Ashleigh Yallaly

Ashleigh Yallaly received her Bachelors in Museum Studies from Arizona State University and her Masters in Museum Studies with a Certificate in Indigenous Studies from the University of Kansas. She is dedicated to privileging the Indigenous voice in all aspects of museum practices and wrote her thesis on the utilisation of contemporary decolonization methods in tribal and non-tribal museums. In her free time she enjoys Star Wars, needlepoint, and her dogs.

Project: Ashleigh will take an active lead in a research project to mine the permanent collection for works by Native American/Indigenous artists (none of whom are designated as such in the metadata) and participate in curatorial discussions.

Kendra Greendeer

Kendra Greendeer, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation and descendant of the Red Cliff and Fond du Lac Bands of Lake Superior Ojibwe, is a Ph.D. candidate in Art History with a focus on contemporary Native women artists, the transformation of spaces, and decolonial museum practices. Her recent curatorial and academic work encompasses Native American arts and history of the United States. Most recently Kendra has curated and been the conservator for objects exhibited in Ho-Chunk Objects displayed in the permanent installation “Mrs. M’s Cabinet” at the Milwaukee Art Museum and in the co-curated exhibition Intersections: Indigenous Textiles of the Americas at the Ruth Davis Gallery on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus. She is currently the Collections Manager for Little Eagle Arts Foundation in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. She earned her B.F.A. in Museum Studies from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and M.A. in Art and Museum Studies from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Project: Kendra will assist the Curator of Native American Art in the development of an upcoming exhibition of emerging artists, which privileges Native artist voices, language and knowledge, in the Museum’s Contemporary and Modern Art Center.

Zoë Toledo

Zoë Toledo is a Diné Asdzáán, a member of the Navajo Nation and a Master of Architecture I candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Before studying at the GSD, Zoë researched architecture’s dual role in signaling progress through the control of the built environment and how it remained subject to the logic of heritage and culture. She is a co-founder of the Harvard Indigenous Design Collective and received an A.B in Architecture from Princeton University.

Project: Zoë will work on organizing, coordinating, and executing tasks related to the planning and production of a project to expand the idea of a land acknowledgment, the act of recognizing the Indigenous right to land within colonized places.

Larissa Nez

Larissa Nez is of the Mud People and born for the Mountain Cove People. Her maternal grandfather is of the Red Running Into the Water People and her paternal grandfather is of the Big Water People. She was born and raised on the Navajo Nation, in a small community in northern Arizona. Larissa is currently a first-year Master of Arts student in Public Humanities at Brown University. She is an alumna of the University of Notre Dame where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Sociology. Larissa’s academic research interests include modern and contemporary art, cultural heritage and historic preservation, critical theory, Diné and Indigenous Studies, Black Studies, and public health. Her words, research, and knowledge have been published in the University of Michigan – NCID’s Spark Magazine, Terra Incognita Media, ND Today, SELF Magazine, the NM Political Reporter, Teen Vogue, The South Bend Tribune, and The Observer. Larissa holds a Special Higher Education Fellowship with the American Indian Graduate Center and a Curatorial Fellowship with the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity at Brown University. She is the recipient of awards from the American Indian Graduate Center, Navajo Nation, Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund, Council for Museum Anthropology, Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums, Portland Community College, and the Institute for International Education. / Hashtł’ishnii nishłį, / Dził Tł’ahnii báshíshchíín. / Táchii’nii éí da shicheii. / Tótsohnii éí da shinálí. / Ákó t’éégo Diné Asdzáán nishłį.”

Project: Larissa will assist with the development of educational materials for the traveling exhibition, “Color Riot!”, featuring Navajo textiles from c. 1860 to 2018.

