Chautauqua Institution today announced the appointment of the acclaimed artist Erika b Hess* as artistic director of Chautauqua Visual Arts (CVA). In this role, Hess will help shape the model for the next chapter of CVA’s School of Art and oversee this dynamic hub for learning and expression comprised of the Chautauqua School of Art residency program, Strohl and Fowler-Kellogg Art Centers, The Melvin Johnson Sculpture Garden, The Gallery Store, the CVA Lecture Series, and the growing education and community engagement programs.
Hess, a celebrated painter, curator, writer, and host of the famous art podcast “I Like Your Work,” is represented by Contemporary Art Matters and maintains a bustling studio practice in Columbus, Ohio, and Long Island City, New York. Her work has been showcased in prestigious galleries nationwide, including New York City, Brooklyn, Detroit, Los Angeles, Boston, and Philadelphia. Her recent solo exhibitions at Marietta College (Marietta, Ohio) and an upcoming exhibition at Bridgette Mayer Gallery’s Vault Space (Philadelphia, PA) have captivated audiences with their unique blend of creativity and emotional depth. Noteworthy group exhibitions include showcases at Contemporary Art Matters (NYC, Columbus, and Artsy), First Street Gallery (NYC), Muse Gallery (LA), and The Yard (Brooklyn, New York).
“We are overjoyed to welcome Erika b Hess as Artistic Director of Chautauqua Visual Arts,” said Laura Savia, Chautauqua Institution vice president of performing and visual arts. “Erika’s Podcast ‘I Like Your Work’ is a lightning rod for artists in America today. She is an innovator, an educator, and a painter with a flourishing career. Her deep dedication to serving early- and mid-career artists, coupled with her organizational acumen, will be a boon to CVA. At this critical juncture, when Chautauqua Institution is reinvesting in CVA’s facilities and reinvigorating our business model, Erika is the right leader to chart our course.”
A renowned leader in the field of visual arts, Hess’s insights have graced panels at the Missoula Art Museum SCOPE, (Miami), Cleveland Institute of Art and Boston University. Hess has been featured in esteemed publications like CFA (Boston University’s alumni magazine, Art New England, Artscope, all SHE makes and Visionary Art Magazine. Her curatorial prowess has been shown in exhibitions and publications such as Create Magazine, Friend of the Artist, Cambridge Art Association and Gallery 263 (Cambridge, Massachusetts), all SHE makes, Arts to Hearts, and Riffe Gallery (Columbus, Ohio). She’s also a sought-after lecturer at well-respected institutions like Wellesley University, University of Montana, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and Ohio State University.
“I am thrilled to join such an esteemed organization and to build upon the legacies of Don Kimes and Sharon Louden. I look forward to evolving CVA’s programming to foster artistic and professional growth in a supportive and inclusive environment. This environment will promote exploration in the studio while cultivating relationships between our resident artists, the larger art community, and the community of Chautauqua,” Hess shared. “Chautauqua is a unique and unparalleled space that attracts world-class artists across disciplines. The history and tradition of supporting scores of creative makers and thought leaders has given rise to a spirit of expressiveness that will continue to impact countless artists. Chautauqua Visual Arts is vital to the community, contributing to its vibrancy and cultural richness.”
*Lowercase “b” with no period as the middle initial is intentional.
ABOUT CHAUTAUQUA VISUAL ARTS
Chautauqua Visual Arts is composed of the Chautauqua School of Art residency program, the Galleries, the Visual Arts Lecture series, and enrichment courses. It is not only one of the oldest and most respected summer visual arts programs in America, but also a cornerstone at the world-renowned Chautauqua Institution, which is the only summer program in the world that brings together in one place such an extraordinarily high level of experience in the visual arts, dance, theater, symphony, opera, literature and intellect. The mix of influences offered at Chautauqua makes our residency program uniquely dynamic, rigorous and most relevant to the 21st century.
ABOUT CHAUTAUQUA INSTITUTION
Chautauqua Institution is a not-for-profit, 750-acre community on Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York State, where approximately 7,500 persons are in residence on any day during a nine-week season, and a total of more than 100,000 attend scheduled public events and even more engage online via the streaming channel CHQ Assembly. Chautauqua is dedicated to the exploration of the best in human values and the enrichment of life through a program that explores the important religious, social and political issues of our times; stimulates provocative, thoughtful involvement of individuals and families in creative response to such issues; and promotes excellence and creativity in the appreciation, performance and teaching of the arts. The Institution launched its 150th Summer Assembly June 24, 2023, and will celebrate its Sesquicentennial in 2024.
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