A.I.R. Gallery directors, members, and staff Susan Bee, Christian Camacho-Light, Roxana Fabius, Kat Griefen, Maxine Henryson, JoAnne McFarland, and Joan Snitzer join Rail Editor-at-Large Jessica Holmes for a conversation. We conclude with a poetry reading by JoAnne McFarland.
Artist, editor, and designer Susan Bee lives and works in New York City. She is coeditor of M/E/A/N/I/N/G: An Anthology of Artist’s Writings, Theory, and Criticism (Duke University Press, 2000), with writings by over 100 artists, critics, and poets. She was the coeditor of M/E/A/N/I/N/G: A Journal of Contemporary Art Issues from 1986-1996. Bee has had solo shows at Kenyon College, Columbia University, William Paterson College, Virginia Lust Gallery, and numerous group shows. She has a BA from Barnard College and a MA in Art from Hunter College. Her artist’s books are included in many public and private collections including the Getty Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum, Yale University, Clark Art Institute, New York Public Library, and Harvard University Library.
Uruguayan curator and art historian Roxana Fabius is the Executive Director at A.I.R. Gallery, which was founded in 1972 as the first female artist cooperative gallery in the United States. She is on the faculty of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. Her research is focused on the intersection of aesthetics, art, design, technology, rationalism, and feminist theory.
Art dealer and art historian Kat Griefen was Director of A.I.R. Gallery from 2006–2011. She has been a Senior Lecturer at Rutgers University, New Brunswick and has also taught in the Graduate Program in Liberal Studies at Rutgers University, Camden. Ms. Griefen is on the faculty at Queensborough Community College in the Art and Design Department with a focus on Gallery and Museum Studies. She has lectured widely at other institutions including New York University, Washington University, The Brooklyn Museum, The Museum of Art and Design and the National Academy Museum among others. Ms. Griefen is a Board Member of the Feminist Art Project. She has a M.A. in Art History from Hunter College and a B.A. in Art History and in Women Studies from Purchase College.
Artist, poet, and curator JoAnne McFarland is the Artistic Director of Artpoetica Project Space in Gowanus, Brooklyn which focuses on work that is both literary and highly visual. McFarland has exhibited widely, both nationally and internationally, for more than thirty years. Her artwork is in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress, the Columbus Museum of Art, the Department of State, and Dynegy, Inc., among many others. She is the author of eighteen poetry books and libretti, including a recent series of innovative digital bookworks. In her work McFarland treats violence and creativity as diametrically opposed: each act of making thwarts violence’s aim to destroy.
Artist and professor Joan Snitzer is the Director of the Visual Arts Program in the Department of Art History at Barnard College and has held this position since 2001. Her studio work is focused on painting as a method of visual communication and democratization of social and personal beliefs. She has worked in a number of organizations that provide support for women and underrepresented visual artists. Snitzer has been affiliated with A.I.R Gallery, the oldest artist-run women’s exhibition space in the US, since 1974. Snitzer founded and directed the “Artist in the Marketplace” (AIM) program, which is now in its 41st year at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, to provide professional development opportunities to emerging artists residing in the New York metropolitan area.
New York area-based writer, editor, and critic Jessica Holmes has been rooted in the art world for the past twenty years. Among other outlets, her writing features regularly in BOMB, Hyperallergic, The Observer, and the Brooklyn Rail, where she also edits the ArTonic column. Jessica is also Editor-in-Chief of Degree Critical. She’s contributed to numerous exhibition catalogues; most recently major texts may be found in Calder: From the Stony River to the Sky (Hauser & Wirth) and Žilvinas Kempinas (Ikon Gallery). From 1999-2018 she worked for the Calder Foundation, including 6 years serving as its Deputy Director, where she wrote and lectured widely on Alexander Calder’s life and work. Jessica holds an MFA in art criticism and writing from SVA.
Curator and writer based in New York, Christian Camacho-Light’s research deals with the relationships between difference and identity, recognition and resistance, and aesthetic and social representation. They’ve organized exhibitions and public programming at A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; The International Studio & Curatorial Program, Brooklyn, NY; and the Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. Camacho-Light is currently the Director of Exhibitions and Fellowship at A.I.R. Gallery and was formerly the Associate Director of Kate Werble Gallery (2017-2020) and AIRspace Curator-in-Residence at Abrons Arts Center (2017-2019). They hold an MA in Curatorial Studies from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College and a BA in Art History from Vassar College.
Photographer and bookmaker Maxine Henryson’s photographic practice draws from traditions including painting, film, performance, installation, and sculpture. Her work is the subject of two monographs: Ujjayi’s Journey (Kehrer 2012), Red Leaves and Golden Curtains (Kehrer 2007). Recent solo exhibitions include True Though Invented, A.I.R. Gallery, NY (2020), Contrapuntal, A.I.R. Gallery, NY (2017), Ujjayi’s Journey, A.I.R. Gallery, NY, Calculated Coincidence, Kleinschmidt Fine Photographs, Wiesbaden (2014). She has a MPhil from the University of London, a MAT from the University of Chicago and a MFA in Photography from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Henryson lives and works in New York.