Nidhi Gandhi

Nidhi Gandhi (she/her) is a curator and art history scholar whose work calls attention to craft and vernacular art practices and the histories of black, brown, and diasporic communities. Currently a Curatorial Research Assistant at the Clark Art Institute, Nidhi holds a B.A. from Pomona College and an M.A. in Art History from Williams College. She has previously worked with arts non-profits and museums including Bronx Council on the Arts, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College. Forthcoming curatorial projects include a solo exhibition by artist Kameelah Janan Rasheed at the Williams College Museum of Art.

Project: Nidhi will assist in the development of at least one of two exhibition projects for the Decorative Arts department at the Brooklyn Museum: “Social Justice and Craft” or “Cultural Appropriation and the Decorative Arts.”

Sarah Ahmed

Sarah Ahmed is a Master’s student in the Department of Art History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Born in Cairo and raised in Texas, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies and International Relations from the University of Texas at Austin. She is interested in modern and contemporary Arab artistic production and its engagement with Middle Eastern history, heritage, and resistance. Sarah is a community organizer and is passionate about engaging the Arab community through art and education.

Project: Sarah will assist with the exhibition “Women Defining Women in Contemporary Art of the East and Beyond”, planned for 2023, which will present the work of artists who are women and were born or live in what can broadly be termed Islamic societies.

Susannah Stern

Susannah Stern is an arts practitioner with an interest in a variety of disciplines. Born and raised in central New Jersey, Susannah attended American University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communication studies with a minor in anthropology. While studying in Washington, D.C., Susannah fell in love with the city and decided to focus her career on arts and humanities
in the region. Her professional experience ranges from education to visitor experience to curation with her most recent position being at ARTECHOUSE — the first art and tech-focused space in D.C. Susannah’s passion lies in bridging the gap between the general public and arts institutions by helping audiences recognize the importance of artistic experiences in their everyday lives.

Mehves Lelic

Mehves Lelic is an Istanbul-born artist, curator and educator currently based on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She serves as Curator at the Academy Art Museum and is currently working a number of exhibitions, including Norma Morgan: Enchanted World and Miro in New York: Miro, Hayter and Atelier 17, 1947. She holds a BA from the University of Chicago and she is currently an MFA candidate at Bard College. She has been awarded the National Geographic Expeditions Council Grant, the Turkish Cultural Foundation Cultural Exchange Fellowship, and the City of Chicago Individual Artists Program Grant. She has previously served as a Teaching Artist at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and Adjunct Professor at Anne Arundel Community College. Her work has been exhibited and published widely, in venues including the Rotterdam Photo Festival, ICA Baltimore, the Ogden Museum, Institute des Cultures D’Islam, Paris, Der Greif, Aesthetica Magazine, Lenscratch, C41, and others.

Johanna Obenda

Johanna Obenda is a cultural practitioner, curator, and educator. She is currently a Researcher and Exhibition Development Specialist at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). Johanna earned a B.A. in History from the University of Alabama and a M.A. in Public Humanities from Brown University where she was the Graduate
Fellow at the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice. She has held a fellowship at the Yale University Art Gallery and internships at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. At NMAAHC, Johanna is contributing to research and exhibition development for an upcoming traveling exhibition on the history of global slavery and its contemporary resonances, bringing her commitment to highlighting diverse narratives of the African diaspora, responsible storytelling, and museum education pedagogy to the curatorial process.

Sua Mendez

Sua Mendez was born in Ecuador and raised in NYC. She is currently a graduate student at Seton Hall University where she is studying Museum Professions with a professional track focus of Museum Registration and Collections Management. Sua started as a dual degree B.A / M.A. student and transitioned into a full-time graduate student after graduating Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in Art History. She worked as a Gallery and Collections Assistant at Seton Hall’s Walsh Gallery for a year while completing her B.A., and has further interned at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, the Queens Museum, the Queen’s Historical Society, the Richard Avedon Foundation, and currently serves as a Collections Management intern at the Rubin Museum of Art.

Project: Sua will work in the renowned Morgan Library photography collection and assist with a comprehensive review and updating of the photography collection online database.

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