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Visiting Curators Initiative

Left to right: Mia Locks, Kalia Brooks Nelson, Charlotta Kotik.
Left to right: Mia Locks, Kalia Brooks Nelson, Charlotta Kotik.


In early 2018, The Galleries at Moore announced a new initiative that highlights the talents of guest curators from outside of the Philadelphia region, who will program exhibitions for the fall seasons of 2019, 2020, and 2021.

This Visiting Curators Initiative (VCI) focuses on engaging new artistic input from curators who will bring their visions to The Galleries at Moore, a hub for contemporary art and creative exploration in the heart of Philadelphia. To date, three curators: Mia Locks, senior curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Kalia Brooks Nelson, a New York-based curator and educator; and Charlotta Kotik, an independent curator based in Brooklyn have agreed to participate in the initiative.

“We believe that bringing a fresh curatorial perspective each year will not only help grow our reputation as an incubator for contemporary thinking, but will also provide a unique and creative opportunity for curators to experiment in a new environment full of collaborative possibilities,” said Gabrielle Lavin Suzenski, Rochelle F. Levy Director, The Galleries at Moore. “We look forward to our curator colleagues’ exhibitions providing a meaningful learning experience for our students and an important artistic experience for the larger community.”

Mia Locks’ show Or Both was the first in the series. Conceived as an experimental two-part exhibition, it included a solo presentation of work by Ulrike Müller alongside a group show of works by Martin Beck, Barbara Chase-Riboud, Jennie C. Jones, Eric N. Mack, Medrie MacPhee, Dona Nelson, and Deborah Remington. Moving in and out of painting, Müller employs a range of materials, techniques, and image formats including drawing, enamel on steel, collage, monotype, and woven wool rugs. Taking Müller's practice as a point of departure, the group show is organized around compositional strategies and methods of decision making rather than around a shared subject matter or theme, opening up new possibilities for reading artworks together that might not seem immediately connected. 

"Or Both hinges on a desire to occupy multiple positions at once. It is both a solo show and a group show simultaneously. Rather than assume one format, this exhibition considers how these two formats might fold inward onto one another instead. Can a single exhibition hold both, do both, be both? What kinds of thinking might such an arrangement yield." – Locks


Mia Locks is currently senior curator and head of new initiatives at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles. Most recently, she was co-curator of the 2017 Whitney Biennial, with Christopher Y. Lew, at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and previously held curatorial positions at MoMA PS1 and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA). Her exhibitions include Greater New York(2015), co-organized with Douglas Crimp, Peter Eleey, and Thomas J. Lax; The Little Things Could Be Dearer (2014); Cruising the Archive: Queer Art and Culture in Los Angeles, 1945–1980 (2011), co-organized with David Frantz; as well as solo projects with Math Bass, Samara Golden, and Im Heung-soon. Locks is on the faculty of the Curatorial Practice program at the School of Visual Arts, New York and a 2018 fellow at the Center for Curatorial Leadership.  


Exhibition opens September 25, 2020; on view September 26 through December 5, 2020 Kalia Brooks Nelson is a New York–based curator and educator, currently teaching at the Department of Photography and Imaging at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, focusing on visual cultural theory, the history of photography and the business of art. She is a member of a committee facilitating an international conference series titledBlack Portraitures, around the image of the black body in Western art and culture. She has curated and co-curated numerous exhibitions in the United States and abroad, including exhibitions at New York City Hall; International Center of Photography, New York, NY; Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), Brooklyn, NY; California College of the Arts, San Francisco; and Arts Initiative Tokyo, Japan. Brooks holds a PhD in Aesthetics and Art Theory from the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts, Portland, ME; an MA in Curatorial Practice from the California College of the Arts; and a BA in Sociology and Geography from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She was a Helena Rubinstein Fellow in Critical Studies at the Whitney Independent Study Program and an ex-officio board trustee of the Museum of the City of New York.


Exhibition opens September 24, 2021; on view September 25 through December 4, 2021 Charlotta Kotík is an independent curator based in Brooklyn who is focused on facilitating various projects for galleries, alternative spaces and museums. She was formerly head of the department of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Brooklyn Museum, where she initiated new programs such as the series of Grand Lobby Projects for extensive installation-based works and the Working in Brooklyn series, to document the energy of the nascent Brooklyn art scene. In 1993, as the United States commissioner for Venice Biennale, she presented works by Louise Bourgeois in an exhibition that later traveled internationally. Kotik has organized over 100 museum exhibitions, presenting works by contemporary artists such as Mariko Mori, Kerry James Marshall, John Cage, Jenny Holzer and Robert Longo. Kotik is a member of a number of national and international art organizations and is a co-chair of the Jindrich Chalupecky Award, an important recognition of young visual artists in the Czech Republic.