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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Berkeley Art Museum hires curator known for fresh new ideas

Immediately following the opening of an impressive new collection of contemporary feminist art, the Berkeley Museum of Art and the Pacific Film Archives hired a Chief Curator to spearhead a campaign to develop promising new projects and exhibitions.

And they found someone the museum is no stranger to: Christina Young, who studied history and art history at the University of California at Berkeley and trained at BAMPFA. Since then, she has amassed nearly 30 years of experience in the visual arts as a curator, scholar, administrator and teacher.

Most recently, she was Associate Director of Engagement and Curator of Education at the Williams College Art Museum in Massachusetts, and prior to that, she served as Director of Community Programs at the famed Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York for 14 years. She has also worked for the Queens Museum as well as The Kitchen, an influential interdisciplinary art / performance space founded in New York in the early 1970s to attract the attention of young artists and art genres.

Young’s career was grounded in her interest in identifying new voices and ideas in art, and in expanding the museum’s influence by linking exhibitions to programs designed to engage the surrounding community. While at Williams College, Ian oversaw the museum’s involvement in the Resist COVID / Take 6! Public health campaign created by artist Carrie May Weems to raise awareness of the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on people of color and marginalized communities.

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“The responsibility of a curator is more relevant than ever,” Yang said. “From rethinking collections to promoting equality in work to diversifying all levels of relationships, caring for the arts has a significant impact on our daily lives.”

“Christina has stood out from an impressive pool of applicants as a creative thinker who shares our passion for dynamic, socially meaningful art programs that have a lasting impact outside of museum spaces,” said BAMPFA Director Julie Rodriguez Widholm. “We were particularly impressed by Christina’s deep understanding of the unique role that university art museums play as driving forces for scientific research, artistic experimentation and progressive change …”.

Ian added that returning to Berkeley “embodies my career goal of creating unique collections to inspire different generations of students, activate pedagogy for creative action, and work with living artists to create spaces of citizenship.”

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