Curatoria Research Bureau; photo: Nicholas Lea Bruno

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and CCA launch the Curatorial Research Bureau

The bookshop, learning site, and public program space is also the new home of CCA's Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice.

San Francisco, CA—Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) and California College of the Arts (CCA) announce the launch of the Curatorial Research Bureau (CRB). Located at YBCA, the CRB is a new bookshop, learning site, and exhibition and public program space. The space will be the new home of CCA’s Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice, which is chaired by art historian and curator James Voorhies. The move to YBCA repositions CCA’s curatorial practice program outside the traditional walls of CCA’s academy and allows students to take advantage of the rich cultural context of the Bay Area and recognize it as an essential part of graduate studies at CCA. CRB will open its doors on September 4, 2018, with an opening reception on September 27, 2018, at 6pm.

“We’re pleased to be the home of the Curatorial Research Bureau as a point of engagement for our vibrant art community,” remarks Deborah Cullinan, YBCA’s CEO. “As we move toward our 25th anniversary, this powerful partnership with CCA exemplifies our commitment to our local arts ecosystem. We’re pleased to provide a space where students can have access to art in practice with YBCA staff, artists, and CCA faculty to explore big ideas and help shape the future of the artistic landscape here in the Bay Area.”

As a space for collective learning, graduate seminars will be held at YBCA inside the CRB with the program’s leading faculty, including James Voorhies, Dena Beard, Claudia La Rocco, Christina Linden, and more. In the space, students will access evolving book inventories, participate in programs, and meet visiting practitioners from the Bay Area and beyond. Students will also be immersed in the institutional infrastructure at YBCA by attending planning meetings with curators and administrators for upcoming exhibitions, programs, and marketing strategies.

“California College of the Arts is deeply integrated within the Bay Area cultural landscape—it’s one of the things that makes studying at our college so special,” says Chair of CCA’s Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice James Voorhies. “The launch of CRB amplifies these connections by projecting our Curatorial Practice program and students beyond CCA’s physical walls, providing them the experience of studying within a dynamic arts institution and, I believe, contributing to the exciting laboratory for the arts at YBCA. We are thrilled to work with YBCA to provide our graduate students this unique opportunity to broaden their perspectives on the field of curating.”

The CRB is part of Voorhies’ larger curatorial initiative, the Bureau for Open Culture, which forges connections between art, design, education, and consumer culture. Continuing the Bureau for Open Culture’s work in expanding and challenging the traditional roles of art institutions in audience engagement, the CRB will function as a forum for students, faculty, and the general public to convene. The CRB also frames the Bay Area’s rich cultural history as a necessary component of curatorial practice and education—furthering YBCA’s dedication to local artists and CCA’s integration of its academic programming with the region’s unique cultural community.

Central to the CRB is its bookshop, which will offer over 500 titles, providing a global cross-section of contemporary art and culture with titles supplied by Berlin-based publisher and distributor Motto Books, as well as sourcing titles by artists and writers closer to home—the Bay Area and California.

Voorhies, CCA’s students, and YBCA will also work collaboratively to organize a series of intimate public programs tailored to the interests of the local community and the Curatorial Practice educational curriculum, while remaining responsive to YBCA’s programming.

The program series will include:

AfterWord – intimate, by-invitation gatherings with visiting arts practitioners following their larger public events at CCA and Bay Area institutions. Each forum will present a unique opportunity to continue conversations and further explore topics touched upon in larger formal presentations.

Open Seminar – academic seminars conducted as part of CCA’s Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice that will be open to the larger public, broadening the students’ learning experience with different perspectives and giving the public rare access to the acclaimed program.

Call + Response – events inviting cultural producers in the fields of design, architecture, humanities, civic affairs, urban planning, and more to bring their ideas and work into the public realm for open dialogue. The format draws on a

long history of democratic participation, projecting thoughts and theories into civic gatherings where speaking and listening are valued equally as essential parts of productive discourse.

Case Studies – identifies a book to unfurl into an exhibition of archival materials, photographic reproductions, periodicals, ephemera, sound, and text that amplify ideas explored by the featured publication.

Curatorial Research Bureau Fall 2018 Programs

Case Studies | Marianne Wex: ‘Let’s Take Back Our Space’ September 4–30, 2018 Free and open to the public For more information, please click here. CRB’s inaugural Case Studies program focuses on Marianne Wex’s book Let’s Take Back Our Space, published in 1979.

Bay Area Now 8 Opening Night Party September 7, 2018, from 6–10pm Ticketed event For more information, please click here. CRB is open late to celebrate YBCA’s Bay Area Now 8.

AfterWord | Shahryar Nashat September 11, 2018, from 9–10:30am Invitation only Shahryar Nashat speaks with students, faculty, and other invited guests about his practice in this invited forum.

CRB Grand Opening September 27, 2018, from 6–8pm Free and open to the public For more information, please click here.

