PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] – The Brown Arts Institute (BAI) proudly announces two key hires as it makes the transition from an Initiative to an Institute. Kate Kraczon has been named Exhibitions Director and Chief Curator for the BAI; Jessica Wasliewski will take on the role of Producing Director. Both Kraczon and Wasilewski will work closely with Inaugural Artistic Director Avery Willis Hoffman to expand the BAI’s artistic programming across campus, the region, and internationally.
Kate Kraczon joined Brown in fall 2019 as Curator of the David Winton Bell Gallery before being promoted to Director of Exhibitions and Chief Curator in July 2021. Kraczon will now oversee the BAI’s exhibition program, which includes the Bell and its collection of over 7,000 works in List Art Center, the Cohen Gallery in the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, and Brown’s robust Public Art program. As a member of the BAI leadership team, Kraczon will help build programs across campus and within the new Performing Arts Center. Kraczon will also be involved in many aspects of developing the BAI’s academic program. Since joining the BAI, Kraczon has curated solo exhibitions with artists Savannah Knoop, Jules Gimbrone, Michele Cook and Hartman Deetz, and a two-person exhibition with Harry Gould Harvey IV and Faith Wilding (all 2021). In addition to her curatorial projects, Kraczon has overseen the final installation stages of major works by Sol LeWitt and Rebecca Warren on Brown’s campus this past year.
Previously the Laporte Associate Curator at the Institute for Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania (2008-2019), she organized over thirty exhibitions while at ICA, including Ree Morton’s first major retrospective in the United States in over three decades (2018), and collaborated with ICA curator Alex Klein on an exhibition of work by Suki Seokyeong Kang (2018). Kraczon curated the first museum exhibition of work by Becky Suss, as well as a survey of Angel Nevarez and Valerie Tevere’s collaborative practice. She organized Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme’s project The Incidental Insurgents (2012–present) at ICA (2015), and commissioned the major video installation Easternsports (2014) by Alex Da Corte and Jayson Musson. In 2014 Kraczon oversaw the museum’s fiftieth anniversary exhibition, ICA@50. Kraczon holds degrees from Oberlin College and the University of Pennsylvania.
Jessica Wasilewski is an arts administrator and producer, specializing in the development of new performances and visual art installations by U.S.-based and international artists. As Producing Director, Wasilewski is responsible for overseeing all aspects of new performances and installations developed by the BAI. Wasilewski previously served as Senior Producer at Park Avenue Armory, where she produced large-scale dance, theater, music, opera, and multimedia productions and visual art installations and facilitated projects including Bill T. Jones’ Deep Blue Sea, Tayrn Simon’s An Occupation of Loss, Heiner Goebbel’s De Materie, Marina Abramović’s Goldberg, and Martin Creed’s The Back Door. Wasilewski managed the Armory’s artist-in-residence program, and provided curatorial and producing support to the organization’s Public Programming series, including Carrie Mae Weems’ lauded 2017 symposium, The Shape of Things. From 2008 to 2015, Jessica served as Producer for Peak Performances at Montclair State University, where she supported the development and world premiere performances of David T. Little and Royce Vavrek’s Dog Days; Robert Wilson, Bernice Johnson Reagon, and Toshi Reagon’s Zinnias: The Life of Clementine Hunter; and Richard Schechner’s Imagining O, as well as the presentation of international performance companies such as Urwintore, Wayne McGregor|Random Dance, Vincent Dance Theatre, and Troubleyn|Jan Fabre. Jessica’s prior professional experiences include administrative, producing, and educational positions with Lincoln Center Festival, Dance Theatre Workshop, and the American International School in Salzburg, Austria.
In 2017, Wasilewski was awarded a fellowship by Cambodian Living Arts to support her research on the international presentation of culturally-specific performance practices. She was a curatorial consultant for the development of complementary programming for the North American premiere of BANGSOKOL: A Requiem for Cambodia, commissioned by Cambodian Living Arts and presented at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in December 2017 and served on the Board of Directors of Nimbus Dance Works in Jersey City, NJ from 2010 to 2015. Jessica is an alumna of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters’ Emerging Leaders Institute, holds a B.A. in Dance from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, and an M.A. in Curatorial Practice in Performance from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT.
About Brown Arts Institute
The Brown Arts Institute (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. The BAI seeks to build 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.