cities and their communities to a centralized location. TX★20 will convene the people and organizations who produce and promote the arts in Texas.
DIVERSE DISCOURSE SPRING 2019
MANAGING DIRECTOR, CULTURESTRIKE
Thursday, March 28, 6:30 PM
Gallery @ MATCH
3400 Main Street
Houston, TX 77002
Sonia Guiñansaca is an internationally acclaimed queer migrant poet, cultural organizer and activist from Harlem by way of Ecuador. Guiñansaca, a VONA/Voices and BOOAT Alumni, has performed at The Met, Brooklyn Museum, The Highline, Joe’s Pub, El Museo Del Barrio, The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Lehmann Maupin Gallery and has been featured by NBC, PBS, Latina Magazine, Pen American, the Poetry Foundation, and the United Kingdom’s Diva Magazine to name a few. They have emerged as a national leader in the undocumented/migrant artistic and political communities. Guiñansaca was named as 1 of 10 Up-and-Coming Latinx Poets You Need to Know by Remezcla and is currently leading cultural equity work as the Managing Director of CultureStrike.
Monday, November 12, 6:30 PM
Kemi Ilesanmi is Executive Director of the Laundromat Project in New York City. With over 20 years experience in the cultural arena, Ilesanmi is inspired by the immense possibilities for joy and change at the intersection of arts, activism, and community. Prior to joining The LP, she was Director of Grants and Services at Creative Capital Foundation where she supported the work of American artists making adventurous new work. From 1998-2004, she was a visual arts curator at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. While there, she organized several exhibitions, including The Squared Circle: Boxing in Contemporary Art, and ran the visual arts residency program. She holds a Masters in Public Administration from New York University and a BA in Afro-American Studies from Smith College. She is also an alumna of the Coro Leadership New York program.
The mission of The Laundromat Project is to advance artists and neighbors as change agents in their own communities. The LP envisions a world in which artists and neighbors in communities of color work together to unleash the power of creativity to transform lives. They make sustained investments in growing a community of multiracial, multigenerational, and multidisciplinary artists and neighbors committed to societal change by supporting their artmaking, community building, and leadership development.