FRONT International announces the appointment of Exhibition Director and Curatorial Fellow

Jan. 10, 2017

Cleveland, OH (1/10/17) – FRONT Exhibition Company named Jamie Hardis as Exhibition Director and Lisa Kurzner as Curator for FRONT, the ambitious region-wide contemporary art triennial exhibition which will open in July of 2018. Both positions were filled after a nationwide search.

“I am pleased that we were able to find strong Cleveland-based talent to fill these important management and curatorial positions”, said Fred Bidwell, Executive Director of FRONT Exhibition Company. “Jamie and Lisa’s experience with the Cleveland-area arts institutions who are our Presenting Partners and their understanding of the local artistic community will allow them to be immediately effective and continue our already strong momentum toward our inaugural exhibition.”

As Exhibition Director, reporting to Fred Bidwell, Jamie Hardis will manage and coordinate exhibition projects with each of the Presenting Partners of FRONT as well as public art installations working with our project management partner LAND Studios. Jamie will work closely with Lisa Kurzner and the Artistic Directors to ensure that we meet budget and timeline goals and will coordinate logistics with our Presenting Partners, Artists, and Galleries. Jamie has strong experience in collections and exhibition management and administration and most recently was Director of Operations responsible for the successful completion of the new building for MOCA Cleveland. Previously Jamie was MOCA’s Director of Exhibitions.

“We were impressed by the depth of Jamie’s management experience and organizational skills,” said Jens Hoffman, Co/Artistic Director of FRONT. “Jamie is a brilliant choice to manage this extremely complex undertaking which will include at least seven major gallery exhibitions and as many as 15 installations in unconventional spaces and places throughout Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.”

Lisa Kurzner will report to Michelle Grabner, Artistic Director of FRONT as Curator. This position is a two-year fellowship generously funded by The George Gund Foundation. Kurzner was chosen from an impressive international field of candidates for her experience as a curator, gallerist, and research scholar in American and European modern art. A resident of Cleveland Heights, Lisa graduated from Wellesley College and holds M.A. from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts in Modern Art. Kurzner began her career at the Museum of Modern Art and has worked at the Victoria and Albert Museum, The Contemporary Art Society, London, and The British Council in Brussels. As an independent curator, Lisa has worked with several area institutions on exhibitions, publications and acquisitions including the Cleveland Museum of Art, MOCA Cleveland, Transformer Station, Columbus Metropolitan Library and Metro Health Hospital Systems.

“Lisa’s knowledge of the region’s artistic community will be so important to our work”, said Michelle Grabner, “Although we will be bringing many international artists to Cleveland, we are eager to engage and discover area’s artists and create meaningful and relevant conversations between their work and outside perspectives. Lisa will be our eyes and ears in Northeast Ohio for the next two years and she will help us create an exhibition which is both of the world and authentically rooted in the community.”

About FRONT:

FRONT is a city-wide celebration of contemporary art, the expression of a two-year engagement by an international team of artists, curators and scholars with the creative resources of Cleveland. In museum exhibitions and unconventional sites spread across the city, FRONT will be an expansive stage for local, national and international artists to create and share new work that is inspired by and engaged with the most important social, political, cultural and environmental issues of today.

This exhibition will be an important showcase for Northeast Ohio’s cultural resources by convening artists, curators, scholars, collectors and art lovers around a city-wide and region- wide celebration of contemporary art. Powered by all of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio’s renowned visual arts institutions, this exhibition will be unique in the world for the scope of its collaboration.

The first edition of this planned triennial has been titled “An American City”. The themes and ideas explored by artists will be authentically rooted in the spirit of Cleveland and the region while connecting our history and future to issues and ideas, both universal and global.

About The George Gund Foundation:

The George Gund Foundation was established in 1952 as a private, nonprofit institution with the sole purpose of contributing to human well-being and the progress of society. Over the years, program objectives and emphases have been modified to meet the changing opportunities and problems of our society, but the foundation’s basic goal of advancing human welfare remains constant.