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Catherine Behrend is the founder of VenturesinVision, a public art tour provider. From 1995 to 2007 she was Deputy Director of the Percent for Art Program in the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, following positions in economic development and public policy. Behrend also served on the Mayor’s Council on New Media/ Digital Arts, the Mayor’s Awards for Excellence in Science/Technology, and the Mayor's Commission on Graffiti. She is a board member of the 92nd Street YMHA, the Financial Women’s Association of New York, and ArtTable, and has lectured at the Glasgow School of Art, Edinburgh College of Art, San Francisco Art Institute, California College of the Arts, New York University, and Christie’s.
Karen Christian is an art historian with a PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, a former adjunct professor in art history at Baruch College and an auction house professional with 25 years experience. Her art historical work concentrated on Medieval and Renaissance art, and her career at Christie’s focused on client service and on global service and systems development and training. At Christie’s she helped create global service standards and conducted training at salerooms around the world.
Natasha Degen is Professor and Chair of Art Market Studies. She earned an AB from Princeton University and a MPhil and PhD from the University of Cambridge, where she studied as a Gates Scholar. She is a recognized writer and critic, having contributed to publications including The New Yorker, The Financial Times, The New York Times, Artforum and frieze, and serves as a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal for Art Market Studies. Among other prizes, she received a $30,000 art criticism award from the Andy Warhol Foundation and a Luce Scholarship which sent her to Beijing for a year. She edited The Market (MIT Press, 2013), an interdisciplinary anthology tracing the art market's interaction with contemporary practice.
Mari Dumett is an arts writer, art historian and curator, having received a BA from Indiana University, a MA from the University of British Columbia, and a PhD from Boston University. She teaches in the History of Art department and Graduate Studies with a focus on contemporary art in a global context. Her writing on art and culture has appeared in journals and exhibition catalogues, and her book Corporate Imaginations: Fluxus Strategies for Living was published by the University of California Press in 2017. She won a 2015 Meiss/Mellon Author’s Book Award.
Chad Laird specializes in modern and contemporary art, film and museum studies. He was the recipient of the 2014-2015 SUNY Chancellor's Awards for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching. In addition to teaching in the Art Market Studies MA program and the History of Art undergraduate program at FIT, Laird teaches art history, aesthetics, and design theory at the New York School of Interior Design. He is a co-founder of the Sunview Luncheonette, a community art space in Brooklyn where he is involved in programming.
Florence Lynch is Director of Sales + PR at the Elizabeth Dee Gallery. Formerly, she was co-owner of LYNCH THAM, a contemporary art gallery on the Lower East Side, and Florence Lynch Gallery, a contemporary art gallery in New York’s Chelsea gallery district. Lynch has over 15 years of art world experience, and has worked as an independent curator, critic and lecturer.
Donald McMichael is a business development executive with extensive financial management and strategic leadership experience. Most recently, McMichael was the Vice President for Entrepreneurship and Business Development with the National Urban League. He spearheaded the organization’s nascent social enterprise initiative, developing and executing income generating strategic partnerships with several Global 100 companies that produced unique business acquisition opportunities for urban entrepreneurs. Previously, McMichael ran his own strategic consulting firm helping companies in the media/entertainment and technology industries. Prior to that, he held the positions of Vice President of Financial Strategy and Director of Corporate Development at Showtime Networks (former Viacom property). He holds a BS from the University of Virginia and a MBA from Duke University.
John Reed is the author of the novels A Still Small Voice (Delacorte Press), The Whole (MTV/ Simon & Schuster), Snowball's Chance (Roof Books, tenth anniversary edition from Melville House), All The World's A Grave: A New Play By William Shakespeare (Penguin/ Plume) and Tales of Woe (MTV Press). He is also a noted art critic, with a specialty in contemporary art and published articles and essays in Paper Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, The New York Press, Timeout New York, Artforum, Bomb Magazine, Vice, Art in America, The Paris Review, Slate, The Wall Street Journal and other publications. He has also written complete text for 15 artist catalogues. Reed is a two-term member of the board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle and was Books Editor and Senior Editor of The Brooklyn Rail from 2004 to 2012. He holds a BA from Hampshire College and a MFA in Creative Writing (Fellowship Citation) from Columbia University.
Alexandra Schwartz is a recognized curator and critic who has taught at Columbia University, the School of Visual Arts, and Sotheby’s Institute of Art. She previously served as the Curator of Contemporary Art for the Montclair Art Museum, the Coordinator of the Modern Women's Project at the Museum of Modern Art, and Curatorial Assistant at the Museum of Modern Art. Her publications include As in Nature: Helen Frankenthaler Paintings (Yale University Press, 2017); Come as You Are: Art of the 1990s (University of California Press, 2015); Ed Ruscha's Los Angeles (MIT Press, 2010); Modern Women: Women Artists at the Museum of Modern Art (The Museum of Modern Art, 2010); and Leave Any Information at the Signal: Writings, Interviews, Bits, Pages (MIT Press, 2002). She earned an AB from Harvard University and an MA and PhD from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Holly Shen is Director of Visual Arts for the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where she oversees visual arts programs across three venues, directs all arts-related fundraising, and manages arts-related related capital projects, including the planning and development of a new gallery space within BAM Harvey Theatre. Previously, she developed a new exhibition and art collection program for the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. She has also worked for Artsy, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She holds a BA from Georgetown University and an MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.
Gayle M. Skluzacek has worked in curatorial, research and public relations positions at the Minneapolis Institute of Fine Arts, the Chicago Art Institute, the Oriental Institute and the Carnegie Institute. Since 1981, she has been involved in art appraising and has catalogued important collections, estates and archives, served as an art/personal property expert in court cases and has worked closely with major museums in their art acquisition programs. She taught art and wine appraising courses for the New York City Board of Education and the New Jersey Center for the Arts. She has also been on the faculty of New York University’s Appraisal Studies Department since 1992, where she teaches American Art and Research Methods for Appraising and Appraising Fine and Rare Wine.
Sandra Skurvida, Adjunct Associate Professor in Art History at FIT, specializes in the theory, history, and curation of contemporary art. She was a Fulbright Scholar at CUNY Graduate Center and holds a PhD from Stony Brook University. Her writing has appeared in Art Journal, Art Papers, Art Practical, Ibraaz, Interventions, Mousse, Dailė, and The International Journal of Islamic Art and Architecture; her book, John Cage Circus: Composition, Computation, Curation is forthcoming. She has curated numerous art projects around the world since the 1990s.