Contemporary Art Curators Gather In Louisville From Around the World For IKT Congress and Symposium

Great Meadows Foundation, KMAC and the Speed Museum are joining forces to bring the IKT The Interational Association of Curators of Contemporary Art to Louisville. The focus of this annual congress and symposium is “Global Appalachia.” This is only the second time the congress and symposium have been held outside of Europe — the first was in Miami and this time its in Louisville. 

Louisville has a busy art community and is one of the oldest cities west of the Appalachian mountain range. Louisville is also well connected by a day’s drive to about 60% of the US population. This puts Louisville in a good position to access and expand its creative networks. 

“This is an event that honors the memory of collector and philanthropist Al Shands, who was enthusiastically behind the bid that Great Meadows Foundation and KMAC made for the congress,” said Great Meadows Foundation Director Julien Robson in a statement.  “After two years of preparation, we are excited to give our guests the opportunity to experience our region’s richly vibrant art scene.”

The event will explore topics that speak to the relationship rural areas have with their urban contemporaries all over the globe. 

According to the press release, “Using Appalachia, the 14-state region of the U.S. stretching from Nova Scotia to Florida and including Kentucky and parts of New York, as a metaphor for other parts of the world. Exploring this vital and active visual arts region, the congress will also visit the neighboring cities of Lexington, Kentucky, and Cincinnati, Ohio. Hosting over 80 curators of contemporary art from across the globe, the program will include visits to important museums and exhibition spaces in each city, as well as visits to artists’ studios, art school facilities and two significant private contemporary art collections.”

KMAC Museum Curatorial Director Joey Yates said in the release, “KMAC is honored to be collaborating with the Great Meadows Foundation and the Speed Art Museum to be the hub and host to a rare and remarkable occasion that brings esteemed curators, artists, and scholars Great Meadows Foundation from around the world, to not only learn about our art community, but to also share ideas and reflect on the important issues currently shaping the discourse around contemporary art and culture.”

The principal public event of the congress is the symposium “Global Appalachia.” The event will be held at the Speed Art Museum on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 1:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

The symposium will gather a diverse group of artists and writers to consider ideas of place and home and the role of the visual artists in the regional and global context. For this event, speakers and panelists will include: artists Mel Chin, Choco Fusco and Elizabeth Mesa, Poet Frank X Walker, Author Robert Gipe and Scholars Rebecca Adkins-Fletcher and Terry Smith. 

IKT is the International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art and is a membership organization that brings curators from around the world together to share knowledge, exchange ideas and broaden their professional networks. IKT was founded in 1973 and aims to “stimulate and extend debate” concerning curating. More information can be found on the website:

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