The Houston Museum of Contemporary Art appoints Allison Glenn as Senior Curator and Director of Public Art


The CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM HOUSTON (CAMH) announced an important date a few days ago. Allison Glenn joins the museum as senior curator and director of public art.

Glenn will lead the non-collecting museum’s exhibition program, public art projects and artist initiatives, and lead the team of curators.

She comes to Houston Museum of Contemporary Art from the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark., where she is assistant curator of contemporary art.

Glenn curated “Promise, Testimony, Reminder” a groundbreaking exhibition in memory of Breonna Taylor. The show is currently on view at the Speed ​​Art Museum in Louisville, Ky. Through June 6.

Featuring 23 local artists and national figures including Amy Sherald, Kerry James Marshall, Theaster Gates and Hank Willis Thomas, the exhibition received national coverage and praised its immediacy and Glenn’s collaborative curatorial approach.

“CAMH is excited to welcome Allison to lead our curatorial and public arts initiatives. Allison brings one of the most important international curatorial voices to Houston – her vision is uniquely rooted in both the deep trust of the artists and concern for the community. Allison will embark on an adventurous journey for CAMH that will inspire artists, authentically target diverse audiences, and create meaningful civic impact, ”said Hesse McGraw, CAMH Executive Director, in a statement.

“Allison will embark on an adventurous journey for CAMH that will nurture artists, authentically target diverse audiences, and create meaningful civic impact.” – CAMH managing director Hesse McGraw

Glenn joined Crystal Bridges in February 2018 as CURATOR AND WRITER. She curates exhibitions at the museum and its downtown outpost, The Momentary. Current shows included “State of the Art 2020” an extensive overview of art by artists from around the country that she co-curated. Also in 2020 she headed the presentation of the museum by “Hank Willis Thomas: All things are the same …” organized by the Portland Art Museum.

In 2019, Glenn curated “Color field” A sculpture exhibition in the Ozark forests that surround the museum. The exhibition featured 14 sculptures by 11 contemporary artists, including Odili Donald Odita, Sam Falls, William Eggleston, Amanda Ross-Ho and Jessica Stockholder. “Color Field” traveled to the Baker Museum in Naples, Florida and the University of Houston, Texas.

While at Crystal Bridges, Glenn worked with Lauren Haynes, who served as the director of artist initiatives and contemporary art curator for Crystal Bridges and The Momentary. Haynes has been named Senior Curator at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, effective June 2020.

Glenn will continue to deal with Crystal Bridges and work on projects already planned with artists this year and next Rashid Johnson, Bethany Collins and Cauleen Smith.

“Promise, Witness, Remembrance” is organized by Taylor’s Museum of Local History and sheds light on the life of the young woman who was shot dead in her home by police in Louisville on March 13, 2020 at the age of 26. The exhibition reflects on murder and the protests against social justice that swept the city, the nation and the world in the months that followed.

Glenn developed the show in collaboration with Taylor’s family. a community steering committee led by Toya Northington, the museum’s community engagement strategist; and an advisory board that includes Sherald, Gates, and Thomas, and relatives of Trayvon Martin and Alton Sterling.

Prior to participating in CRYSTAL BRIDGES, Glenn was the Publications Manager and Curatorial Associate for Prospect New Orleans during Prospect.4: The Lotus Despite the Swamp (2016-18), for which Trevor Schoonmaker served as Artistic Director.

In 2015, Glenn was a curatorial fellow with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events of the City of Chicago. She was also a research fellow at Gates’ Dorchester Projects and program manager for the artist’s Arts + Public Life initiative at the University of Chicago. Before that, she worked for two years as a director at the Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago (2014-16).

Glenn received a Bachelor of Fine Art in Photography with a co-major in Urban Studies from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and has a dual masters degree from the School of Art Institute in Chicago in History, Theory and Critique of Modernism Art and art administration and politics.

In July 2020, CAMH announced the appointment of Janice Bond as the museum’s assistant director. She will work closely with Glenn. The leading curator position at CAMH was last held by Valerie Cassel Oliver. She served from 2000 to 2017 while working at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, where she is a curator of modern and contemporary art. Glenn officially starts in the role August 1st.

Glenn is “excited” about the opportunity in front of her. “My role at CAMH will advance the museum’s world-renowned contemporary art program and expand it to include collaborative engagements within and among museums, institutions and the public in Houston and beyond,” she said in a statement.

“Working with multiple citizens and diverse communities continues to be an important part of my job, and this leadership role at CAMH will provide the framework for the vision to lead a public arts program that expands, decides, and relocates the museum as a location. I look forward to joining the incredible team at CAMH and building on the influential legacy of former senior curator Valerie Cassel Oliver – a curator I deeply admire. ” CT

PICTURE: Allison Glenn. | Photo by Rana Young

FIND MORE via Allison Glenn on your website

“Out of reach” documents a guest group exhibition curated by Allison Glenn in 2018, who dealt with growing concepts of abstraction. The exhibition showed works by 24 black and Latin American artists that were created between 1980 and 2018. The exhibition was shown at three Chicago institutions – the Stony Island Arts Bank, the DePaul Art Museum, and Gallery 400 at the University of Illinois in Chicago – and then traveled to the Grunwald Gallery at the University of Indiana, Bloomington. “Prospect.4: The lotus in spite of the swamp” was published to accompany the New Orleans Triennial in 2017-18. Glenn directed the publication of the volume and wrote texts about the participating artists Kahlil Joseph, Odili Donald Odita, Yoko Ono and Beatriz Santiago Muñoz.

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