Together with Guest Curator Hanlu Zhang, Anna Harsanyi and Sheetal Prajapati, co-curators of the project series Progressive Diasporas, will lead a curatorial talk and discussion with participants that outlines how intersectionality shapes their collaborative work. They will share prompts for discussion and reflection, as well as selections from video works developed as part of their curated project, Progressive Diasporas, which explores the experiences and intersections of immigrant diasporas through a set of collaboratively developed, cumulative experiences and events. The first iteration of the series was presented in Fall 2022 at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (New York) and featured work by artists Umber Majeed and Adobo-Fish-Sauce.
Progressive Diasporas is a curatorial project series exploring the experiences and intersections of immigrant diasporas through a set of collaboratively developed, cumulative experiences and events. The project - formed in part through the exploration of the curators’ own ongoing creative and personal exchange over 7 years - aims to share and support collaboration between artists, non-artists, program participants, and the curators. With a focus on process as practice, Progressive Diasporas draws its shape from the immigrant experiences embedded in our everyday strategies for survival, amassing small networks, shifting forms and identities, seeking out resources, adjusting comfort, and other invisible forms of sustainability. The project hopes to create spaces for intersectionality around the shared experiences and connections one finds through the process of migration, movement and displacement of identities.
Sheetal Prajapati is an educator, artist and advisor. Through her agency Lohar Projects, Sheetal provides consulting services to cultural organizations in areas including public engagement, collaborative projects, artist-centered initiatives and organizational vision and change work. She works with artists one-on-one for advising and mentorship through her agency and with places like Creative Capital and the Kresge Art in Detroit program. From 2021-2022, in tandem with her advising practice, Sheetal served as the Executive Director of Common Field (a non profit arts organization) and led its intentional sunsetting process to close in December 2022.
As a curator, Sheetal recently curated and produced Common Work: Learnings for the Future from Common Field (a podcast and writing series) exploring life and work of Common Field as well as exploring the work of community building, growth and creativity in the field of artist-centered work. Sheetal was also the co-curator of Progressive Diasporas with Anna Harsanyi, presented in October 2022 at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts in New York. This event-based project explored notions of intersectionality, care and exchange in the experience of diasporas featuring artist Umber Majeed and Adobo-Fish-Sauce.
Prior to opening Lohar Projects, Sheetal spent 16 years working in arts organizations including The Museum of Modern Art and Pioneer Works in New York as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and the Block Museum of Art (Illinois). From 2016-2021, she taught in MFA programs for the School of Visual Arts (New York), Montclair State University (New Jersey), and Moore College of Art and Design (Pennsylvania). Sheetal received an MA in Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BA from Northwestern University in History and Gender Studies.
Anna Harsanyi is a curator, educator, and arts manager. She is dedicated to presenting art in a non-art context and creating sites that invite participation from audiences outside of the art community.
She has organised projects presenting artist engagements within the historic Essex Street Market in New York's Lower East Side; developed cross-cultural projects about friendship and dreams in Saint Petersburg, Russia and Seoul, South Korea, respectively; commissioned projects exploring the often hidden or dormant histories for The New School Centennial; and collaborated with Sheetal Prajapati on a series of events centred around play. In 2014, she co-curated with Roxana Bedrule Hot & Cold: Revolution in the Present Tense, a public art project in Timișoara and Cluj, Romania which presented three artist projects responding to the 25th anniversary of the Revolution that ended Communism.
Anna is currently Assistant Curator, Community Engagement at Creative Time. Previously, she has worked in education and public engagement roles at the Art Encounters Biennial, Museum of Modern Art, New York Arts Practicum, A Blade of Grass, and the Guggenheim Social Practice initiative at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
Hanlu Zhang is an independent curator, writer, and editor interested in art as social practice. Working closely with artists, her curated exhibitions have delved into the urban practices of Beijing and the politics of public space in ‘Rebel Cities’ (2017), Yang Art Museum, Beijing; discussed labor, sociality and technology in ‘Bicycle Thieves’ (2019), Para Site, Hong Kong; and re-examined faith and spirituality as alternative knowledges in the ‘Up&Coming’ section within Gallery Weekend Beijing (2020). She was on the curatorial team of ‘Cosmopolis #1.5: Enlarged Intelligence’ in Chengdu and ‘Cosmopolis #2: rethinking the human’ at Centre Pompidou, Paris. When working at Guangdong Times Museum as Curator in 2020, Zhang founded Social Practice Lab (SPL), an ongoing project which initiates, supports, and curates socially engaged art projects and trans-disciplinary collaborations. Zhang lives in Guangzhou. She graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago studying art history and theory. She is also a member of Theater 44, a platform exploring collective creativity.