DiverseWorks announces new Executive Director & Chief Curator, Xandra Eden

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DiverseWorks announces new Executive Director & Chief Curator, Xandra Eden
Eden comes to DiverseWorks from the Weatherspoon Art Museum.

HOUSTON, TX.- DiverseWorks announces that the Board of Directors has appointed Xandra Eden as new Executive Director & Chief Curator. Eden will officially assume her new position on June 26, 2015, coinciding with the opening of DiverseWorks’ Artist Board exhibition.

Eden comes to DiverseWorks from the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, NC, where she has been Curator of Exhibitions since 2005. At the Weatherspoon, Eden organized the museum's contemporary art exhibitions, publications, and acquisitions and served as adjunct professor in the Department of Art at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Eden's recent projects include solo exhibitions of the work of Nancy Rubins, Diana Al-Hadid, and Yoshua Okón; the 2014 Art on Paper biennial; and thematic exhibitions such as Zones of Contention (a multi-year project focusing on artists who address issues related to borderlines across the globe) and Persona: A Body in Parts, which included the work of Carter, Nick Cave, Kate Gilmore, Nikki S. Lee, Barbara Probst, and Gillian Wearing. Over the course of her career, Eden has curated exhibitions by a number of Texas-based artists including Jeff Shore and Jon Fisher: Reel to Reel at the Weatherspoon, and Dario Robleto: Chrysanthemum Anthem, which traveled from the Weatherspoon to the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT. She also has served on Action Greensboro’s Downtown Greenway Public Art Advisory Committee since 2008.

Board Chairman Jason Fuller welcomes Eden, saying, “After an extensive national search, I am excited to welcome Xandra to the DiverseWorks team. She brings a wealth of experience and will be a wonderful addition to our organization and to the arts community in Houston. This is a very exciting time for DiverseWorks.”

Eden’s writing has appeared in numerous exhibition catalogues and articles and she teaches, lectures and moderates for conferences and symposia on contemporary art and issues. Her areas of study and scholarship include curatorial studies, the global biennial, and interdisciplinary and participatory art. Eden was assistant curator at The Power Plant, Toronto (1999-2005), and previously worked for the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New York, Texas Fine Arts Association (now the Austin Contemporary) and Women & Their Work in Austin. She holds an M.A. from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College and a B.F.A. in Studio Art from SUNY Purchase.

Born in Canada and raised in Houston, Eden is thrilled to return to her hometown.

With regards to her new position Eden says: I am honored to be given the opportunity to lead DiverseWorks into the next stage of its history. It is an organization I have long admired for its leadership in presenting new and innovative works, and I look forward to developing an exciting program with the staff and board that will make a vital contribution to the cultural landscape. Art has the ability to make us see the world in new and profound ways, and I feel that DiverseWorks’ role is to be on the forefront of bringing these unique experiences to the public.

As contemporary art becomes more and more interdisciplinary and global, I feel DiverseWorks is well positioned to expand its audience and enter into a broader, international dialogue. I am particularly excited to engage with the rich artistic and cultural diversity that makes Houston such an amazing city.

Eden replaces former Executive Director Elizabeth Dunbar, who left DiverseWorks in December 2014 to become CEO & President of the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY. Eden’s responsibilities will include major fundraising, donor and audience cultivation, and setting and articulating DiverseWorks’ artistic vision. Current Interim Director Jennifer Gardner will be named Deputy Director and Associate Curator Rachel Cook will continue to curate DiverseWorks’ exhibitions and public programs, focusing especially on performance art, dance, sound, video, and socially engaged practices outside of the gallery walls.

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