Erin Jane Nelson Named Executive Director of BURNAWAY

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Erin Jane Nelson will assume her new role as Executive Director of BURNAWAY on November 1.

The BURNAWAY Board of Directors is excited to announce the appointment of Atlanta-based artist and curator Erin Jane Nelson as the organization’s Executive Director. An Atlanta native, Nelson returned to the city in 2015 after spending nearly a decade in New York and the Bay Area. She will assume her new role as Executive Director of BURNAWAY on November 1.

Memories & Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art at the Hunter Museum through January 8th

Since January 2016, Nelson has been a Curatorial Assistant in Photography and Folk and Self-Taught Art at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art, where she recently curated  “‘A Fire No Water Could Put Out’: Civil Rights Photography,” an exhibition marking the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She previously managed web design, publications, and other media initiatives at Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco. Nelson is also an actively exhibiting artist, having recently shown her work at the Whitney Museum of American Art and Atlanta Contemporary, where it was included in the 2016 Atlanta Biennial.

BURNAWAY Board Chair Jessica White said, “Erin has distinguished herself in Atlanta, New York, and San Francisco as an artist, curator, and arts professional. Her experiences working in major museums and galleries—alongside her first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to be a widely exhibiting artist based in the South today—uniquely position Erin to lead BURNAWAY into its second decade as a nationally recognized, regionally focused platform for contemporary art. I’m happy to note her hiring makes BURNAWAY an artist-run organization.”

BURNAWAY Interim Editor Logan Lockner said, “I’ve long admired Erin as an artist and champion of artists, and have been deeply grateful for her dynamic presence in Atlanta. To have such a talented and accomplished person assuming leadership of BURNAWAY is the most I could hope for the organization as it celebrates its first ten years. I couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Erin as a colleague.”

Nelson said, “BURNAWAY has provided ten years of essential coverage of the arts in Atlanta and beyond, making it a vital part of the arts ecosystem. I look forward to leading the organization into a new decade of growth, change, and excellence.”

Memories & Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art at the Hunter Museum through January 8th

Nelson assumes the role of Executive Director following the departure of Interim Executive Director and previous Executive Editor Stephanie Cash, who relocated to New York with her husband earlier this month. Former BURNAWAY Assistant Editor Logan Lockner has been serving as the publication’s Interim Editor since September. An announcement regarding Cash’s permanent replacement as Executive Editor is forthcoming.

About Erin Jane Nelson:

Erin Jane Nelson received her BFA from the Cooper Union School of Art in 2011. Her work has recently been exhibited in “Between the Waters” at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and “Photography Today: Public Private Relations” at Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. She has contributed to publications including BURNAWAY, The Creative Independent, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, and Art Papers, and has curated exhibitions at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta Contemporary, and elsewhere. In 2016-17, while she and her husband, artist Jason Benson, were studio residents at Atlanta Contemporary, they operated the artist-run space Species out of their shared studio. In addition to presenting several solo exhibitions by artists such as Raque Ford, Katya Tepper, and Joel Dean, Species curated the group show “Peachtree Industrial”—which featured work by Southern artists including Jiha Moon, Bessie Harvey, and Saige Rowe—at the Lower East Side gallery Bodega in 2016. Species continues to occasionally produce exhibitions itinerantly, most recently presenting the work of Rhode Island-based artist Harry Gould Harvey IV at Atlanta Contemporary earlier this year.


Founded in 2008, BURNAWAY is an Atlanta-based nonprofit organization that supports artists and creative communities in the South by providing a platform for the critical dialogue and information that are vital to growing and sustaining a vibrant cultural scene. We fulfill this mission through the online magazine, the Art Writers Mentorship Program, the Atlanta Art Guide, and other related programs.

BURNAWAY launched shortly before the Atlanta Journal-Constitution eliminated its staff arts critics and significantly reduced its arts coverage. Initially founded to provide critical dialogue about the contemporary art scene in Atlanta, in 2013 BURNAWAY began covering other cities in the South, fostering exchanges and richer relationships between the region’s artists, galleries, and organizations. BURNAWAY works to propel creative communities forward and contribute to the success of artists both within and beyond the South.

For more information
Jessica White, Board Chair, [email protected], 678-517-2420

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