VisArts is pleased to announce the selection of Larry Ossei-Mensah as the mentoring curator and Zion Douglass as the emerging curator for the 2019 VisArts Emerging Curator Program. Over the course of a year, Ossei-Mensah and Douglass will team up to create two new exhibitions and innovative public programming. Ossei-Mensah is a Ghanaian-American curator, cultural critic, and advocate for artists who uses contemporary art and culture as a vehicle to redefine how we see ourselves and the world around us. Douglass’ work floats between photographic and time-based media, critical and experimental-based writing, DJ sets, and curatorial practice to form alternative methods for activating Black sociality.
“The 21st Century Emerging Curator Program is a rare opportunity nationally. The year-long mentorship has proved to be invaluable for launching careers and bringing a network of curators into the VisArts’ galleries to present artists and curatorial approaches with global perspectives,” says VisArts Gallery Director and Curator Susan Main. Mentor and mentee receive exhibition budgets to develop exceptional curatorial proposals, commission new work, pay artists, provide curatorial stipends, and create innovative programming and exhibition designs. With the program’s support, the curators explore ideas, advocate for artists, and expand audiences.
About the 2019 Mentoring Curator: Larry Ossei-Mensah is a Ghanaian-American curator and cultural critic who uses contemporary art and culture as a vehicle to redefine how we see ourselves and the world around us. He has organized exhibitions and projects with artists at commercial and nonprofit spaces around the globe from, including: Firelei Báez, Ruby Amanze, Hugo McCloud, Brendan Fernandes and Peter Williams. Ossei-Mensah currently serves as the Susanne Feld Hilberry Senior Curator at MOCAD in Detroit. He also is a co-founder of the 501c3 ARTNOIR in addition to being a mentor in the New Museum’s incubator program, NEW INC.
About the 2019 VisArts Emerging Curator: Zion Douglass is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, and curator. His work floats across photographic + time-based media, critical + experimental-based writing, DJ sets, and curatorial practice to form alternative methods for activating Black sociality. Forming ongoing relationships to critical theory, Zion is dedicated to shifting representative logics of Black visual aesthetics. His particular research interests are engaged with performativity in digital space and ontological tenets of the photographic and moving image. Zion has exhibited in and curated exhibitions at the Maryland Institute College of Art and has contributed in programming capacities at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Transformer DC, The Contemporary, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. He currently is a film programmer at the Maryland Film Festival and Parkway Theater in Baltimore, Maryland.
About the 21st Century VisArts Emerging Curator Program:
The VisArts Emerging Curator Program pairs an emerging curator with an experienced mentoring curator to produce new exhibitions and related programming. The program is generously funded by the Windgate Charitable Foundation.
(via VisArts. Photo: The 2019 VisArts Emerging Curator Program features mentoring curator Larry Ossei-Mensah (left) and emerging curator Zion Douglass (right).)