Call + Response | Barbara Pollack—Brand New Art from China: A Generation on the Rise October 4, 2018, from 6–7:30pm Free and open to the public For more information, please click here. Curator and critic Barbara Pollack speaks about her new book, Brand New Art from China: A Generation on the Rise (I.B. Tauris).

Open Seminar | Amanda Hunt October 24, 2018, from 10–11:30am Free and open to the public For more information, please click here. Curator and CCA Curatorial Practice alumna Amanda Hunt, director of Education and Public Programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and co-curator of the 2019 Desert X Biennial in Palm Springs, will discuss current projects and the cultural landscape of Southern California.

AfterWord | Simon Fujiwara October 30, 2018, from 9–10:30am Invitation only Simon Fujiwara speaks with students, faculty, and invited guests about his practice as an artist and filmmaker in this intimate forum that is a follow-up to his conversation at The Lab on October 29 (as part of the Experience It series).

Call + Response | Zoë Ryan—Taking Positions: Making Architecture and Design Exhibitions November 1, 2018, from 6–7:30pm Free and open to the public For more information, please click here. Zoë Ryan in conversation with CCA Dean of Design Helen Maria Nugent and James Voorhies, chair of CCA’s Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice.

Call + Response | Between You & Me: Constance Hockaday and Laurel Braitman November 8, 2018, from 6–7:30pm

Free and open to the public For more information, please click here. Between You & Me is a series of dialogic exchanges between artists and their collaborators and peers to materialize the countless conversations, musings, and debates that are often invisible yet play a significant role in the generative space of artmaking.

AfterWord | Rosa Barba November 20, 2018, from 10:30am–12:30pm Invitation only Rosa Barba speaks with students, faculty, and other invited guests about her practice as an artist and filmmaker in this intimate forum that is a follow-up to her conversation at The Lab on November 19 (as part of the Experience It series)

Open Seminar | Shoghig Halajian November 21, 2018, from 10–11:30am Free and open to the public For more information, please click here. Curator and writer Shoghig Halajian will present on the work she has done to foster performative and underexposed modes of expression at the not-for-profit arts organization Human Resources in Los Angeles.

About Bureau for Open Culture

Founded by James Voorhies in 2007, Bureau for Open Culture is a combined curatorial practice, philosophy, and strategy that inhabits and connects with institutions and publishers to realize projects with artists and writers. The projects forge intersections among art, design, education, and consumer culture while rethinking and pushing against the way art institutions address and engage their audiences. Bureau for Open Culture is a collaboration with designer Nate Padavick.

About CCA Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice

Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) educates students to shape culture and society through the practice and critical study of art, architecture, design, and writing. Benefiting from its San Francisco Bay Area location, the college prepares students for lifelong creative work by cultivating innovation, community engagement, and social and environmental responsibility.

The CCA Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice focuses on the intellectual, creative, and analytic qualities needed to participate in the discourse of contemporary art by conceiving and producing exhibitions, public programs, written texts, and artist commissions, in addition to learning how to reach publics and distribute curated content. Drawing in part from the history of art and design, the program offers students the intellectual resources and direction to engage critically with contemporary visual culture. While considering a range of themes, such as the politics of space or the tension between the virtual and physical, the program projects a broad perspective of the curator as a productive agent and positive mediator who sees context as a primary asset, building bridges among artists, ideas, institutions, and their publics. Alongside faculty, students work with visiting artists, writers, curators, and other professionals in the arts. Notable program alumni include MOCA’s Director of Education and Public Programs Amanda Hunt; San Francisco gallerist Jessica Silverman; and Director of Kunstverein München Chris Fitzpatrick.

For more information on the Curatorial Research Bureau, please visit curatorialresearchbureau.org or follow on Facebook and Instagram @CuratorialResearchBureau

About Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) is one of the nation's most innovative contemporary arts centers. Founded in 1993, YBCA's mission is to generate culture that moves people. Through powerful art experiences, thoughtful and provocative content, and deep opportunities for participation, YBCA is committed to creating an inclusive culture that awakens personal and societal transformation. YBCA presents a wide variety of programming year-round, including performing arts, visual arts, film/video, and civic engagement. For tickets and information, call 415.978.ARTS (2787). For more information, visit ybca.org.

About California College of the Arts

Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) educates students to shape culture and society through the practice and critical study of art, architecture, design, and writing. Benefiting from its San Francisco Bay Area location and faculty of expert practitioners, the college prepares students for lifelong creative work by cultivating innovation, community engagement, and social and environmental responsibility. Graduates are highly sought-after by the world’s leading companies, architecture and design firms, cultural and arts organizations, and more. CCA is creating a new, expanded college campus at its current site in San Francisco, spearheaded by the award-winning architectural firm Studio Gang, and will provide more student housing than ever before.

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Ann Wiens

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