Kim Nguyen Named Curator and Head of Programs at CCA Wattis

She’s succeeding Jamie Stevens, now curator at New York’s Artists Space.

Kim Nguyen. Photo Erik Hood, courtesy CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts.

San Francisco’s CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts has appointed Kim Nguyen as curator and head of programs. She is taking up the role on January 17.

Nguyen, formerly the director and curator of the Vancouver artist-run non-profit Artspeak, is succeeding Jamie Stevens, who held the role from 2014 until September 2016, when he left to become curator at New York’s Artists Space.

“I’m delighted to welcome this brilliant and inspiring curator to the Wattis Institute,” Anthony Huberman, Wattis director and chief curator, said in a statement.

“Her passion for emerging artists and her ability to think at a global scale about the conditions and conversations that drive contemporary art—a continuing focus of the Wattis program—will only strengthen our momentum in bringing strong work to Bay Area audiences and giving artists a platform to explore new directions.”

“I have long admired the Wattis for its artist-centered, risk-taking approach and capacity to anchor international conversations within the cultural context of San Francisco,” Nguyen said in a statement. “Now is an urgent time for institutions to encourage critical thinking, and I’m excited to collaborate with the Wattis’s talented team and the Bay Area’s artistic community to find a path forward.”

During her tenure at Artspeak, Nguyen curated exhibitions by artists including Valérie Blass, Alex Da Corte, Abigail DeVille, Aaron Flint Jamison, Laura Owens, and Danh Vo. She also secured the institution’s long-term financial sustainability and organized its expansion plan by acquiring a second space.

As an independent curator, she has co-organized projects for Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin, Italy; Belkin Satellite gallery in Vancouver; and Platform Centre for Photographic and Digital Arts in Winnipeg.

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