I was born in Texas, raised on the gulf coastline of Alabama. I received a BFA from Massey University in Wellington New Zealand in 2009 and a MFA from Goddard College, Port Townsend Washington in 2014. When I travel I like to try to get lost. I draw maps of my movements that sometimes (but don't always) lead me back home.
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I work as a curator, performer, writer, listener, organizer, maker, and doer. I view my work as a form of story-telling, the medium I pick up depends entirely on what story I am hoping to tell. I believe the stories we tell make us who we are; that stories have the power to challenge and sometimes change us, and that the role of the artist is to pose questions rather than give answers.
As a curator I prefer to work on projects where the art doesn't exist yet. Rather than gathering and arranging existing objects and practices, the projects that drive me primarily commission new work based on urgent and unanswered questions. I've worked on projects that enlist artists into difficult histories, social justice, and cultural memory most often. I am artist-led in my approach, focusing on creating sustainable and equitable opportunities that grow folx- artists and communities alike.
My artistic interests generally center around vulnerability, and private vs. public space/identity/information. I'm a better curator than I am an artist, but i still like to muck around. Also I'm in a punk band.
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From the desk of:
Artist/ Curator/ Writer/ Community Organizer
BFA, Painting, First Class Honors, MASSEY UNIVERSITY Wellington, New Zealand—2009
MFA of Interdisciplinary Art, GODDARD COLLEGE, Port Townsend, Washington —2013
Executive Director, Alabama Contemporary Art Center | Mobile, Alabama | January 2020- Present
Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs, Alabama Contemporary Art Center | Mobile, Alabama | November 2018- January 2020
Curator of Programs, Mobile Museum of Art | Mobile, Alabama | September 2014- November 2019
Curator of Adult Education, Mobile Museum of Art | Mobile, Alabama | March 2014-January 2015
Founder/Co-Executive Director, The Rumor Union | Mobile, Alabama | 2010- 2014
Freelance Project Consulting/ Curating | Mobile, Alabama | 2007- 2014
Vice President, The Downtown Creative Wellness Foundation | Mobile, Alabama | 2010-2012
Publicity Writer, Engine Room Gallery | Wellington, New Zealand | 2007- 2009
DIFFERENT / FIT: EUGENICS IN ALABAMA, 1919-1935, Thematic Group Exhibition: Multi-site, Mobile Medical Museum & Alabama Contemporary Art Center, Mobile, AL, 2021
NEW ISLAND, Solo Exhibition of new work by Michelle Jones: Alabama Contemporary Art Center, 2021
CHEER ME UP, CHEER ME ON, Solo Exhibition of new work by Valerie George: Alabama Contemporary Art Center, 2020
A MONSTROUS FEAST, Solo Exhibition of new work by Colleen Comer: Alabama Contemporary Art Center, 2020
K. YOLAND: OPERATION TUMBLEWEED, Solo Exhibition of work by K. Yoland: Alabama Contemporary Art Center, 2019
Y. MALIK JALAL: A STUDY OF THE SUPERNATURAL PHENOMENA OF EMERGENCE, Solo Exhibition of work by Y. Malik Jalal: Alabama Contemporary Art Center, 2019
URBAN WILD: STREET AND FOLK ART IN THE SOUTH, Thematic Group Exhibition: Alabama Contemporary Art Center, Mobile, AL, 2019
RAISE 251.2: CAMBODIAN AND LAOTIAN CULTURE IN BAYOU LA BATRE, Photovoice Exhibition and Community Collaboration: Alabama Contemporary Art Center, Mobile, AL, 2019
DO IT, Thematic Group Exhibition by Independent Curators International, Original concept Hans Ulrich Obrist, Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL, 2018
ART:WORK, Thematic Group Exhibition, Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile AL, Annual 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
REVERBERANT, A Performance Series: The Hive, Mobile AL, in conjunction with Happy Birthday John Cage at the Mobile Museum of Art, 2013
FRONT PORCH SESSIONS, A Performance Series: In conjunction with The Memory Lab, Centre for the Living Arts, Mobile, AL, 2012
TEMPORAL CITY FESTIVAL, A Time-Based Media Festival: Multi-site, Mobile, AL, Annual 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
REDEMPTION, A Performance and Installation Event: Multi-Site, Mobile, AL, 2009
WIFE, Thematic Group Exhibition: Coordinated by Steven Templer. Deluxe, Wellington, New Zealand, 2008
DO SOMETHING GENUINE, Thematic Group Exhibition: The Engine Room, Wellington, New Zealand, 2008
MA MERE, Thematic Group Exhibition: Coordinated by Sarah Parvardeh, Satori, Mobile, Al, 2007
Teaching Artist Project (T.A.P.) | Mobile Alabama 2016- Ongoing
The Teaching Artists Project(T.A.P.) is a partnership program between The Museum School of the Mobile Museum of Art, the Mobile Arts Council, and Alabama Contemporary Art Center.T.A.P hosts a number of professional development opportunities, teacher training,and community building initiatives to grow our creative community. Additionally T.A.P. funnels working artists into a shareable, searchable database of local artists of all disciplines designed to connect working artists with opportunities in the community.
