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Walker Art Center builds curatorial team to enhance cross-disciplinary programming and scholarship
Leaver-Yap will take on an entirely new position at the Walker which assesses the holdings and expands scholarship of the Ruben/Bentson Film and Video Collection with its core of avant-garde films from the period 1943–-1985.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN.- The Walker Art Center is embracing its mission as a multidisciplinary art center with a commitment to research and scholarship through a number of new appointments that diversify the talents and expertise of its curatorial team. Fionn Meade will join the Walker as Senior Curator of Cross-Disciplinary Platforms, effective May 5, 2014, and Isla Leaver-Yap will become the Bentson Visiting Film Scholar effective March 3, 2014. Together, these positions complement the Walker’s strategic vision as a platform for contemporary art and research that moves between artistic disciplines.

A curator, writer, and faculty member at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College and New York’s Columbia University, Fionn Meade will serve as key partner to Walker Executive Director Olga Viso in leading and shaping the artistic vision of the Walker across the art center’s curatorial areas and programs. “Fionn’s diverse curatorial experience working in the arenas of film, performance, and museum practice makes him uniquely qualified to take on this new curatorial role at the Walker,” said Viso.

The title Senior Curator of Cross-Disciplinary Platforms reflects a fresh approach being taken by the institution. The Walker is known as a platform for housing multiple artistic disciplines (visual, performing, design, and film/media arts) and has hosted numerous artists that work across these platforms; however, specifically assigning a curator with the task of overseeing the strategic interplay between program areas will be new for the institution. As a contemporary, forward-looking institution, it is critical for the Walker to support new staffing models that are responsive to the changing needs of the artists served.

“I look forward to taking on this unique position that cuts across artistic disciplines,” said Meade, whose early assignments include the Walker’s presentation of Radical Presence, an exhibition that examines the history of black performance in visual art from the 1960s through the present, and a future exhibition that explores the many visual artists who collaborated with choreographer Merce Cunningham. “It is a great privilege and honor to join the Walker, a vital institution that I have followed and admired for many years. With such a singular and long-standing presence as a cross-disciplinary leader in the field, I am eager to build on the Walker’s commitment to working in-depth with the exemplary artists and innovators of our time.”

In addition to serving in this expansive new curatorial role, Meade will serve as the interim head of the Visual Arts Department while the search continues for a permanent leader. He will also oversee Bentson Visiting Film Scholar, Isla Leaver-Yap who will also work closely with Sheryl Mousley, Senior Curator, Film/Video.

Leaver-Yap will take on an entirely new position at the Walker which assesses the holdings and expands scholarship of the Ruben/Bentson Film and Video Collection with its core of avant-garde films from the period 1943–1985. She will also bring new critical perspectives and research to the institution for a variety of publication platforms and related forums including the Walker’s collections website and online scholarly publication platform. Leaver-Yap will also work closely with Meade and other curators as the Walker engages artists whose work it may choose to purchase, commission, or exhibit. This new position was made possible by generous support from the Bentson Foundation.

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