Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art
Randall Griffey is the Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art. He was the co-curator of the recent Alice Neel exhibit at the Met and is a champion of expanding the Met's diversity of artists.
A Canadian Contemporary artist, Brendan is an alumnus of our Uncommon Art residency program and specializes in installation and visual art. He currently serves as a faculty member at Northwestern University teaching Art Theory and practice and has been featured locally at The Whitney, The Guggenheim, and Noguchi Museum.
Gregory Wessner is Executive Director of the National Academy of Design. Founded in 1825, the National Academy is one of the oldest arts organizations in the United States and continues to serve as a vibrant forum for new work and ideas in contemporary art and architecture. An architectural historian and curator, Wessner also served as Executive Director of Open House New York and prior to that was Exhibitions Director of the Architectural League of New York. In 2016, he was recognized by the Guides Association of New York in 2016 for Outstanding Achievement in Support of New York City. Wessner was named an Honorary Member of the American Institute of Architects and in 2020 he received the AIA NY’s Award of Merit in recognition of his contributions to art and culture in New York City. Wessner did doctoral research in art and architectural history at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and completed undergraduate studies in Art History at Rutgers University.
Nona Faustine is a native New Yorker and award-winning photographer. Her work focuses on history, identity, representation, evoking a critical and emotional understanding of the past and proposes a deeper examination of contemporary racial and gender stereotypes. Faustine’s images have received worldwide acclaim and have been published in a variety of national and international media outlets such as Artforum and The New York Times.
Her work has recently been exhibited at Harvard University, Brooklyn Museum and the International Center of Photography to name a few and she is the recipient of the Baxter St Family Residency at STONELEAF RETREAT 2021.
Stephanie Goto is an acclaimed Architect and the founder of New York City STEPHANIEGOTO, a design studio that creates highly refined integrated projects with a foundation in the clarity of space, detail, and experience. Stephanie has built a holistic approach between architecture, art, culture, food, and branding and believes the quietness of details is important. Commissions include Calder Foundation's Project Space, the home of Chef Daniel Boulud, and gallery, exhibition design, and experiences for Hauser & Wirth and Pace Gallery in New York and California.
Fine Arts Professional
Eric Shiner is a leader in the Fine Arts world having worked as the executive director of Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, artist director of White Cube, and director of The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. As a leading scholar on Andy Warhol and Asian contemporary art, Shiner has curated dozens of contemporary art exhibitions in cities around the globe including major exhibits of Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei. He is the President of the board of Visual AIDS, a NYC-based nonprofit promoting the artistic legacy of those artists lost to and living with AIDS. He lives in Lansing, Michigan and upstate New York with his partner, Dr. Ishaan Kumar, and their long-haired dachshund, Juno.
Sur Rodney (Sur)
Curator, writer, activist, and archivist
Sur Rodney (Sur), identifies as a Black same-gender-loving man, a curator, a writer, a community activist, and an archivist. His engagement with the contemporary art world first gained recognition as a photography curator and TV talk show host broadcast on cable TV. This preceded his partnership with Gracie Mansion, where he served as co-director of the Gracie Mansion Gallery, renown for establishing international profiles for artists celebrated as part of the East Village scene of the 1980s.
Brie Ruais lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She received her MFA from Columbia University's School of the Arts in 2011. Ruais’ movement-based practice is legible through the scrapes, gouges, and gestures embedded in the surfaces and forms of the ceramic works. Each sculpture is made with the equivalent of her body weight in clay, resulting in human-scale works that forge an intimacy with the viewer’s body. Through her immersive engagement with clay, Ruais’ work generates a physical and sensorial experience that explores a new dialogue between the body and the earth.
Thomas Dyja is the author of New York, New York, New York: Four Decades of Success, Excess, and Transformation. Along with editing four anthologies, he’s written three novels, a biography of civil rights pioneer Walter White and The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream, a New York Times Notable book, One Book One Chicago selection, and winner of the 2013 Heartland Prize for Non-fiction. A Chicago native, he lives on the Upper West Side and Orient with his wife, literary agent Suzanne Gluck.
Jonathan Rosen is an international language-based artist working with mixed-media and interactive digital technologies through which he explores human possibilities. Rosen received a B.A. from University of Florida and a M.S. from VCU Brandcenter for advertising – launching the next 10 years of his career as an award-winning advertising creative and commercial film director. Since Rosen transitioned into visual art, he’s had exhibitions around the world and participated in museum shows in Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Miami, NYC and at the Smithsonian in DC. His
work lives in collections around the world – including pieces in the permanent collections of The Museum Kitchener in Ontario, The LiveStrong Foundation, Bloomingdales, Colette in Paris and Pandora Music where his work was shown at Super Bowl XLIV
in Miami. After living overseas in London, Amsterdam and Sydney, Rosen pursues his passions in his hometown,
Actor & Designer
October Date TBC
Waris Ahluwalia, actor & designer, is driven by a deep and abiding desire to create stories, products and experiences that captivate, transport, and shift perception. In 2007, he founded House of Waris- a company dedicated to exploring design through craftsmanship. As a designer, Waris has worked with brands such as Kenzo, The Kooples and Gucci and as an actor he has worked with acclaimed directors such as Wes Anderson and Spike Lee. In the Fall of 2016, the Mayor of New York City proclaimed October 19th as Waris Ahluwalia Day for his work in spreading tolerance and inclusivity through his creative and social impact endeavors.