Exhibitions and Installations
I have had the opportunity to collaborate with other curators and artists on exhibitions, interventions, installations, and performance art works. Some of the highlights of those collaborations are featured below.
Crisis of Connection: Constructing Male Identity
School 33 Art Center
May 9, 2019 through August 24, 2019
Crisis of Connection features images of men that ask questions about the construction of male identity, rather than promoting a fixed view of manhood past, present, or future.
The increasing visibility of trans-men, soft masculinity, and gender bending fashion in mainstream culture have continued to complicate traditional notions of male identity. But this movement has unfortunately paralleled a global backlash of public perception, in which “strong men” project power based upon fixed and static notions of traditional maleness.
This paradigm creates a crisis of interpersonal connection among males and hampers our societies as a whole. As part of the important project of expanding and complicating the geographies of gender, this exhibition highlights artists who create images of male-identifying people that in turn allow us to see men as tender, vulnerable, and nuanced.
Featuring works by Darius Johnson, Markele Cullins, Alex D’Agostino, Alexis Reehill, Matthew Savitsky with Todd Mollenberg, Ian Lewandowski, Xavier Schipani, and Kurt Simonson.
The Walters Art Museum
September 4, 2016 through December 4, 2016
In conjunction with an exhibition of the five senses in Medieval art at the Walters Art Museum, I was able to commission artist Brian Goeltzenleuchter to create an olfactory work called Sillage: Baltimore. Over the course of several months, the artist and Museum staff helped collect data online and in person from individuals who either live, work, or spend time in Baltimore. Each participant was asked to describe the smell of one of the nine regions making up Baltimore (see map in slideshow below). Brian grouped all of the collected data by region and used it to determine the overall scent of a neighborhood. Each region's scent was then created by the artist and bottled in a standard fragrance bottle. On the final day of the project, the scents were debuted to visitors at the Museum; anyone could approach the Sillage: Baltimore kiosk, identify the region of Baltimore they live or work in, and then sample the fragrance. If a visitor wanted to sample a different fragrance, they were directed to find another person in the Museum with that scent and ask them to smell their wrist. Brian essentially acted as an artist-facilitator, creating a platform by which Baltimore residents could create a collaborative artwork together about their own city. We were also able to schedule time for Brian to work with art students at the Baltimore School for the Arts and the Walters Teen Arts Council to give them a non-traditional studio experience with a contemporary artist.
In the Garden of Earthly Delights: A Writerz Blok Mural
The San Diego Museum of Art
Created November 1 through 16, 2011
After having worked for several years with Writerz Blok, an arts organization teaching San Diego youth to express themselves through art, I was able to commission the organization to create a mural for the San Diego Museum of Art. Local artists Saratoga Sake, Israel "Izze WST" Serrano, Pedro "DazeRoc" Medina, and Jose "Bean" Venegas worked on-site to transform a 70 foot white wall into a site-specific mural for the Museum. Every evening from November 1 through November 16, 2011 the public was invited to witness the creation of this mural and interact with these contemporary artists.
The mural's creation was specifically timed to coincide with an exhibition of modern Mexican painting, and though many of the artists in the show were well-known for their murals (such as Rivera and Siqueiros) all of the exhibited works were easel paintings. We therefore gave the public a chance to see a mural being made during the show and asked the artists to incorporate or respond to imagery from the exhibition.
Kicking in the Doorway: The Work of Roberto Lugo
The Walters Art Museum
June 16, 2018-July 14, 2019
Roberto Lugo is a potter, activist, culture-maker, rapper, poet, and educator. The Walters commissioned him to create works of art and participate in programming as part of the first installation at 1 West Mount Vernon Place. Lugo has been inspired by specific works at the Walters; in his ceramics, he combines traditional techniques and forms with contemporary color palettes and subject matter that reflect his experiences as an artist of color.
