Leigh Markopoulos Appointed Chair of the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice

Leigh Markopoulos

Stephen Beal, provost at California College of the Arts (CCA), has announced the appointment of Leigh Markopoulos as chair of the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice, effective January 2008. In this position she will oversee the administration of the program, including the hiring and supervision of staff and faculty, program development and assessment, curriculum development, and recruitment of prospective students in coordination with CCA staff and faculty. She will replace current chair Kate Fowle, who was recently appointed international curator at the new Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, which opened on November 5.

Beal comments, "We are very fortunate to have Leigh in this position. She has tremendous experience in the presentation of international contemporary art, the creation of publications and other visual materials, and day-to-day gallery management. We look forward to the leadership she will bring to our very dynamic program."

Adds Lawrence Rinder, dean of the college, "Leigh's broad knowledge of the curatorial field, her international network, and her strong commitment to education combine to make her the natural next leader of the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice."

Markopoulos has been director of Rena Bransten Gallery in San Francisco since 2005. Exhibitions she curated there include the group shows Allusive Moments and Furnishing Assumptions. From 2002 to 2005 she was deputy director of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, where she helped organize several important international group exhibitions, including Baja to Vancouver: The West Coast and Contemporary Art; A Brief History of Invisible Art; Monuments for the USA; Irreducible: Contemporary Short Form Video; and Likeness: Portraits of Artists by Other Artists. She has served as an adjunct faculty member in the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice since 2003, when she moved to the Bay Area. Prior to that Markopoulos worked at Serpentine Gallery in London, where she organized solo exhibitions featuring Brice Marden, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Dan Flavin, and Chen Zhen. She also served as exhibition organizer at Hayward Gallery in London.

Markopoulos comments, "I'm delighted to take on this new role at CCA as chair of Curatorial Practice. The program has already established itself as a front-runner in the field, with an incredibly strong faculty and enthusiastic students. I look forward to working with them to build on the program's well-deserved reputation for innovation and intellectual rigor."

Markopoulos serves on the boards of the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery and Creative Growth Art Center in San Francisco. She holds a bachelor of arts from the University of Southampton.

About CCA's Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice

The Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice was established in 2003 as the first of its kind on the West Coast. It offers an expanded perspective on curating contemporary art and culture and seeks to extend the current European and North American academic focus on traditional museum and gallery exhibitions, exploring the impact of artist-led initiatives and other efforts that take place outside conventional venues. Core faculty members include curators from Bay Area museums and galleries, including the CCA Wattis Institute. Although the program is relatively new, its alumni have already found success in museums and galleries throughout the world, including the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles; the Mexican Cultural Institute in New York; MUCA-Roma in Mexico City; Rooseum in Malmö, Sweden; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.