Two years may seem like a lifetime away now, but for FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, planning for its second edition — scheduled for July 17-Octoer 2, 2021 — is well underway, as it continues to put its team in place.
It’s recently announced several significant hires: Sarah Spinner Liska as deputy director, Meghana Karnik as associate curator, and Lo Smith as curatorial assistant. They join FRONT founder and executive director Fred Bidwell, co-artistic directors Prem Krishnamurthy and Tina Kukielski , operations Manager caitie Moore , administrative assistant Allison Smith and production partner L.A.N.D. Studio.
Spinner Liska is a lawyer and historian, with a doctorate and J.D. from Yale and prior experience in the arts and project management, including the initial FRONT. She’ll be working with Bidwell to expand FRONT’s reach and impact, and build a stable, permanent organization.
Karnik, a Cleveland native, artist and curator with degrees from Case Western Reserve University and Columbia University, has returned to Cleveland after managing a multi-disciplinary arts space in New York. She’s also previously worked at SPACES and the Cleveland Clinic Art Program and specializes in culturally responsive and artist-centered projects. Smith, a multidisciplinary artist, is also a Clevelander returning to the area after studying at Brown University.
“Our curatorial team can be highly playful and experimental in this second edition,” says Karnik in the FRONT press release. “FRONT has a great potential to activate the region and shine a light on what is left unseen in contemporary culture. At this phase, we want to be rigorous researchers and coalition-builders, with attention to the cultural contradictions of Cleveland.”
Recently, FRONT announced the first project grant for a movement-related public dance space in Akron. With the expanded team, expect more such announcements in coming months as the 2021 regional event starts to take shape.