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NEWS: Emerging Curators Institute Announces New Cohort

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 in-depth research support, professional development, and presentation training to prepare them for careers as museum and other curators. Unusually, the five recipients include two artist-curators working together under a single professional name.

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

The participants were selected from a group of 82 applicants by a panel of local curators and artists, plus jurors Amy Sadao, Juleana Enright, and Lisa Volpe. The jurors evaluated applicants on their experience and opportunity to benefit, the promise of their proposed exhibition or project, and aimed to create a cohort balanced by diversity in applicant background, artistic discipline and thematic approach.

In addition to the fellowship program, ECI also will host a series of public programs in 2022, which will provide opportunities for fellows and local audiences to engage in topics related to contemporary curatorial 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 at the Rio Grande Valley borderlands of Mexico and South Texas and obtained dual citizenship as a Mexican American. Garza received a BFA at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley with honors and an MFA at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Her work has been exhibited internationally across the U.S., Mexico, and Italy. This includes a Solo Exhibition at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, group exhibitions at YAG/Garage in Italy, Minneapolis Institute of Art and The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis MN, The Museum of Fine Arts in Brownsville, TX, and mural commissions in Mexico. Her work is part of the private collection of The University of Minnesota Chicano & Latino Studies, by being awarded an emerging artist grant. She has been commissioned by CLUES and Lake Street to make work for the first Day of The Dead Parade in Minneapolis, MN. Garza has curated Open Studio Nights at the 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 multisensory artworks as a way of making visible the unseen realities of their illness. Their work is made with the intention of honoring and building community with other sick and disabled folks, as well as broadening how we all think of, practice, and experience care. They are a recent graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, where they completed their BFA in Drawing and Painting with a Teaching Artist minor. Their writing was recently featured in The Walker Art Center’s online platform Mn Artists, where Maude-Griffin was the guest editor of a six-article series featuring local disabled artists. Their work has been exhibited at the MCAD Gallery, Intermedia Arts, Co Exhibitions, the Schelfhaudt Gallery, and the Chan Gallery. Currently, they work as a Gallery Assistant at Fresh Eye Gallery in Kingfield Minneapolis, and are an art facilitator for Fresh Eye Arts, a progressive arts studio supporting artists with disabilities. In the spirit of expanding our collective understandings of care, as well as fostering disabled joy and catharsis, during their fellowship with ECI Maude-Griffin will focus on the development of an exhibition featuring disabled artists responding to the theme of Crip Futurism.

Raíz Symbiotisk is the professional name of Pamela Vázquez (México) and Emma Wood (Sweden, USA). There is symbiosis in their shared curiosity for fungi: as arts facilitators, as seen from an interdisciplinary artistic practice and a research/archive perspective.

Vázquez (she/her) comes from a background in Art History, she has collaborated in curatorial projects exhibited internationally and in the production of public art events. She is currently coordinating a Folk Arts Exchange program between Mexico and Minneapolis (Office of Arts, Culture, and Creative Economy + Weisman Art Museum) and most recently was part of the production team of winter, on-ice art festival Art Shanty Projects 2022.

Emma Wood (they/them/hen) is a nonbinary, Swedish-American, arts facilitator and interdisciplinary artist who works with intersections of mycelium and glass. Bridging between science and art to investigate their personal relationship with grief. Their work is on a transition exploring the duality of ephemeral and archival. They were a 2021 Emerging Artist-in-Residence at Franconia Sculpture Park and an Emerging Artist-in-Residency at FOCI MCGA in 2021. Emma and a team of collaborators hosted an art shanty at Art Shanty Projects in 2022.

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

Za’Nia Coleman is an interdisciplinary artist experimenting with textiles, digital media, and cultural curation. Her primary medium is film focusing on documentary, oral history, and digital projections. The root of her work is archiving 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 devoted to 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 imagery to what lives at intersections of the archive, Black folklore, and Black science fiction.

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