Curatorial Forum

Curatorial Initiatives Welcome Reception at 21c Museum Hotel Chicago. Photo by Justin Barbin

EXPO CHICAGO will host its tenth annual Curatorial Forum — the ninth co-organized with ICI (Independent Curator’s International) to align with the upcoming 11th edition of the fair April 11-14, 2024. This program offers mid-career and established curators working independently or with an institutional affiliation the opportunity to engage with their peers and explore significant issues in the field.  This year’s forum will feature for the first time a curatorial conference, “Curating and The Commons,” taking place on-site at Navy Pier with a keynote by Miguel A. López, co-curator for the 2024 edition of the Toronto Biennial of Art.

The newly formed conference, “Curating and The Commons,” will expand beyond the annual convening of 80+ national and international curators. Three panel discussions: Common Knowledge, Common Space, and Common Future have been conceived around key questions and organized on a loose temporal framework. Common Knowledge will reach into the past, and explore how archives, collections, and libraries can shape a collective memory. Common Space is invested in how communities physically shape the present. And lastly, Common Future will examine the civic role that the arts can play in not only imagining, but actively creating a better

The 2024 Curatorial Forum is co-produced by EXPO CHICAGO and ICI, and made possible, in part, by the generous support of 21c Museum Hotel Chicago, and the Joyce Foundation, Teiger Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and Hartfield Foundation; with additional support by UAP | Urban Art Projects; Terry Dowd, Inc; and Gallagher. It is part of Art Design Chicago, a citywide collaboration initiated by the Terra Foundation for American Art that highlights the city’s artistic heritage and creative communities.

Keynote Speaker

Miguel A. López is currently co-curator for the 2024 edition of the Toronto Biennial of Art. In his practice, he focuses on the role of art in politics and public life, collective work and collaborative dynamics, and queer and feminist rewritings of history. From 2015 to 2020, he worked as Chief curator, and later Co-director at TEOR/éTica, Costa Rica. Previously, López was curator of Lugara Dudas, Colombia, in 2012-2013. In 2014, he curated the section “Deus é bicha” (God is Queer) and the presentation of Giuseppe Campuzano’s Transvestite Museum for the 31st Bienal de São Paulo. In 2019, he curated the retrospective exhibition “Cecilia Vicuña: Seehearing the Enlightened Failure” at the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art (now Kunstinstituut Melly), Rotterdam, which traveled to Mexico City, Madrid, and Bogota. Between 2023 and 2024, a second retrospective “Cecilia Vicuña. Dreaming Water,” curated by López, is being presented at the Fine Art Museum (MNBA) in Chile, MALBA in Argentina, and Pinacoteca de São Paulo in Brazil. Other recent curatorial projects include "Sila Chanto & Belkis Ramírez: Aquí me quedo / Here I Stay" at the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond (2022), “Hard to Swallow. Anti-Patriarchal Poetics and New Scene in the Nineties'' at Instituto Cultural Peruano Norteamericano , Lima (2021), and "And if I devoted my life to one of its feathers?" at the Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2021). He is the editor and author of more than twenty books on issues of art, sexuality, social justice, cultural infrastructure, and political memory. He was a recipient of the 2016 ICI's Independent Vision Curatorial Award. Lives and works in Toronto.


Carla Acevedo-Yates, Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
*Alberto Aguilar, Artist
*Sampada Aranke, Associate Professor of Art History and Comparative Studies, Ohio State University (Panel speaker/host Common Knowledge)
Zandie Brockett, Director of Community and Culture, NeueHouse
Katherine Brodbeck, Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, Dallas Museum of Art
Jordan Carter, Curator and Co-Department Head, Dia Art Foundation
Efe Igor Coleman, Blackmon Perry Assistant Curator of African American Art & Art of the African Diaspora, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
Stavroula Coulianidis, Independent Curator
Joseph Cuillier, Co-Director/Creative Director, The Black School (Panel speaker Common Future)
Amanda Donnan, Independent Curator
*Danny Dunson, Director of Curatorial Services and Community Partnerships, The DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center
*Alexandria Eregbu, Director and Chief Curator, FINDING IJEOMA
Stamatina Gregory, Head Curator / Director of Exhibitions and Collections, The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art
*Tempestt Hazel, Curator, Writer, Co-Founder, Sixty Inches From Center
DJ Hellerman, Chief Curator & Director of Curatorial Affairs, The Fabric Workshop and Museum
Jessica S. Hong, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Toledo Museum of Art
Michele Horrigan, Founder and Director, Askeaton Contemporary Arts
Amanda Hunt, Head of Public Engagement, Learning, and Impact, Walker Art Center
Amber Imrie, Co-Founder, The Alternative Art School
Misa Jeffereis, Associate Curator, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
Kristan Kennedy, Artistic Director + Curator, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art
Melanie Kress, Senior Curator, Public Art Fund
Miranda Lash, Co-Artistic Director/Curator, Prospect.6/Museum of Contemporary Art Denver
Sarah Liska, Independent Curator
*S.Y. Lim, Programming Director, Public Media Institute
Ange Loft, Artist (Panel speaker Common Space)
Miguel A. López, Co-Curator, Toronto Biennial of Art (Keynote speaker)
Jova Lynne, Artistic Director, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
Denise Markonish, Chief Curator, MASS MoCA
Magdalena Moskalewicz, Independent Curator
Bernardo Mosqueira, Chief Curator, Institute for Studies on Latin American Art
Felipe Mujica, Artist (Panel speaker Common Knowledge)
Jennifer Murray, Museum Manager, 21c Museum Hotel Chicago
Jay Pather, Professor / Director, Institute for Creative Arts at University Cape Town (Panel speaker Common Space)
Ebony G. Patterson, Artist, Co-Artistic Director, Prospect.6
Shani Peters, Co-Director/Managing Director, The Black School (Panel speaker Common Future)
Jade Powers, Hugh Kaul Curator of Contemporary Art, Birmingham Museum of Art
*Risa Puleo, Independent Curator (Panel speaker/host Common Space)
*Megha Ralapati, Program Director Fellowships, CEC ArtsLink (Panel speaker/host Common Future)
Drew Sawyer, Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography, Whitney Museum of American Art
Jamaal B. Sheats, Director and Curator, Fisk University Galleries
Stephanie Smith, Independent Curator
Courtney Lane Stell, Executive Director and Chief Curator, Black Cube
*Tara Aisha Willis, Independent Scholar, Dance Artist, Dramaturg, and Performance Curator
Ivy Wilson, Associate Professor of English and Director of the Program in American Studies, Director of Black Arts Consortium, Northwestern University
Savannah Wood, Executive Director, Afro Charities (Panel speaker Common Knowledge)
*Modou Dieng Yacine, Artist, Independent Curator
(* Denotes Chicago Assembly participant)


Independent Curators International (ICI) supports the work of curators to help create stronger art communities through experimentation, collaboration and international engagement. Curators are arts community leaders and organizers who champion artistic practice; build essential infrastructures and institutions; and generate public engagement with art. Our collaborative programs connect curators across generations, and across social, political and cultural borders. They form an international framework for sharing knowledge and resources — promoting cultural exchange, access to art and public awareness for the curator’s role.