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CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts appoints Kim Nguyen new Curator and Head of Programs
Nguyen was formerly the director and curator of Artspeak, an artist-run nonprofit in Vancouver, Canada. Photo: Erik Hood.


SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Kim Nguyen will join CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts as its new curator and head of programs, Wattis director and chief curator Anthony Huberman announced today.

Nguyen was formerly the director and curator of Artspeak, an artist-run nonprofit in Vancouver, Canada. She succeeds Jamie Stevens, who was curator and head of programs at Wattis Institute from 2014 until his departure in September of 2016 to become curator at Artists Space in New York.

Nguyen and Huberman make up the Wattis’s curatorial leadership team and will be planning exhibitions and public programs, instigating new scholarship, and engaging with artists around the world. Nguyen starts her new position January 17.

Huberman said today, “I’m delighted to welcome this brilliant and inspiring curator to the Wattis Institute. Her passion for emerging artists and her ability to think at a global scale about the conditions and conversations that drive contemporary art—continuing focuses of the Wattis program—will only strengthen our momentum in bringing strong work to Bay Area audiences and giving artists a platform to explore new directions.”

Of her appointment, Nguyen says, “I have long admired the Wattis for its artist-centered, risk-taking approach and capacity to anchor international conversations within the cultural context of San Francisco. Now is an urgent time for institutions to encourage critical thinking, and I’m excited to collaborate with the Wattis’s talented team and the Bay Area’s artistic community to find a path forward.”

While at Vancouver’s Artspeak, where she was director and curator from 2011 to 2016, Nguyen curated exhibitions and produced publications focusing on work by Yuji Agematsu, Michelle Blade, Valérie Blass, Alex Da Corte, Abigail DeVille, Aaron Flint Jamison, Kalup Linzy, Laura Owens, and Danh Vo, to name a few. There she also transformed the archives, library, and website with strategic overhauls, advanced the organization's expansion plan by acquiring a second dedicated space, and secured Artspeak's long-term fiscal sustainability. Prior to her work at Artspeak, Nguyen held curatorial positions at Access Gallery and Or Gallery in Vancouver. As an independent curator, she has co-organized projects for Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin, Italy; Belkin Satellite gallery in Vancouver; and Platform Centre for Photographic and Digital Arts in Winnipeg.

Nguyen’s writing has appeared in exhibition catalogues and periodicals nationally and internationally, with recent texts in catalogues published by the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Herning Museum of Art (Denmark). She is the recipient of the 2015 Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Emerging Curators in Contemporary Canadian Art and the 2016 Joan Lowndes Award from the Canada Council for the Arts for excellence in critical and curatorial writing.

Nguyen earned an MA in art history and curatorial/critical studies at University of British Columbia, Vancouver (2009); and a BFA with honors from University of Manitoba, Winnipeg (2005).






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