Introducing… Erin Dziedzic, Curator of Exhibitions at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)
For several years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with and getting to know Erin Dziedzic through the SCAD community. Erin is just one part of the college’s hard-working team charged with the task of curating exhibitions for SCAD Museum of Art plus four campuses—Savannah, Atlanta, Hong Kong, and Lacoste, France. SCAD delivers big-name contemporary artists such as Fred Wilson, Alfredo Jaar, Nick Cave, and Marina Abramović. The exhibitions department also works with students in graduate programs to present professional thesis shows at galleries across campus in addition to open studio nights at Alexander Hall (housing printmaking, painting, and ceramics). But aside from working with students, Erin’s job involves writing essays, visiting artist studios, supervising installations, and writing grant proposals. Her passion for art is boundless, which is why I contacted Erin for a quick Q&A session via e-mail—to give you a little insight. She’s so artcore!
Let’s start at the beginning. When did you become a curator?
I was given the title of curator in 2006, just before finishing graduate school. I think I am still and will continually be becoming a curator. I don’t think someone really is [a curator]; I think we are all in states of becoming. I would never want to BE a curator. Where would I go from there? “Ok, that’s it, this is what I am now.” I don’t want to feel that way. I like the idea of always working toward something.
Can you share a little about the behind-the-scenes of the exhibitions department?
The exhibitions department at SCAD is made up of an outstanding team of professionals dedicated to the artists and to the goals of providing students with exceptional visual arts programming. We are a great bunch of creative thinkers, problem solvers, and artists working together to produce exhibitions for other creative thinkers, problem solvers, and artists. It’s a very collaborative environment.
What upcoming exhibitions are you working on?
I am working on several really great projects at the moment, two of which are solo exhibitions by New York-based painter Paul Bloodgood and Atlanta-based multi-media artist Jiha Moon. Paul is a gem. He is a wonderful abstract painter who fragments and grids his surfaces at the same time, creating landscape or cityscape-like references with organic forms and undulating lines using a muted earth-tone palette. He is also a curator known for co-founding the influential AC Project Room, an artist-run commercial gallery that introduced the work of many significant artists like Byron Kim, Doug Aitken, and Josiah McElheny. The majority of works by Jiha Moon that we will be showing were made at her residency at The Fabric Workshop. Moon is an outstanding multi-media artist who expressively fuses the mood and tradition of Asian landscapes with vibrant colors and pointed insertions of Western imagery.
Beyond SCAD, what else are you up to?
In addition to my responsibilities as a curator at SCAD, I am founder and editor of artcore journal, an online contemporary art journal that focuses on spatial considerations. I’ve also been writing essays for artists and just finished up a really fun project that will come out this fall, where I recorded a commentary about the work of artist Victoria Fu with ASPECT Magazine out of Boston.
How did artcore journal get started?
artcore first began as an idea rooted in getting outside of ones “home” or current location to view, and respond to art. It’s not an uncommon thing, but I found it to be invigorating curatorially. There was a lot of traveling to exhibitions, art fairs, museums, studios, lectures, performances, and more that really fueled my desire to want to investigate more about what that all meant or could mean in relationship to contemporary art. Essentially, it came down to what I am drawn to most in contemporary art: spatial considerations, movement, and location. That then set the tone for the journal.
I see artcore very much as a continually evolving collaborative platform that provides emerging and established art professionals the opportunities to exchange written and visual ideas they have about space, movement, and location in contemporary art.
Are there any trends in contemporary art that you just can’t stand?
No, not particularly. I’ve found that I’m always discovering things I like or am intrigued by even within the muck.
What’s the weirdest ‘art experience’ you’ve ever had?
Oh, there have been plenty, but I prefer to maintain discretion.