May 19 – July 7, 2017

As an artist who has worked in arts administration for over twenty years, part of my job at several art venues (Beverly Arts Center, Lubeznik Arts Center, the Center for Latvian Diaspora Art in Cesis, Latvia), has been to plan and design the installation of exhibitions.  Given the opportunity to work as curator at the Bridgeport Art Center starting in 2012, however, in the absence of other administrative responsibilities, my practice has evolved noticeably. In addition to refining my curatorial practice to better express a given concept and to maximize the specific physical characteristics of the exhibition space itself, I have had the pleasure of getting to know many other curators who are also artists in their own right.  The exhibition Curators Create is the result.  The process of selecting ten artist/curators for the exhibit has also shown me that there are many others in this region who could be part of such a show, and I hope that this will become if not an annual, at least a biennial, event at Bridgeport Art Center (thanks to Joyce Owens for this suggestion).

Each of the artists in this exhibit is serving, or has served, as curator at an arts center, gallery, museum, or college/university, including:

Art on Armitage Window Gallery (Mary Ellen Croteau)
The Art Center in Highland Park (Charles Gniech)
Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago (Charles Gniech)
Zhou Bros Art Center (Sergio Gomez)
Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art (Stano Grezdo)
Bridgeport Art Center (Lelde Kalmite)
Noyes Cultural Arts Center (Alan Leder)
Evanston Art Center (Alan Leder)
Concordia University Chicago, Ferguson Art Gallery (Betty Ann Mocek)
The National Museum of Mexican Art (Dolores Mercado)
Fermilab Art Gallery (Georgia Schwender)
Chicago State University (Joyce Owens)

I am grateful to them all for agreeing to participate in Curators Create, and know that other artists and the art-loving public will be thrilled to see this exhibit.

– Lelde Kalmite, Bridgeport Art Center