The selected artists represent a diverse array of practices, spanning extensive research to thoughtful material investigation. My interest extended beyond aesthetics or technical skill, which were plentiful. Instead, I sought work that expressed conceptual rigor, distinct perspective, and a sense of urgency. Many of the artists explore alternative or dream versions of reality, suggesting a desire for escape or change. Some create intimate portraits that tell stories of individual journeys while others make bold proclamations and statements utilizing text and language. Though working around the world in different contexts, the selected artists were unified by a sense of desire for meaning and purpose, manifesting in works that suggest introspection made into visual form.
Mia Lopez is Assistant Curator at DePaul Art Museum in Chicago where she works on exhibitions, publications, and public programs focused on expanding the art historical canon. At DPAM she has contributed to numerous projects, most recently the exhibition Barbara Jones-Hogu: Resist, Relate, Unite and the catalog Out of Easy Reach. Mia was previously Curatorial Fellow for Visual Arts at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, where she collaborated on exhibitions, programs, and catalogs including 9 Artists (October 2013), Art at the Center: 75 Years of Walker Collections (October 2014) and International Pop (April 2015). In 2013 Mia completed dual Masters at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Modern and Contemporary Art History, Theory, and Criticism and Arts Administration and Policy; her graduate thesis examined anthropology, museology, and performance in work by Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Coco Fusco. She also has a BA in Art History from Rice University.