The Speed Has Picked a New Curator of Contemporary Art

The Speed Art Museum has announced the new curator of contemporary art. Tyler Blackwell will take on the role. He will be leaving his current position as Cynthia Woods Mitchell Associate Curator at the Blaffer Art Museum located in Houston, Texas. Blackwell specializes in queer and “historically underrepresented artist practices,” post-1960s abstract painting, sculpture and digital media. He has worked in museums for over 10 years. 

“I am honored and thrilled to join the Speed at this pivotal time in the Museum’s history,” said Blackwell in a release. “As the institution considers new ways to explore and center stories that have been historically marginalized or under-looked, I am eager to collaborate and contribute to a program that advances the Speed as a vibrant, welcoming, and multivocal hub for dialogue, gathering, and exploration. I strongly believe artists and museums are uniquely positioned to help us both learn from our diverse histories and contemplate the complex, pressing issues of today. In tandem with the team at the Speed, I am looking forward to activating our museum and grounds as an active place for community exchange, global questions.”

Blackwell replaces former contemporary curator Miranda Lash

“I am thrilled to welcome Tyler to the Speed and to our Louisville community,” said Speed Director Raphaela Platow in a release. “His wide-ranging experience in the contemporary art world and his deeply-rooted passion for uplifting the voices of artists perfectly align with our mission. As we look toward the future of the Museum, we are grateful to have Tyler shepherding us on our journey in contemporary art as we invite dialogue, ask questions, and continue in our discovery.” 

At Blaffer, Blackwell works in collaborations with the director to expand and reimagine the institution’s diverse, multidisciplinary programs and artist-centric exhibitions. He’s organized and co-organized solo exhibitions of both emerging and established artists including Molly Zuckerman-Hartung, Rodney McMillian, Rebecca Morris, Jagdeep Raina, Jacqueline Nova, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz and Yoshua Okón. 

From a release: 

Blackwell is currently working on the first major museum survey devoted to the interdisciplinary practice of artist Marie Watt (Seneca Nation of Indians and German-Scot) that will now be mounted by the Speed Art Museum.

Blackwell previously held positions at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago and the Art Institute of Chicago’s Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, where he supported permanent collection acquisitions and the organization of wide-ranging exhibitions, commissions, programs, and performances. His writing has been published in exhibition catalogues for the Blaffer, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Smart Museum of Art, and the Centre for Fine Arts Brussels. Blackwell holds a MA in Art History and The Humanities from the University of Chicago.

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