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The List - One year, hundreds of stories. 2014-15 Progress Report.

Rachel Adams named associate curator for UB Art Galleries

Has curated the work of dozens of rising young contemporary artists

Release Date: March 2, 2015

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Rachel Adams joins UB March 2.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Rachel Adams, a curator with an eye for fresh young contemporary artists who work in a wide range of media, has been named associate curator of the University at Buffalo Art Gallery in the UB Center for the Arts (CFA).

Adams will begin today, March 2. She takes up the post held for 11 years by Sandra Q. Firmin, who was named director of the CU Art Museum, University of Colorado, Boulder.

Adams is expected to help maintain a dynamic forum for contemporary art by planning and executing exhibitions, projects and events; and commission artists for the annual site-specific installation in the Lightwell Gallery in the CFA, whose 40-foot-high walls culminate in skylights that flood the gallery with natural light.

Adams also will provide curatorial training for a graduate assistant in the Department of Art, which is responsible for exhibitions in the second floor CFA gallery.

“I enjoy working across departments and collaborating with staff and community,” she says. “My areas of research include the crossover between contemporary art and architecture, video and new media practices, with a special focus on artists working and performing in the landscape.”

Sandra Olsen, director of the UB Galleries, said, “We are excited that Rachel is joining us. Her dedication to engaging a broad audience, including students, UB faculty and staff, the local community and the broader public will strengthen the galleries’ pedagogical mission to serve both the university and the people of Western New York.”

Adams has eight years of curatorial experience and has organized lecture series, film series and public art projects as well as exhibitions.

She currently works as an independent curator, and in that capacity, she has planned and executed exhibitions with national and international artists at many venues, among them The Contemporary, Austin; Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, Portland, Ore.; testsite Austin, which helps writers and curators to develop collaborative projects; Artspace 108, which specializes in pop-up exhibitions; and Greene Exhibitions, Los Angeles, Calif.

Adams has worked with a number of artists, including architect/artist Seher Shah, whose first solo museum exhibition she curated; Icelandic performance artist and director Ragnar Kjartansson; filmmaker Amie Siegel; sculpture and installation artist John Grade; and multimedia artist Richard T. Walker.

She is the co-founder of the Field Constructs Design Competition in Austin, which will select and sponsor eight temporary installations by designers, architects, landscape architects and artists that will be sited at the Circles Acres Nature Preserve in Austin.

Her publications include exhibition catalogues for Prospect 3, the third New Orleans’ contemporary art biennial; Constructed Landscapes, an exhibition by Shah; and Homestretchbody, an exhibition of collaborative work by Adams and New York-based installation artist Justin Cooper.

She also contributed to the book “A Fresh Look: Observations of Artistic and Social Practices in Urban Farming,” a collection of works discussing intersections of contemporary art and urban agriculture, and is a contributing writer for Art + Culture Texas, artforum.com, Art Papers, Modern Painters and Texas Architect.

Adams received a bachelor of fine arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a master’s degree in exhibition and museum studies from the San Francisco Art Institute.

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