Art Writing Incubator Public Lecture: Valerie Cassel Oliver Jun 29, 2024 Virtual

​Join us on June 29 at 12PM EDT on Zoom for a public lecture with Valerie Cassel Oliver!

Valerie Cassel Oliver is the Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Prior to her position at the VMFA, she was Senior Curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Over the last two decades, Cassel Oliver has organized numerous exhibitions including the acclaimed Double Consciousness: Black Conceptual Art. Since 1970 (2005); Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art (2012) and major survey exhibitions for Donald Moffett; Benjamin Patterson, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Jennie C. Jones, Angel Otero and Annabeth Rosen. Her debut at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts was the critically acclaimed retrospective entitled, Howardena Pindell: What Remains to be Seen co-organized with Naomi Beckwith (2018). In 2021, she opened the groundbreaking exhibition, The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture and the Sonic Impulse that toured nationally. Most recently, she has organized the exhibition, Dawoud Bey: Elegy that looks at the artist’s preoccupation with histories of place. The work includes commissioned photographs of Richmond’s Historic Slave Trail. ⁠Cassel Oliver is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards including a fellowship from the Center of Curatorial Leadership (2009); the High Museum of Art’s David C. Driskell Award (2011); the James A. Porter Book Award from Howard University (2018) as well as the Alain Locke International Arts Award, Detroit Institute of Art; the College Arts Association’s Excellence in Diversity Award; the Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College; and Brandywine Workshop and Archives’ Lifetime Achievement Award (all 2022). She was recently presented with an award of distinction from the American Folk Art Society (2023) for her work to bring art from the African American South into the collection of the museum. In October 2023, she was also tapped to curate Spotlight, a section for the Frieze Masters Art Fair in London. Cassel Oliver holds an Executive MBA from Columbia University, New York; an M.A. in Art History from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and, a B.S. in Communications from the University of Texas at Austin.