Who I Am | Mobile, Alabama 2015
Who I Am is a Mobile Museum of Art outreach project for eighth graders at Mobile County Training School a low-income neighborhood school. Taking an interdisciplinary approach for the theme of self-determining identity, MMofA staff designed a three part program that invited students to explore their family history and personal identity through visual,literary, and performing arts tools, ultimately empowering them to create a final project using any or all mediums to reflect their personal choices and sense of self.
Happy Birthday John Cage | Mobile, Alabama 2013
In collaboration with the Mobile Museum of Art, acting as guest curator of community engagement, my duties wereto help conceptualize and implement a project narrative, recruit collaborating organizations such as the Mobile Arts Council, The Mobile Symphony, Universityof South Alabama, Springhill College, The Botanical Gardens, Centre for the Living Arts, and several others to partner in the planning stages of the project, and curate programming devoted to educating and inspiring thought on the work of experimental composer John Cage.
Memory Lab | Mobile, Alabama 2012
Collaboration between Rick Lowe of Project Row Houses, Tracy Hicks and I, this is a community project that began at Space 301 Centre for the Living Arts with an installation called 301c. My role was to facilitate community engagement and voice in the project through memory circles, and meetings that help inform our goals.
The Hive | Mobile, Alabama 2012- 2015
The Hive was an artist-run community work/learn space for local emerging creatives in Downtown Mobile.Based on a volunteer crew through The Rumor Union, The Hive provided free-use equipment, materials and education, as well as affordable studio/exhibition space.
The True Legend of Me Project | Mobile, Alabama 2011
In the Summer of 2011 we ﬁrst ran this Project at Wilmer Hall, a residential facility for displaced youth.Local Artists across a number of disciplines taught workshops over a ﬁfteen week course, workshops directed to ﬁnd and apply a unique personal narrative.Each child developed a ﬁnal project through a ﬁve week one-on-one mentorship,utilizing what they learned across all creative disciplines.
Night of the Dead Artists | Mobile, Alabama 2016-18
This is an annual partnership program with Aides Alabama South Featuring a photo scavenger Hunt at the Mobile Museum of Art including educational material about each artwork, live performers ‘haunting’ the galleries as deceased artists, a collaboration withthe Education Department at the University of South Alabama in with students create traditional Dia de los Muertos altars and educational materials relating to Day of The Dead coordinated by Paige Vitulli, costume and dancing contests music and food.
The Night Market | Mobile, Alabama 2015-17
This was a monthly indoor market that features 30+ local makers selling handmade, and unique crafts of all kinds, including metal smith jewelry, handcrafted soap, visual art, baked goods,ceramics, fiber arts, woodworking and original furniture. Each event includes a local music and food trucks.
LIVE @ The Museum Concert Series | Mobile, Alabama 2014-17
This was a monthly concert series at the Mobile Museum of Art that features the musical prowess of the South. The goal of this concert series is to connect the Mobile creative community of performers with an audience they may not normally reach, by offering an early evening listening room setting as an alternative to other late night venues in the area.
Temporal City Festival | Mobile, Alabama 2010- 2014
This is an annual festival that features ten interdisciplinary art installations in ten derelict or unused buildings in Downtown Mobile. A map is created and tours run alongside Arts Alive and Loda Music Festival as a way of activating ‘negative space’ and inspiring our audience to re-imagine our downtown landscape with an expanded notion of what is possible.
Freelance Labor Auctions | Mobile, Alabama 2010- 2013
This was a quarterly transient networking event. Freelance Auctions bind together the locally owned need and home-grown capability in an act of vigilante economy. For skilled workers it provided a source of income, for local business owners it built fruitful relationships in the community.
Spoken Song Festival | Mobile, Alabama 2010
This festival was inspired by imagining a world without music. Co-curated and coordinated by Yolanda Jones(known locally as Yo Jonsey), poets, musicians, and performance artists were invited to perform in any style without instruments, to unpack music as an act primarily of story-telling.
Skills & Interests
My skills include curating, organizational leadership & structure, strategic planning, grass-roots organizing, program and project consulting, graphic design, illustration, technical writing, publicity writing, creative and critical writing, grant-writing, project planning and resource management, scenic design, public speaking and performance, and concept building for teams.
My areas of specialty are in regional art and post-object / installation art, however I have a strong background in painting. I am interested in contemporary art that holds a meaningful relationship to place. I have worked with artists of every disciple and enjoy curating for exhibitions in which the art must be made, as well as drawing from existing work of artists on a thematic basis. I am most interested in work dealing with cultural identity, narrative, and issues relevant to the community.