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The Immigrant Artist Biennial appoints new Associate Director
Anna Mikaela Ekstrand photographed by Casey Kelbaugh.

NEW YORK, NY.- Anna Mikaela Ekstrand has been appointed Associate Director of The Immigrant Artist Biennial. Ekstrand is a Swedish, Guyanese, and American New York-based writer, curator, and cultural strategist. As TIAB looks towards its future, Ekstrand is the organization’s first Associate Director and will work closely with its Founding Director Katya Grokhovsky. “Ekstrand has been deeply involved with many facets of TIAB’s fundraising, public relations, curatorial, and operational activities. I decided to formalize her role as Associate Director to create a sustainable team structure to benefit the longevity of the organization,“ says Grokhovsky. Ekstrand was a Curatorial Advisor for the 2020 biennial and will continue to serve as Co-Curator for the 2023 edition.

Most notably, Ekstrand created TIAB’s Patron Circle earlier this year, a dynamic group of supporters who enjoy closer connection to TIAB’s vibrant artistic community through year-round programming. The group is co-run by Laura Day Webb, TIAB’s Development Officer. Ekstrand will continue to fundraise for the 2023 biennial by searching for new partners and by co-planning TIAB’s Fall 2022 fundraiser.

An experienced administrator, Ekstrand has worked with complex exhibitions such as the BMW Guggenheim Lab in New York which brought together more than 100 New York-based and international artists, designers, and institutions. She has also held research and curatorial positions at Bard Graduate Center, Museum of Arts and Design, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As an independent curator, she has organized exhibitions in Vienna and New York. Ekstrand will continue to serve as editor-in-chief of the online art publication Cultbytes which she founded in 2015.

In addition, Ekstrand is a veteran strategist having worked with public relations for artists, galleries, and institutions since 2015 when she founded Cultbytes Agency, a digital strategic and communications agency. There, she has focused on working with both emerging and established entities in the art world with visibility, growth, and developing relationships. Most of her clients have been based in New York, but she has also worked in Dallas, Miami, and Los Angeles and together with her team she has organized events in London and Stockholm.

“I’m looking forward to setting up structures to sustain TIAB as an organization while responding to the social present,” noted Ekstrand. “My guiding question for TIAB’s next phase is: In our time of increased movement, war, and multiple migrant crisis, how do we reflect the multiplicities of immigrant experiences while promoting and advocating for immigrant artists through our programming and actions while fostering communities in which we can reimagine ways of thinking, doing, and making art?”

This significant appointment comes at a time of transformation and growth as TIAB re-examines its purpose and works to better serve its United States based communities while increasing the representation of exiled and immigrant artists working internationally.

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