Carissa Barnard, FotoFocus Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Programming, Cincinnati, OH
Carissa Barnard is the Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Programming at FotoFocus Cincinnati. She previously served as the Exhibitions Director at the Contemporary Arts Center where she organized exhibitions with leading contemporary artists and curators such as ON! Handcrafted Digital Playgrounds with OFFF Festival founder Hector Ayuso, Spectacle: The Music Video, and Shepard Fairey: Supply and Demand. Prior to that, she was Director of The Mockbee, Cincinnati’s largest alternative venue for the presentation, discussion, and celebration of contemporary art and ideas.
Barnard curated Wide Angle: Photography Out of Bounds and Chris Engman: Prospect and Refuge for the FotoFocus Biennial 2018: Open Archive. She holds an MFA from the University of Cincinnati DAAP, School of Art and a BFA from the University of Arizona.
Matt Distel, Exhibitions Director of The Carnegie, Covington, KY
Matt Distel is the Exhibitions Director for The Carnegie in Covington, KY. Distel also serves as an occasional Adjunct Curator with the Cincinnati Art Museum. He has previously been the Executive Director of Visionaries + Voices and the co-founder and director of Country Club, a commercial gallery based in Cincinnati and Los Angeles. A Cincinnati native, Distel has been organizing exhibitions since 1994 with a particular focus on artists from the region. From 2003–2007, he was the Associate Curator with the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati. Distel has curated and organized numerous exhibitions and installations including projects with SIMPARCH, Kendell Geers, Guy Ben-ner, Katerina Burin, Temporary Services, The Yes Men, Beth Campbell, Alexis Rockman, Jay Bolotin, Shana Moulton, Future Retrieval, Terry Berlier, Raymond Thunder-Sky, Design 99, Courttney Cooper, Ryan McGinness, Ellen Berkenblit, Edie Harper, Tom Wesselmann, and Atlas Group. Distel graduated from Miami University in 1994 with a Bachelor’s degree in Art History.
Alice Gray Stites, Museum Director and Chief Curator, 21c Museum Hotels Louisville and Lexington, KY; Cincinnati, OH; Chicago, IL; Bentonville, AR; Des Moines, IA; Durham, NC; Oklahoma City, OK; Kansas City and Saint Louis, MO; and Nashville, TN
Alice Gray Stites is Museum Director and Chief Curator of 21c Museum Hotel. Founded in 2006 by art collectors Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, 21c is a multi-venue contemporary art museum located in Louisville, Lexington, Cincinnati, Chicago, Bentonville, Des Moines, Durham, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Saint Louis, and Nashville. Stites curates exhibitions, site-specific installations, and a range of cultural programming at all 21c Museum Hotels. Recently, Stites has curated OFF-SPRING: New Generations; Portraying Power and Identity: A Global Perspective; Truth or Dare: A Reality Show; The Future is Female; Hybridity: the New Frontier; Dis-semblance: Projecting and Perceiving Identity; Aftermath: Witnessing War, Countenancing Compassion; and others.
Prior to joining 21c as Chief Curator in 2012, Stites was director of artwithoutwalls, a non-profit, non-collecting public arts organization, and from 1995–2006 was adjunct curator of contemporary art at the Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY. She is an adjunct member of the fine arts faculty at the University of Louisville and has been active on advisory boards at the University of Kentucky’s College of Design and at the Art Museum, and at the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas. Stites graduated magna cum laude from the University of Virginia, and holds an M.A. from Columbia University.
Jo-ey Tang, Director of Exhibitions at The Beeler Gallery at Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus, OH
Jo-ey Tang is a curator, an artist, and a writer. He is currently Director of Exhibitions of Beeler Gallery at Columbus College of Art & Design, where he calibrates each season’s programming to its specific temporality. This past season, he curated arms ache avid aeon: Nancy Brooks Brody / Joy Episalla / Zoe Leonard / Carrie Yamaoka: fierce pussy amplified, which explored in four chapters the resonances between the individual practices of the members of queer art collective fierce pussy. Tang was curator at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, (2014 and 2015), and was arts editor of n+1 (2009–2014). He co-founded with artist Thomas Fougeirol The plates of the present, a photogram project with over 140 artists which enters the collection of Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris in 2019. He has curated and organized events and exhibitions at FUTURA Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague; Rupert, Vilnius; Chi K11 Art Museum, Shanghai; and Praz-Delavallade, Paris. His writing has appeared in Artforum.com, Flash Art, and ArtAsiaPacific. For Kadist Foundation, he has interviewed artists such as Barbara Bloom, Gabriel Kuri, Pratchaya Phinthong, and R.H. Quaytman. Tang has exhibited his work at the Musée départemental d’art contemporain de Rochechouart; Lyles & King, New York; Galerie Joseph Tang, Paris; and Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris.
Michael Vetter, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at Newfields, Indianapolis, IN
Michael Vetter began working in art museums as a curatorial intern at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond while he was finishing his undergraduate studies in art history at the University of Virginia. He received his MA in art history from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2012 and his PhD in 2018. From 2013–2015, Michael worked as a curatorial assistant at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., where he contributed research and writing for a 2014 reinstallation of the museum’s permanent collection as well as for the exhibitions Robert Irwin: All the Rules will Change and Days of Endless Time. It was the Hirshhorn’s Robert Irwin exhibition that led Vetter to write his dissertation on the artist, and it was Irwin’s site-conditioned installation Light and Space III that first drew his attention to the Indianapolis Museum of Art and Newfields.
From 2016–2018, Michael was a graduate assistant at the University of Maryland Art Gallery. There, he curated the exhibition Progress and Harmony for Mankind: Art and Technology circa 1970, which opened to the public in January, 2018. The exhibition focused on the Expo ’70 World’s Fair in Osaka, Japan, and included works made by artists in Robert Rauschenberg’s organization Experiments in Art and Technology and the 1967 LACMA initiative Art and Technology.