Although she’s been settling into her fabulous new position as the National Programs Manager at ArtTable for a few months now, CONGRATULATIONS are past due for Melissa Messina (a.k.a. Wilma, Shirley, Susan B. Anthony), our former Research Assistant! So amazing was Melissa that there is absolutely no way that the Center could have opened in March 2007 without her dedication, good humor, enthusiasm, and, quite frankly, her workacoholism! While we miss seeing Melissa bounding around the Museum in her fashionable clothes and high heels on a daily basis, we are thrilled that she remains integrally connected to the Center as the current curator of the Votes for Women exhibition in the Herstory Gallery, opening February 16th. Stay tuned for more on this landmark exhibition, as well as some blogging from the curator herself, throughout the Spring and Summer!
Before coming to the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Melissa Messina earned her MFA from Pratt Institute where she received the Presidential Merit Award in Painting. While there, she coordinated the 2005–06 Visiting Artist Lecture Series, which featured such artists as Vanessa Beecroft, Mariko Mori, Judy Pfaff, and Joan Snyder. During this time, she also worked as a Curatorial and Sales Associate for a private dealer in New York specializing in modern abstraction. Prior to moving to New York, Messina was hired by the City of Atlanta Bureau of Cultural Affairs as an independent curator and executed several regional and national group exhibitions for their public art galleries, City Gallery East and City Gallery at Chastain. In Atlanta, she was also Assistant Director at Comer Art Advisory, LLC, in 2004, and a Curatorial and Marketing Associate for the art consulting firm, Barkin-Leeds Ltd., 2001–2003. She recently was the Assistant Curator to Ernesto Pujol for the exhibition Mediating America (June 2006) at the Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, and was invited to jury the exhibition Adam’s Rib Eve’s Air in Her Hair (January 2007) at the feminist art gallery SOHO20 in Chelsea. Her own artwork has been exhibited in museums and galleries in the Southeast, New England, and New York.
Dr. Maura Reilly is the Founding Curator of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, the first museum exhibition space of its kind in the world. Prior to assuming the position as Curator, Reilly taught art history and women's studies at Tufts University, as well as courses at Pratt Institute, Vassar College, and at her alma mater, The Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, where she received her Ph.D. in 2000 in Modern and Contemporary Art with a concentration in feminist and queer theory. Reilly has curated, lectured, and published extensively, both nationally and internationally, and has been a regular contributor to Art in America since 1998. In 2005, in celebration of ArtTable's 25th year Anniversary, she received one of their prestigious Future Women Leadership Awards; and in 2006, she received a Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts Award from the Women's Caucus for Art. She is an active member of the National Organization for Women, International Association of Art Critics, ArtTable, and is on the National Committee of The Feminist Art Project. Most recently, Reilly curated, Ghada Amer: Love Has No End,, and co-curated with Linda Nochlin, a major exhibition of international contemporary feminist art, titled Global Feminisms, which inaugurates the Brooklyn Museum's new Center for Feminist Art in March of 2007. Reilly is the author of a monograph on Ghada Amer (New York: Gregory R. Miller & Co., 2007).