The elegant shapes of Sèvres vases from the Walters are echoed in works that feature figures like Frederick Douglass and Freddie Gray, the Baltimore man who died in police custody in 2015. Lugo has also created works that are inspired by Sybby Grant, who was an enslaved cook at 1 West Mount Vernon Place.
Imagined as the Truth: Works by Yinka Shonibare, M.B.E.
The San Diego Museum of Art
June 30, 2012 through September 23, 2012
This installation of works by Shonibare offered a striking counterpoint to the Museum’s temporary exhibition of 15th century tapestries, The Invention of Glory: Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries, that were also on view. The latter featured stunning textiles that served as legitimations of colonial ambitions during the Age of Discovery. Contrasting Shonibare’s works with the Pastrana Tapestries allowed the Museum to use art as the means to instigate dialogue around the legacy of colonialism and the importance of historical investigation.
I selected three works (a photograph, sculpture, and video) that focused on the important practice of investigating and subsequently re-visioning history. The works make several references to actual events and historical figures, at once displaying the artist’s own knowledge of art and cultural history, and pointing out art’s complicity in constructing specific historical narratives. Working with my curatorial colleague in European art, we placed Shonibare's pieces among other works in the permanent collection galleries.
A slideshow of the works in the exhibition is below.
Jaimie Warren: You Are Not Alone
August 23, 2014 through September 23, 2014
You Are Not Alone was an exhibition and performance, the latter of which debuted at the opening as a result of a month-long residency at Helmuth Projects. I worked with gallery owner Josh Pavlick to find volunteers and participants from the public that could collaborate with Warren during her stay in San Diego on a brand new work which continued her foray into remaking existing art historical images. Specifically, the artist reimagined a Fra Angelico religious scene, replacing 15th century angels and saints with important and infamous characters from the life of pop-star Michael Jackson, and thereby forcing a comparison between the iconographies of celebrity and religion.
You can find an exhibition essay, photos, and a link to the performance excerpt below.
Video excerpt of Jamie Warren's You Are Not Alone
Waving and Wavering: Contemporary Artist Flags
Maryland Art Place
May 17, 2018 through June 23, 2018
Many of our most visible public symbols, including flags, are currently under increased scrutiny and public reconsideration. Rather than seek to define any fixed set of meanings, the exhibition Waving and Wavering assumes that a flag will always carry various and contested meanings. Many of the works in this show highlighted the condition of the individual living within a the framework of a nation state, and politicize personal experience. Waving and Wavering featured local, national, and international interpretations of flags, by artists from the USA, Canada, Switzerland, Spain, Brazil, and Portugal including FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, Project KALI, Ursula Populoh, Iqrama Muhammad, Ronnie Yarisal and Katja Kublitz, René Treviño, Jen DeNike, Brette Gabel, Nino Cais, UBIK, Amy Yee, Carver Audain, and Miguel Januário.
A section of the exhibition was devoted to four local artists/collectives that were commissioned to create new flags for Baltimore City.
The San Diego Museum of Art
August 01, 2013 through September 08, 2013
Double Portraits was an intervention into the Museum's Permanent Collection in response to the special exhibition Arnold Newman: Masterclass. Featuring works by Jess T. Dugan, Goshka Macuga, Dulce Pinzón, Kurt Simonson, and Jaimie Warren, this spotlight exhibition situated contemporary photography alongside paintings from the 16th through early 20th centuries on view in the Museum's European Art galleries.
Conceptually, these contemporary photographs relate to the strategy used by Arnold Newman in his late work. Just as Newman used homage to construct symbolic portraits, works by artists featured in Double Portraits explore the potential of creating portraits with intimacy, parody, and pastiche. These photographs each utilize strategies for presenting multiple identities, viewpoints, and authors within a single work.
Looking specifically at elements such as light, gesture, and pose, the juxtaposition of works from such different time periods illustrated certain visual tropes and archetypes in Western portraiture that have remained vital and consistent in representations of the figure across time. A slideshow of the works from the exhibition is below.