CRAFT CONTEMPORARY AND FARHANG FOUNDATION ANNOUNCE CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS FOR ART IRAN CURATORIAL COMPETITION
LOS ANGELES – Craft Contemporary and Farhang Foundation announce a call for submissions for the Art Iran Curatorial Competition. The call is for curators and other arts professionals with experience in developing highly focused group exhibitions preferably centered on Middle Eastern art and culture. Entrants are asked to submit a proposal for an exhibition of visual art that evokes themes of Iranian culture and heritage, as expressed in Iran’s contemporary art scene. The proposed exhibition should be amenable to installation at Craft Contemporary (the gallery is approximately 2,200 square feet) from January to May 2024 with possible travel to other venues. The budget for this exhibition is $55,000 in totality (including curator fee, artist fees, catalog, installation, shipping, and fine art insurance). Please note that at least 10% of the budget must be allocated to supporting artist fees.
To be considered, applicants should submit a resume and one-page proposal as a pdf file to ArtIran@Farhang.org by November 1, 2021. One-page proposals must be in English and should include:
- A short description of the exhibition project including a list of potential artists and media.
- A brief idea of proposed public programs to be developed in conjunction with the exhibition.
- Proposal selection will be based, in part, on a balanced distribution of genre and the inclusion of emerging artists. Media may include painting, ceramics, design, drawing, textiles, assemblage, printmaking, and sculpture while excluding photography and video art.
The Award Committee will review all submissions and select the pool of second-round applicants to submit a more detailed project proposal. All applicants will be notified of the second-round selection by January 20, 2022.
Second round proposals will require:
- Names of the specific artist(s) and images of their relevant work.
- Plans for a scholarly catalog, including the proposed essayists.
- Budget, including preliminary expenses related to the catalog, installation, education, public relations, and marketing.
- Outline of at least 5 public programs.
- Any other additional details that are important to understand the proposed project.
Second-round applications will be due May 30, 2022. Finalists will be asked to virtually present their exhibition proposals to the jury in September 2022.
“Our previous partnership with Farhang Foundation in presenting the well-received iterations of Focus Iran have led us to explore new ways to collaborate and align Craft Contemporary’s mission with Farhang’s and open new territory in contemporary art,” stated Craft Contemporary Executive Director, Suzanne Isken.
“We are extremely proud to once again join forces with the Craft Contemporary in presenting an innovative new competition and exhibition which will create a fantastic platform to showcase exceptional art inspired by Iranian heritage,” said Farhang Foundation’s Executive Director, Alireza Ardekani.
A distinguished panel of jurors will consider each proposal by assessing the proposed exhibition’s pertinence to Iranian culture and heritage, artistic vision, and impact.
Fereshteh Daftari is a curator and scholar who received her Ph.D. in Art History from Columbia University (1988). During her tenure at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (1988 - 2009), she curated a number of international exhibitions including Without Boundary: Seventeen Ways of Looking (2006). Her curatorial work in the field of Iranian modernism includes Between Word and Image at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery in 2002, and Iran Modern at the Asia Society Museum in New York in 2013. She has also focused on contemporary art. Action Now, the first exhibition of contemporary Iranian performance art, was held in Paris (2012); Safar/Voyage: Contemporary Works by Arab, Iranian, and Turkish Artists at the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver (2013); and Rebel, Jester, Mystic, Poet: Contemporary Persians at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto (2017). Dr. Daftari has published widely and her most recent book is titled Persia Reframed: Iranian Visions of Modern and Contemporary Art (London: I.B. Tauris/Bloomsbury, 2019).
Maryam Ekhtiar is a curator in the Department of Islamic Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she began working at the museum in 2003 as a specialist in the field of nineteenth-century Persian art and culture, calligraphy, and later Persian painting. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at New York University in 1994 and has worked and taught at various museums and universities, namely the Brooklyn Museum, New York University, and Swarthmore College. At the Brooklyn Museum she worked closely with Dr. Layla Diba on the groundbreaking 1998 exhibition, “Royal Persian Paintings: The Qajar Epoch 1785-1925” and was co-editor of its accompanying catalogue. Dr. Ekhtiar was a key member of the curatorial team involved in the extensive reinstallation of the MET’s galleries of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia, which opened in 2011 and co-editor of the catalogue of masterpieces from the museum’s collection of Islamic Art.
Holly Jerger is the Exhibitions Curator at Craft Contemporary. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ball State University, Indiana, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she also taught. She has curated many important exhibitions including the well-received Betye Saar: Keepin’ It Clean and Beatriz Cortez: Trinidad / Joy Station, as well as two major clay biennials.
Tala Madani is a world-renowned artist whose indelible images bring together wide-ranging modes of critique and satire, prompting reflections on gender, political authority, and questions of who and what gets represented in art. Madani has taught at multiple educational institutions, including the University of Southern California, Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten Amsterdam, and Bard College New York. She has been engaged as a visiting artist at the University of California Los Angeles, Yale University, Columbia University, University of California San Diego, and Oregon State University, amongst others. Madani has been the subject of solo exhibitions at numerous museums worldwide, including Start Museum, Shanghai (2020); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2019); Secession, Vienna (2019); Portikus, Frankfurt (2019); La Panace, Montpellier, France (2017); MITList Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts (2016); Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis (2016); Nottingham Contemporary, England (2014); and Moderna Museet, Malmand Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden (2013). Madani holds an MFA from Yale University.
Bennett Simpson is Senior Curator at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, where he has worked since 2007. He is the organizer of recent exhibitions with Zoe Leonard, R.H. Quaytman, William Pope.L, and Mike Kelley, among other artists, as well as the interdisciplinary thematic exhibition, Blues for Smoke.
Craft Contemporary is a non-collecting art museum whose purpose is to reveal the potential of craft to educate, captivate, provoke, and empower. The museum achieves this mission by exhibiting contemporary art made from craft media and processes, offering creative opportunities for making, supporting craft artists who take traditional craft techniques in new and surprising directions, prioritizing the presentation of work by culturally diverse and underrecognized artists, and fostering collaboration between artists and the public. Craft Contemporary cultivates an environment for people in Los Angeles to deepen their relationship to art, creativity, and one another. For more information, visit craftcontemporary.org.
Farhang Foundation is a member-supported nonreligious, nonpolitical, and not-for-profit foundation established in 2008 to celebrate and promote Iranian art and culture for the benefit of the community at large. The foundation supports a broad range of academic activities in Southern California by funding university programs, publications, and conferences. The foundation also supports diverse cultural programs such as the celebration of Nowruz, Mehregan, Shab-e Yalda, the performing arts, film screenings, and festivals. In cooperation with various cultural and academic institutions, Farhang Foundation also funds major academic, cultural, and artistic programs and exhibitions about Iran and its culture. For more information, visit farhang.org.