Brown Arts Institute

David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown University Announces Appointment of Kate Kraczon as Curator

Bell Gallery joins the Brown Arts Initiative to broaden cross-disciplinary programming, engagement and experimentation

Providence, RI...The David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown University announced the appointment of Kate Kraczon as curator. Kraczon, who assumed her new post August 1, most recently held the position of Laporte Associate Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), University of Pennsylvania, where she organized over thirty exhibitions. In her role as curator, she will be responsible for the conceptualization and implementation of the Bell Gallery’s exhibition and educational programs and managing the care and growth of Brown’s permanent collection. 

This year, the Bell Gallery officially joined the Brown Arts Initiative (BAI), a consortium of six arts departments, the Bell Gallery and Rites and Reason Theatre at Brown comprising the performing, literary and visual arts. Anne Bergeron, BAI managing director, said, “While we have been collaborating with the Bell since the BAI’s launch in 2017, this formal partnership allows us to deepen the student experience at Brown and our engagement with the Providence community. We look forward to continue working with our Bell Gallery colleagues as we explore new ways to examine contemporary culture through the arts.”

Jo-Ann Conklin, director of the Bell Gallery, said, “We are delighted to welcome Kate to Brown. Her experience in a university gallery of ICA’s caliber will inform her work organizing exhibitions and developing programming that explore complex issues. Her deep knowledge of contemporary art and curatorial expertise will enrich our offerings as we officially join the BAI to present leading-edge contemporary art in Brown’s cross-disciplinary ecosystem.”    

Since joining the ICA in 2008, Kraczon championed emerging artists, notably curating Alex Da Corte and Jayson Musson: Easternsports (2014) and Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme: The Incidental Insurgents (2015), as well as solo exhibitions by artists such as Karla Black, Suki Seokyeong Kang, and Becky SussHer most recent exhibition, Ree Morton: The Plant That Heals May Also Poison, is a reassessment of an innovative artist whose poetic approach to language and symbolism progressively distanced her work from easy categorization. The exhibition spans a single decade of artistic production before Morton’s untimely death in 1977 at the age of 41.It was awarded a commendation by the inaugural Sotheby’s Prize for an “exhibition that breaks new ground” and was featured in Artforum’s “Best of 2018” issue. The exhibition will be presented at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College in fall 2019 and travel to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in 2020.  

Before her 11-year tenure at the ICA, Kraczon served as curatorial administrative assistant at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago from 2005 to 2008. She received her B.A. from Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH, and M.L.A. from University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. 

About Brown Arts Initiative

The Brown Arts Initiative (BAI) at Brown University seeks to cultivate creative expression and foster an interdisciplinary environment where faculty and students learn from one another and from artists and scholars in a wide range of fields across the campus and around the world. A consortium of six arts departments and two programs that encompass the performing, literary and visual arts, the BAI works collaboratively to enhance curricular and co-curricular offerings, directly engage students with prominent artists working in all genres and media, and supports a diverse program of concerts, performances, exhibitions, screenings, lectures and symposia each year. BAI takes full advantage of the University’s Open Curriculum and builds on Brown’s reputation as a destination for arts exploration, contributing to cultural enterprise through the integration of theory, practice and scholarship with an emphasis on innovation and discovery that results from rigorous artmaking and experimentation. 

BAI comprises and integrates History of Art and Architecture; Literary Arts; Modern Culture and Media; Music; Theatre Arts and Performance Studies; Visual Art; the David Winton Bell Gallery; and Rites and Reason Theatre/Africana Studies.

About David Winton Bell Gallery

The David Winton Bell Gallery, a program of the Brown Arts Initiative, is Brown University's contemporary art gallery and home to an important part of the University's permanent art collection. The Gallery hosts four to five exhibitions each year with an emphasis on contemporary works by artists who address important issues of our time. 

Broadly concerned with the presentation of exemplary work by artists living today, the Bell Gallery takes pride in showing artwork irrespective of media, content or subject and makes special efforts to support and show the work of emerging or under-recognized practitioners. Alongside the contemporary arts, the Gallery also makes use of its art historical collections, programming exhibitions on the arts and culture of the last five centuries. The Bell Gallery maintains a permanent collection of more than 6,000 works of art, dating from the 16th century to the present, with particularly rich holdings in contemporary art and works on paper. 

Founded in 1971, the Gallery is named in memory of David Winton Bell, a member of the Brown University class of 1954. It is housed in the Albert and Vera List Art Building designed by internationally renowned architect Philip Johnson, that also includes classrooms, lecture halls and extensive studio space. Free and open to the public, the Gallery is open Monday – Wednesday and Friday 11 am – 4 pm; Thursday 1 – 9 pm; and Saturday and Sunday 1 – 4 pmand is located at 64 College Street in Providence, RI.