Recently celebrated as Westword’s Colorado Creative, Jessica Kooiman Parker shares a peek inside of her life as a "curator."

Jessica Kooiman Parker, Curator of Visual Arts at The Dairy Art Center

 

IF I COULD MEET ANY ARTISTS, PAST OR PRESENT…

Sarah Lucas, Frida Kahlo, Kara Walker, Agnes Martin, Lucio Fontana, Richard Serra, Jasper Johns, Sol LeWitt, Annette Messager, Rauschenberg, Rothko, Lichtenstein…

I DECIDED TO BECOME A CURATOR WHEN…

I have a degree in Fine Art, but never really practiced my own studio work, I mostly did graphic design. When I started at the Firehouse in 2012, I began as Art Director and took over all the exhibition planning. It was then that I fell in love with the role of curator and the positive impact you can have on an artist’s development. I relish the ability to help an artist achieve something great, whether it is one piece of work for a group show or a fully realized exhibition. Artists need people on the inside to advocate for them, for respect and financial support—that is what drives me. 

MUST-READ ART SITES/PUBLICATIONS…

Hyperallergic, Colossal, Juxtapoz, Art in America

MY STUDIO/DAILY PLAYLIST INCLUDES…

I mostly listen to NPR or open air. If I’m lucky, I have time to put on some old mixed tapes or classic cassettes for a few hours. 

WHERE AND HOW DO YOU FIND NEW INSPIRATION…

I tend to find it all around me, but it springs up most often in conversations with other creatives. Critical dialogue is essential for growth and creativity. I also find inspiration by reading the New Yorker, traveling or taking my time to eat a piece of fruit. 

THIS YEAR AT THE DAIRY ARTS CENTER…

Programming for this year is focused around deeper connection; not only in the exhibitions we produce, but also with the artists we exhibit, our patrons and our community. Together we can experience new ways of seeing art. Whether that is a literal perspective shift (new viewing points), an unexpected placement of art (rewarding curiosity), activating new spaces (the building exterior, interior hallways, ceilings, etc.) or programs and initiatives that provide greater context for all the work on view and the artists who created it.