Amy L. Powell has been curator of modern and contemporary art at Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign since 2014.
Her work endeavors to cultivate a robust and collaborative research agenda centered on university art museums as privileged sites for the experimentation and production of knowledge. Trained in the history and theory of lens-based media, Powell’s exhibitions and writing interrogate the status of the contemporary as a relational and historical project and mine the imperative implications of anti-racist, decolonizing, feminist, and queer work on institutions. She is enamored of research-based and process-driven practices across a full range of artistic mediums.
Powell’s exhibitions at KAM have included Kennedy Browne: The Special Relationship, And yet my mask is powerful with Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Autumn Knight: In Rehearsal, Attachment, Time / Image, and Zina Saro-Wiwa: Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance?
Previously Cynthia Woods Mitchell Curatorial Fellow at Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston, she organized solo projects with Zineb Sedira, Clarissa Tossin, and Anna Campbell, and was host co-curator for the group exhibition Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art. Her exhibition Antena @ Blaffer featured a bookspace, group exhibition, and public programs with the language experimentation and language justice collaborative Antena, comprised of poets/translators/activist interpreters Jen Hofer and John Pluecker.
Powell was awarded a curatorial research fellowship from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in 2013. She was a Smithsonian Predoctoral Fellow at the National Museum of African Art in 2010-2011. In 2011, she was Dissertation Fellow at the Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she completed a Ph.D. in art history in 2012.
Powell will be an international curator in residence at Fire Station Artists’ Studios in Dublin in October 2019.