Ryan N. Dennis
Ryan N. Dennis
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Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
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Ryan N. Dennis is an American curator and writer who is currently Chief Curator and Artistic Director at the Mississippi Museum of Art's Center for Art and Public Exchange (CAPE). She previously served as Curator and Programs Director (2017-2020) and Public Art Director and Curator (2012-2017) at Project Row Houses in Houston, Texas. Dennis focuses on African American contemporary art with an emphasis on site-specific projects and community engagement.
Early life and education
Ryan N. Dennis was born in Houston, Texas. In 2007, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Houston where she was in the African American studies program and the art history program. She received a M.A. degree in arts and cultural management from the Pratt Institute in New York City in 2011. Dennis interned in the curatorial department of the Menil Collection in Houston, where she would later work professionally.
Early in her career, Ryan N. Dennis worked as a curatorial assistant at the Menil Collection (2007-2009). She moved to New York City to pursue her degree, where she was a fellow at The Laundromat Project in 2009, worked in public programs at the New Museum, and was traveling exhibition and artists-in-residence manager at the Museum for African Art (now The Africa Center) from 2010 to 2012.
Dennis joined Project Row Houses in 2012 as Public Art Director and Curator. In 2017, she was promoted to Curator and Programs Director. During her tenure at Project Row Houses, she organized and co-organized ten rounds of exhibitions, including Round 41: Process and Action: An Exploration of Labor (2015), Round 43: Small Business/ Big Change: Economic Perspectives from Artists and Artrepreneurs (2015), Round 44: Shattering the Concrete: Artists, Activists, and Instigators (2016), Round 45: Local Impact (2016), Round 46: Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter at Project Row Houses (2017), Round 47:The Act of Doing: Preserving, Revitalizing and Protecting Third Ward (2018), Round 48: Beyond Social Practice (2019), Round 49: penumbras: sacred geometries (2019), and Round 50: Race, Health and Motherhood (2019).
Dennis was selected for the 2019 Center for Curatorial Leadership annual Fellowship, where she completed a weeklong residency at the Brooklyn Museum. In 2019, she was selected, along with Evan Garza, to co-curate the seventh edition (2021) of the Texas Biennial, a "geographically-led, independent survey of contemporary art in Texas."
In April 2020, she became the Chief Curator and Artistic Director at the Mississippi Museum of Art's Center for Art and Public Exchange (CAPE).
Ryan N. Dennis' written works appear in Prospect.3 Notes for Now (2014), Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts (2015), the Miami Rail (2017). She also contributed to the monograph of Autumn Knight published in 2018.
- The Kenneth Rainin Foundation Open Spaces Program grants, member of the jury (2019)
- Houston Artadia Awards, member of the jury (2017)
In the media
- "Project Row Houses' Ryan Dennis Heads To Mississippi Museum of Art". Glasstire. 2020-03-11. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
- Green, Naima (2019-06-15). "Opinion | These Are the Faces of Tranquillity". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- "Mississippi Museum of Art Names Ryan N. Dennis Chief Curator and Artistic Director". Retrieved 2020-06-02.
- "Ryan Dennis". www.uh.edu. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
- "Meet Ryan Dennis, '09 Program Intern". The Laundromat Project. 2014-10-16. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- "Ryan N. Dennis (CCL 2019) named Chief Curator and Artistic Director of the Mississippi Museum of Art's Center for Art and Public Exchange". Center for Curatorial Leadership. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- "Art cities: How Houston became a hotbed of contemporary art | Christie's". www.christies.com. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- "Round 47". Project Row Houses. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- Rhodes, Syan (2017-11-30). "Click2Daily: Protecting Third Ward". KPRC. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- Collective creative actions : Project Row Houses at 25. Dennis, Ryan N.,, Jackson-Dumont, Sandra,. Houston, TX. ISBN 978-0-692-12642-4. OCLC 1060194912.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link) CS1 maint: others (link)
- "CCL Fellowship". Center for Curatorial Leadership. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- "PRH's Ryan Dennis Selected to Attend Curatorial Leadership Program". Glasstire. 2018-11-06. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- "Ryan N. Dennis and Evan Garza to Curate 2020 Texas Biennial". www.artforum.com. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- "About – Texas Biennial". texasbiennial.org. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- "Mississippi Museum of Art Announces Senior Staff Appointments". www.artforum.com. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- "Art for the People's Sake 1 - Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts". gulfcoastmag.org. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- "ART, ECOMONICS AND BISCAYNE: Interview with Ryan N. Dennis and william cordova". The Miami Rail. 2017-04-02. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- Knight, Autumn, 1980-. Autumn Knight : in rehearsal. Powell, Amy L.,, Dennis, Ryan N.,, Doyle, Jennifer,, Oliver, Cynthia,, Ruiz, Sandra,, Gilkey, Eureka,. Urbana, Illinois. ISBN 978-1-883015-50-3. OCLC 1085573412.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link) CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- Communications (2019-02-06). "Foundation Awards $625,000 For Community-Based Public Art Projects". Kenneth Rainin Foundation. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- "Artadia Announces Winners of Unrestricted $10K". Glasstire. 2017-06-09. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- Ryan N. Dennis - CCL Class of 2019 | Center for Curatorial leadership
- Mississippi Museum of Art Names Ryan N. Dennis Chief Curator and Artistic Director
- Ryan N. Dennis - Collaborators - Independent Curators
- Ryan N. Dennis Named Chief Curator and Artistic Director of director-of-the-center-for-art-public-exchange
- Ryan N. Dennis on instagram
- Ryan N. Dennis - Sister Cities International (SCI)
- Project Row Houses’ Ryan Dennis Heads To Mississippi Museum of Art
- Ryan Dennis - University of Houston
- Curators – Texas Biennial
- Ryan N. Dennis and Evan Garza to Curate 2020 Texas biennial
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