With six independent curators, we explore a growing trend in the field of contemporary art. We discover that the Covid epidemic and a global economic recession have not weakened their resolve to navigate the field on their own terms. Viewing challenges as opportunities, these women are channeling their creative freedom into projects that maximize resources and engage new communities.
What sparked this story: In September 2022, the International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art welcomed more than 40 new members during IKT’s annual Congress in Kentucky. Most are independent curators. Listen to find out what motivated this shift.
Featuring: Monique Long, Juste Kostikovaite, Lindsey Cummins, Amethyst Rey Beaver, Sarah Burney, Claire Schneider
Sound Design: Anamnesis Audio | Music: Danver County by Blue Dot Sessions
Related Links: International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art, Great Meadows Foundation, Monique Long, Juste Kostikovaite, Lindsey Cummins, Amethyst Rey Beaver, Sarah Burney, Claire Schneider, KMAC Museum, Benham School House Inn
Monique Long is an independent curator and writer based in New York City. Her current exhibition, Elegies: Still Lifes in Contemporary Art, is on view at the Telfair Museum in Savannah through February 2023. Document Journal features her recent writing on artist Troy Montes-Michie.
Justė Kostikovaitė is currently working as a freelance curator for public art, place-making, and artist residency projects, as well as international and local exhibitions. From 2016-2020, she served as Lithuanian Culture Attaché in the UK, supporting and developing various projects across culture, art and education fields. She studied Curating Contemporary Art at the Royal College of Art, London. Kostikovaite’s next project is a collaboration with Merilin Talumaa and Maija Rudovska for the MO Museum in 2023.
Lindsey Cummins is a Louisville-based Independent Curator and Community Arts Organizer. As the Founder of AVID Collectors, she strives to impact local arts communities by uplifting artists, patrons, and private collections. In 2020, Lindsey started the Printed Zine Project, an annual community zine publication whose mission is to connect and inspire Kentucky artists through the accessible zine format. Lindsey currently works with Director Julien Robson at the Great Meadows Foundation, a grant-giving organization that assists Kentucky artists in actively researching and connecting with the broader contemporary art world. Lindsey received her education at Louisville’s Hite Art Institute with a degree in Studio Art, Art History, and Modern Culture. She currently serves on the Board of the Portland Museum and the SNAP Art Foundation.
Amethyst Rey Beaver is a contemporary art curator, writer, and UX designer based in Louisville, KY. In her curatorial positions at the Blanton Museum of Art and 21c Museum Hotels, and now as an independent curator, Amethyst focuses her efforts on fostering relationships with artists, institutions, galleries, and collectors, working to design a more equitable art world. She received her M.A. in Modern & Contemporary Latin American art history from the University of Texas at Austin and her B.A. from Wellesley College. In 2010, she lived, worked, and studied in Valparaíso, Chile as a Fulbright Fellow.
Sarah Burney is an independent writer and curator based in New York. Raised in Kuwait and Pakistan, Burney is a specialist of contemporary printmaking and contemporary art from South Asia and the Middle East. She is interested in exploring artists’ materials and processes and diversifying discussions in contemporary art. Her writing and curatorial work is informed by the variety of perspectives she has gained in the field including the studio of artist Zarina, the community printmaking studio Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop (RBPMW), the feminist art collective South Asian Women’s Creative Collective (SAWCC) and the Guerrilla Girls.
Claire Schneider is President of C.S.1 Curatorial Projects. Dedicated to building community through site-responsive projects, C.S.1 commissions and produces new work in unexpected spaces, often helping artists expand their practices and reach new audiences. With a focus on experiential knowledge, C.S.1’s projects have highlighted bartering, food, gardens, drawing, healing modalities, interactive play spaces, and creating cross-neighborhood conversations via dance and African-American literature. Schneider is working with Artpark, Lewiston, NY, to research a large-scale community game with Czech artist Katerina Šedá. With renowned positive psychologist Barbara Fredrickson, she co-authored a scholarly chapter for The Oxford Handbook of the Positive Humanities, 2022, on the psychological mechanisms through which social practice art can raise community-level positivity resonance.