Interview with Adeze Wilford, The Shed Curator

On October 28th we had the pleasure of meeting The Shed NY curator Adeze Wilford. Throughout her presentation and our dialogue, Wilford explained her lifestyle as a curator, her professional journey, and what it is like opening an exhibition during 2020 with artist Howardeena Pindell. She provided great insight on the factors taken into consideration when organizing and curating works of art, the context of the showing space, and how this all relates to the world and its viewers. Along with the professional aspects of curating, she was also able to explain the personal networking aspect of her job with artists, and what it looks like to collaborate with them and their art.

Wilford said that ever since high school, she has had her sights locked on becoming a curator, and she provided great insight on how she obtained her current position at The Shed, which is a relatively new art space in New York City. By working in smaller positions and growing her resume by working in the MoMa, she eventually found her way to The Shed.

At The Shed, Wilford had the great opportunity to work with artist Howardeena Pindell, who works in both multi-media paintings and videos to talk about issues surrounding race in America. From the conversation, I could sense that Wilford was not only very knowledgable about the artist and her works, but also how each work provides context to the next, the history behind her work, and how the whole show could provide not only as an educational space, but also a place of trauma healing. Besides being a personal fan of Howardeena’s, Wilford was also very excited to showcase such an important artist and provide a space to truly encompass Pindell’s newest works in the unique context of 2020.

I asked that if she had the chance, would she have changed the opening date of the show due to Pindell’s charged pieces, and Adeze told us that regardless of the world’s current state, Pindell wanted to have the show open on a presidential election year before November to highlight the issues in her work before viewers went out to vote. With the added and unexpected happenings and protests involving racial issues in America, Adeze and Howardeena described the opening of the show as “timely”. Even though they wanted to open at this specific time, it was interesting to hear how Wilford and Pindell had to adjust to 2020 because of the construction issues in The Shed, the physical layout of the gallery space and how that would change the interpretation of the pieces shown, and the current climate of America around race issues.

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