Andrea Barnwell Brownlee is an art historian, curator, writer, and the director of the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art. She is widely recognized for her leadership, ambitious vision, and the impactful exhibition agenda that she has established at Spelman College. Exhibitions including iona rozeal brown: a³ . . . black on both sides (2004), Amalia Amaki: Boxes, Buttons and the Blues (2005), Hale Woodruff, Nancy Elizabeth Prophet and the Academy (2007), Cinema Remixed & Reloaded: Black Women Artists and the Moving Image Since 1970 (2007), María Magdalena Campos-Pons: Dreaming of an Island (2008), Undercover: Performing and Transforming Black Female Identities (2009), and IngridMwangiRobertHutter: Constant Triumph (2011) are among the projects that she has curated and co-curated. In 2011 she spearheaded 15 x 15 - an initiative to acquire 15 works of art in celebration of the museum’s 15th anniversary.
Brownlee is the recipient of numerous academic, professional, and scholarly awards including a MacArthur Curatorial Fellowship in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Art Institute of Chicago (1998 – 2000), a Future Women Leadership Award from Art Table (2005), and the President’s Award from the Women’s Caucus for Art (2005). In 2010, she was awarded the inaugural Nexus Award from the Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center. Brownlee, an alumna of Spelman College, earned her Ph.D. in art history from Duke University in 2001.
Brownlee, an alumna of the Getty Leadership Institute, is a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors. She has served on the boards of several arts organizations including the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences and the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund. In 2008 Brownlee served as the Vice Chair of the City of Atlanta Arts Funding Task Force. Cinema Remixed & Reloaded: Black Women Artists and the Moving Image Since 1970, which she curated with Valerie Cassel Oliver, senior curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston in 2007, was recently selected for inclusion in the upcoming Havana Biennial (May 11 – June 11, 2012).
Colin Quashie is best known critically as an iconoclast who challenges audiences with his raucous brand of controversial social commentary. With numerous exhibitions on his resume, he shows no signs of mellowing anytime soon and continues to push the boundaries. Staring with MadTv in 1996, he has financed his art by writing sketch and late-night comedy for six series (two animated). An Emmy winning writer, he has worked as a textile art director, graphic artist and designer between writing gigs. For the past six years he has been a participating artist in the McColl Center for Visual Art Innovation Institute in Charlotte, NC. He is currently on hiatus from art while returning to school to pursue a career as a Registered Nurse.
Mark Sloan has been the Director and Senior Curator of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston since 1994. The Halsey Institute is a multi-disciplinary, non-collecting contemporary arts museum, with an emphasis on emerging and mid-career artists from around the world. In his twenty-nine year career he has organized hundreds of exhibitions, ranging from contemporary Japanese installation art to 19th Century Baluchi tribal weavings. Several of his exhibitions have traveled to institutions such as the High Museum in Atlanta, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, the New Orleans Museum of Art, Presentation House in Vancouver, and the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. He has authored or co-authored twelve books on subjects ranging from Russian conceptual art to early twentieth century circus life. He is also an active visual artist whose works have been exhibited, published, and collected internationally.
Brad Thomas is the curator of modern & contemporary art at The Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC. Since his appointment in January 2012, he has developed a comprehensive collections development plan, overseen and organized several exhibitions, and was a principal member of the museum’s Vote For Art campaign––an innovative program that enabled guests to select three new major acquisitions for the museum’s collection.
Prior to his appointment to the Mint, Thomas was the director and curator of the Van Every/Smith Galleries at Davidson College. During his tenure there, he curated dozens of exhibitions and co-organized major collaborative projects, including the international artists-in-residency project Force of Nature, which centered on site-specific installations by ten Japanese artists at seven American institutions. Thomas also led initiatives to effectively integrate visual art into the learning experience, most notably through the establishment of Davidson College Campus Sculpture Program which features major outdoor installations by Magdalena Abakanowicz, Antony Gormley, Juame Plensa, Joel Shapiro, and William Tucker. He also produced publications on Magdalena Abakanowicz, Ewan Gibbs, Herb Jackson, Robert Lazzarini, Reverend McKendree Robbins Long, and Joel Shapiro. His partnership with the College Writing Program in 2012 led to the release of Davidson Collects: 100 Writers Respond to Art, the first interdisciplinary book on Davidson College’s permanent art collection that features one hundred essays on selected works by undergraduate students from a variety of majors.
