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How Can Art and Museums Model the Future of Diverse Cultural Landscapes?
March 10 @ 5:30 PM
What role does art play in times of need? In this moment of upheaval, reckoning, and change, what responsibilities do museums have in representing cultures, past and present, as well as modeling the future of diverse cultural landscapes? UB Art Galleries Curator Liz Park moderates a roundtable discussion with Candice Hopkins and Yesomi Umolu, two leading thinkers and curators in the field of contemporary art. They will share frank reflections on the limits of museums as sites of knowledge and explore the potentials of creating a just and open space in which art can amplify voices and broaden views.
Candice Hopkins is a citizen of Carcross/Tagish First Nation and lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her writing and curatorial practice explores the intersections of history, contemporary art, and indigeneity. She has served as senior curator for the 2019 and 2021 editions of the Toronto Biennial of Art and was part of the curatorial team for the Canadian Pavilion of the 58th Venice Biennale, featuring the work of the media art collective Isuma. She is co-curator of notable exhibitions including Art for New Understanding: Native Voices 1950s to Now; the 2018 SITE Santa Fe biennial, Casa Tomada; documenta 14 in Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany; Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Canada and Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her recent essays and presentations include “The Gilded Gaze: Wealth and Economies on the Colonial Frontier,” for the documenta 14 Reader, and “Outlawed Social Life” for South as a State of Mind.
Yesomi Umolu is recently appointed Director of Curatorial Affairs and Public Practice at the Serpentine Galleries, London. She was previously Director and Curator, Logan Center Exhibitions at the University of Chicago where she also taught courses in visual art and spatial practices as a lecturer in the humanities division. Prior to joining the Logan, Umolu held curatorial positions at the MSU Broad Museum, East Lansing, Michigan; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and Manifesta 8, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art. As Artistic Director of the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial, Umolu oversaw a critically acclaimed curatorial program featuring new commissions, off-site installations, and a host of performances, talks, workshops, and community engagements with over 80 international contributors. Umolu is a 2016 recipient of the prestigious Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts Curatorial Fellowship. She served on the curatorial advisory board for the United States Pavilion at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale. She is a trustee of the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Chicago.
Liz Park is Curator of Exhibitions at the University at Buffalo Art Galleries, the State University of New York. She was most recently the associate curator of the 2018 Carnegie International at Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. She has curated exhibitions at a wide range of institutions including the Western Front, Vancouver; the Kitchen, New York; the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; the Miller Institute for Contemporary Art at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh; and Seoul Art Space Geumcheon, South Korea. Her writing has been published by Afterall Online, Afterimage, ArtAsiaPacific, Performa Magazine, Fillip, Yishu: A Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Pluto Press, and Ryerson University Press, among others. She was a Helena Rubinstein Fellow at the Whitney Independent Study Program in 2011–12 and Whitney-Lauder Curatorial Fellow at ICA Philadelphia in 2013–15. Her research interests have revolved around mobility and migration as well as representations of violence in the colonial present.
This program is co-presented by UB Art Galleries and the Office of Inclusive Excellence as part of their series “Let’s Talk About Race.”
Left to right: Candice Hopkins, photo by Jason S. Ordaz; Yesomi Umolu, photo by Nicolette Nunez; Liz Park, photo by John Opera.