Emerging Curators Institute Announces New Cohort – Twin Cities Arts Reader

A collage showing the 2022-2023 Emerging Curators Institute Fellows.

The Emerging Curators Institute (ECI) has announced the recipients of its latest cohort of Early Career Fellowships. Recipients receive extensive research support, professional development, and presentation training to prepare them for careers as museum curators and beyond. Exceptionally, the five recipients include two artist-curators working together under the same professional name.

ECI’s 2022-2023 cohort is composed of: Alondra M Garza, Tejana/Tex-Mex artist [sic]interdisciplinary artist-educator Drew Maude-Griffin, Raíz Symbiotisk (the professional name of artist-curator duo Pamela Vázquez (from Mexico) and Emma Wood (from Sweden and the United States) and interdisciplinary artist Za’Nia Coleman.

Entrants were selected from a field of 82 applicants by a panel of local curators and artists, along with jurors Amy Sadao, Juleana Enright and Lisa Volpe. Jurors assessed applicants on their experience and opportunity to benefit from it, the promise of their exhibition or project proposal, and aimed to create a cohort balanced by the diversity of applicants’ backgrounds, artistic discipline and the thematic approach.

In addition to the fellowship program, ECI will also host a series of public programs in 2022, which will provide fellows and the local public with the opportunity to engage in topics related to contemporary conservation practice. All programs will be free and open to the public

Official descriptions

Alondra M Garza is a Tejana/Tex-Mex artist. She was born on the Mexican side, bordering the Rio Grande Valley, Mexico and South Texas, and obtained dual Mexican American citizenship. Garza received a BFA from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley with honors and an MFA from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Her work has been exhibited internationally in the United States, Mexico and Italy. This includes a solo exhibition at Minneapolis College of Art and Design, group exhibitions at YAG/Garage in Italy, the Minneapolis Institute of Art and Walker Art Center in Minneapolis MN, the Museum of Fine Arts in Brownsville, TX, and wall controls in Mexico. Her work is in the private collection of the University of Minnesota Chicano & Latino Studies, receiving an Emerging Artist Fellowship. She was commissioned by CLUES and Lake Street to work for the first Day of The Dead Parade in Minneapolis, MN. Garza hosted Open Studio Nights at MCAD MFA and a show at Fresh Eye Gallery.

Drew Maude Griffin is an interdisciplinary artist, author and educator whose work explores illness, disability and the complex politics of care. Drew creates multi-sensory works of art to make the invisible realities of their illness visible. Their work is done with the intention of honoring and building community with other ill and disabled people, as well as expanding the way we think about, practice and experience all care. They are recent graduates of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, where they earned their BFA in Drawing and Painting with a minor in Teaching Artist. Their writing was recently featured on the Walker Art Center’s Mn Artists online platform, where Maude-Griffin was the guest editor for a series of six articles featuring local artists with disabilities. Their work has been exhibited at MCAD Gallery, Intermedia Arts, Co Exhibitions, Schelfhaudt Gallery and Chan Gallery. Currently, they work as gallery assistants at the Fresh Eye Gallery in Kingfield Minneapolis and are art animators for Fresh Eye Arts, a progressive art studio that supports artists with disabilities. In the spirit of expanding our collective understandings of care, as well as fostering joy and catharsis for people with disabilities, during their internship with ECI, Maude-Griffin will focus on developing an exhibition featuring artists with disabilities. responding to the theme of Crip Futurism.

Raiz Symbiotisk is the professional name of Pamela Vázquez (Mexico) and Emma Wood (Sweden, USA). There is a symbiosis in their common curiosity for mushrooms: as artistic facilitators, seen from an interdisciplinary artistic practice and a research/archival perspective.

Vázquez (her) comes from a background in art history, she has collaborated in curatorial projects exhibited internationally and the production of public art events. She currently coordinates a folk arts exchange program between Mexico and Minneapolis (Office of Arts, Culture, and Creative Economy + Weisman Art Museum) and was recently part of the production team for the Ice Art Festival. Art Shanty Projects winter 2022.

Emma Wood (they/them/hen) is a Swedish-American non-binary interdisciplinary artist and animator who works with intersections of mycelium and glass. Bridging science and art to investigate their personal relationship with bereavement. Their work is about a transition exploring the duality of the ephemeral and the archive. They were an Emerging Artist-in-Residence in 2021 at Franconia Sculpture Park and an Emerging Artist-in-Residence at FOCI MCGA in 2021. Emma and a team of collaborators hosted an art shack at Art Shanty Projects in 2022.

Mushrooms contain many metaphors, of life and death, of human boundaries and new ways of thinking and collaborating. Mushrooms embody interconnected and supportive communities, like Raíz Symbiotisk, they want to center this in public interaction.

Za’Nia Coleman is an interdisciplinary artist who experiments with textiles, digital media and cultural conservation. Its main medium is film based on documentary, oral history and digital projections. The root of her work is to archive traditional and historical practices around love, pleasure, cultural expression and community building. She is co-founder and executive director of Tangible Collective, an art collective that creates space for black millennial thought and expression. Za’Nia holds a bachelor’s degree in film studies and film theory and culture. Throughout her ECI fellowship, she will work to curate an immersive experience that can put images to what lives at the intersections of archival, black folklore, and black science fiction.

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