Worcester Art Museum announces new Associate Curator of Contemporary Art

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Worcester Art Museum announces new Associate Curator of Contemporary Art
Samantha Cataldo. Photo: Julie Hamel.

WORCESTER, MASS.- The Worcester Art Museum announced today the hiring of Samantha Cataldo to the position of Associate Curator of Contemporary Art. Cataldo has been at the Currier Museum of Art since 2015, and in 2021 she was promoted to Senior Curator of Contemporary Art. During her tenure there, she founded and directed an artist inresidence program, curated a number of well-received exhibitions, and stewarded the growth of the Currier’s post-modern and contemporary collections. Bringing her specialized expertise in contemporary art and her commitment to community engagement, accessibility, and diversity to Worcester, Cataldo will begin her new post on May 23, 2022.

“Sam Cataldo’s work at the Currier Museum is inspiring,” said Claire C. Whitner, Director of Curatorial Affairs and the James A. Welu Curator of European Art. “She has cultivated a curatorial practice that focuses on community engagement such that art becomes a catalyst for critical discourse, human connection, and meaningful exchanges between artists and museum visitors. I am excited to see how she applies her distinctive vision to revitalizing contemporary art programming at the Worcester Art Museum.”

In her new role, Cataldo will develop a holistic vision for the presentation and integration of contemporary art at WAM, looking for opportunities to further develop the Museum’s collection of global contemporary art. In addition to the development of new exhibitions and long-term installations, Cataldo’s broad experience in collections and community engagement will help to further the Museum’s commitment to enhancing the visibility of underrepresented communities of artists through acquisitions and programming. This work will support the visibility of the Worcester Art Museum as an innovative venue for the presentation of contemporary art in New England and nationwide.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Worcester Art Museum and to curate the art of our time alongside WAM’s superb multicultural historic collection,” said Samantha Cataldo. “Museums have the ability to connect the creativity of our collective past to the present, thereby revealing diverse perspectives, encouraging empathy, and inspiring critical, creative thinking. I look forward to collaborating with artists, WAM’s staff, and the museum’s many communities to facilitate these transformative experiences and conversations.

Cataldo graduated from Providence College, Providence, Rhode Island with a degree in Art History. She subsequently earned a master’s degree in Art History and Museum Studies from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. Following the completion of her M.A., she was the Koch Curatorial Fellow for deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, where she curated sculpture park installations and collections based exhibitions. Since 2015 Cataldo has been working in the curatorial department of the Currier Museum of Art where, as the Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, she has managed the museums exhibitions, stewarded the postmodern and contemporary collections, and expanded community outreach and public arts initiatives. She also founded and directed the Currier’s artist in-residence program, which recently expanded to include an open call for social practice artists. Cataldo worked to steward artists’ projects and coordinate with community partners on related programming.

During her time at the Currier, Cataldo curated dozens of exhibitions from Deep Cuts: Contemporary Paper Cutting (2017) to Warhol Screen Tests and Arghavan Khosravi (both currently on view). Cataldo also has several exhibitions that are in development and upcoming, such as Memoirs of a Ghost Girlhood: a Black Girls Window by international contemporary artist Alexandria Smith, which explores Black identity through the interweaving of collective memory.

In addition to her extensive work on exhibitions, Cataldo has published widely; the most recent issue of the Journal of Landscape Architecture features her article More Than Maps: Larissa Fassler’s Cartographic Drawings Capture the Complexities of a City. In addition to chapters and other contributions to several publications, she has authored the exhibition catalogues Deep Cuts: Contemporary Paper Cutting (2017), Ethan Murrow: Hauling (2019), and the forthcoming Arghavan Khosravi (2022).

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