The School of Art + Art History + Design is pleased to announce that Emily Zimmerman is our new Director of the Jacob Lawrence Gallery. She begins working in the Gallery on January 16, 2017. The Director oversees all Gallery operations and provides curatorial guidance for exhibitions and events. She also teaches and mentors the Gallery’s student interns.
Professor Ann Gale chairs the School’s Jacob Lawrence Gallery / Exhibitions Committee, which also served as the search committee for the new Director. She says:
The gallery committee was impressed with the diverse and highly qualified pool of applicants for the position of Director of the Jacob Lawrence Gallery. We look forward to working with Emily Zimmerman as she brings her unique interests and energy to her new position.
Zimmerman has a bachelor's degree from New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a focus on art history. Her master’s degree is from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. She has worked extensively in the context of universities, most recently as the Associate Curator of Programs at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington, and, prior to that, as the Associate Curator at the Experimental Media and Performing Art Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. During her time at EMPAC, Zimmerman commissioned new pieces from artists such as Melvin Moti, Gordon Hall, and Marie Sester, and she curated the exhibitions Uncertain Spectator (2010) and Slow Wave: Seeing Sleep (2009). Zimmerman received the 2011-2012 Lori Ledis Curatorial Fellowship at BRIC Contemporary Art and served as a 2013 curator-in-residence at Residency Unlimited. Her writings have appeared in BOMB, Big, Red & Shiny, and Contemporary Performance. She has served on a number of review panels including the New York State Council on the Arts and the Herb Alpert Awards. She is a board member for the Wave Farm. Zimmerman says this about her new position and her curatorial interests:
I am thrilled to join the Jacob Lawrence Gallery, with its commitment to Jacob Lawrence’s visionary legacy. The Gallery vitally continues the tradition of university art galleries as a site for experimental practices. It is an honor to join the School of Art + Art History + Design with its extraordinary faculty, students, and alumni, and the rich possibilities for collaboration that such a context presents.
As a curator, I am drawn to perception, affect, and the kinesthetic presence of the viewer in space. As a site for embodied thinking and learning, exhibitions nurture a pre-linguistic curiosity and encourage the exploration of concepts that transcend language. I am particularly interested in those areas where contemporary art has a reciprocal relationship with other fields, from performance to physics, breaking down the boundaries between disciplines.