A native of Greenwood, SC, Caroline Cobb Wright earned a Bachelor of Arts in Art History, Studio Art, and Journalism from Washington and Lee University and a Master of Arts in Art History from the University of Virginia. While she was a graduate student at UVa, she also completed the Aunspaugh Fifth Year program in Studio Art. Caroline worked previously in the Press Office of the National Gallery, the Education Department at Monticello, and Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, NC. She is a former board member of Second Street Gallery in Charlottesville, VA and served as a Governor-appointed board member of the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh from 2007 – 2012 (vice chair, Collections Committee). Caroline is the Curator and Director of Exhibition Programming at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond. She lives in Richmond, VA with her husband Richard and daughter Meriwether.
Katy Bakker has a unique background in art as both a collector of contemporary art and an art historian. Bakker was raised in Charleston, South Carolina before moving to Winter Park, FL to receive her B. A. in Art History and Economics from Rollins College. Currently, she is completing her Masters in Liberal Studies.
Her knowledge of art history spans from ancient Greece and Rome through modern day. In her studies, Bakker has examined many controversial issues in the art world such as sex, religion, and identity. Bakker has worked at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum where she assisted in Education, public relations, and event planning.
Outside of school and work, Bakker is an avid equestrian and competes with her horses at a national and international level. She is very passionate about art, frequenting museums and galleries on her travels all over the world.
Katy Bakker is a director at a/k/art and is currently serving her first term as a member of the Winter Park Public Art Advisory Board.
Mark Mason Karelson is an artist and owner of Mason Murer Fine Art in Atlanta. He serves as Board Chair for VSA Arts of Georgia and is an Advisory Board Member of The Atlanta Community Food Bank. He is married to the artist Kim Karelson.
Artist, sculptor, and printmaker, Otto Neals was born in Lake City, South Carolina to Gus and Della Neals. He is self-taught in all mediums except in the area of printmaking which he learned at the Bob Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, studying with Roberto de Lamonica, Mohammed Khalil and Krishna Reddy.
His commissioned works include a 20 foot mural at Brooklyn’s Kings County Hospital, a bronze work at the Brooklyn Children’s Center, ten bronze plaques at the “Harlem Walk of Fame” and a bronze work at Prospect Park in Brooklyn based on the works of Ezra Jack Keats, entitled “Peter and Willie.” For this work, he was awarded the N.Y.C. Arts Commission’s award of Excellence for Design.
Neals is in many collections, public and private including the Ghana National Museum, the Columbia Museum (S.C.), The Smithsonian Institute, the Library of Congress, Honorable John Lewis, Mayor David Dinkins, Randy Weston, Hon. Bruce Wright, Harry Belafonte, Dr. Ute Wachsmann, Hon. Una Clarke and Oprah Winfrey.
Carri Schwab grew up at the intersection of critical + creative thinking. Surrounded by a close-knit family of architects, engineers, opera singers, painters, floral designers, and ceramists- the unspoken motto was Figure It Out- Make It- Share It.
Carri soon figured out that her path would lie in the performing and visual arts, where she spent years treading the boards of theaters around the world, and in every case, creating an inspiration board filled with paintings, sculptures, music, etc. that visually tell the story of the character. Over time, this has developed into a passion to tell the story of the dynamic tension between the artist and the viewer-on the stage, on the page, in the gallery.
Though she’s a Southern girl at heart, Carri was a fixture for many years in the New York gallery scene both above + below ground. Since wending her way back to warmth, she has been guest editor + proofreader of Charleston ArtMag, written for American Art Collector, and is constantly inspired by her job as gallery director of Robert Lange Studios- where she is humbled and lucky enough to work with a family of artists to develop, manage, and curate a show every month. Her creative team at RLS and the Charleston artistic community continues to echo her family motto, which she is proud to see elevated at ArtFields 2013.