Emerson College has selected Dr. Leonie Bradbury as Foster Chair in Contemporary Art Theory and Distinguished Curator-in-Residence, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). She began her tenure in May 2019.
An authority on both the creative and scholarly aspects of contemporary art, Dr. Bradbury has more than 15 years of experience in public programming, developing new work, creating compelling and innovative exhibitions, and promoting artists as thought leaders. She most recently served as the inaugural Director of Art and Creative Initiatives at HUBweek, a Boston-based innovation festival celebrating the intersection and social impact of art, science, and technology. In this role, she managed two large outdoor public exhibitions, developed a robust performing arts program, recruited and collaborated with artists and art organizations, and bolstered regional, national, and international connections to promote opportunities for partnership and sponsorship. Prior to her time with HUBweek, Dr. Bradbury served as the Director and Curator of the Galleries at Montserrat College of Art—a role she held for 11 years. She also taught critical and professional practice as part of the senior fine art capstone experience, as well as several business of art classes. Additionally, Dr. Bradbury spent several years as the Assistant Curator of Interpretation at the George Eastman Museum of Photography and Film.
An accomplished exhibitor and curator, Dr. Bradbury’s exhibits have been displayed in the Aids Action Committee’s ARTcetera auction, Barrington Center for the Arts at Gordon College, Boston Sculptors Gallery, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Her exhibitions have received numerous awards such as the New England Art Award, Boston Art Award, and Association of International Art Critics Award, including second place in 2006 and first place in 2008. In addition to writing a multitude of essays, texts, and catalogues, Dr. Bradbury is an experienced conference organizer and public speaker, lending her talents to the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries, College Art Association, New England Museum Association, Emmanuel College, and Innovation Festival in Seoul. Dr. Bradbury holds a bachelor of arts degree in the history of art from the University of Minnesota, a master of arts degree in the history of art: 20th century art, theory, and criticism from Boston University, and a doctorate of philosophy in philosophy, aesthetics, and art theory from the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts.
“Dr. Bradbury’s encyclopedic knowledge of contemporary media art makes her the ideal choice for the Foster Chair in Contemporary Art Theory and Practice and Distinguished Curator-in-Residence at Emerson,” said Rob Sabal, Dean of the School of the Arts. “Leonie is committed to showcasing work from contemporary artists who have been underrepresented in commercial galleries and venues—artists who will excite residents of Boston and inspire young media artists studying at the College. Along with trailblazing exhibitions in the Emerson’s Media Art Gallery, Leonie imagines an ambitious public art initiative, one that leverages Emerson’s location in the heart of Boston to activate public spaces and highlight the rich history of our community. Leonie brings warmth, good humor, and a collaborative spirit to the job…we couldn’t be happier that she joined our community.”
“I’m absolutely delighted and honored to be joining the faculty at Emerson College,” said Ms. Bradbury. “This position combines my love of teaching critical discourse and passion for working with living artists with curating emergent art forms, while simultaneously allowing me to continue to produce work in the public realm. I so look forward to getting to know the Emerson community, in particular the students.”
“ACG would like to congratulate Emerson College on selecting Dr. Leonie Bradbury as the new Foster Chair in Contemporary Art Theory and Distinguished Curator-in-Residence,” said ACG Vice President Wyona Lynch-McWhite. “Dr. Bradbury is an exceptional curator with the visionary mind, leadership skills, and public art program experience necessary to inspire students, collaborate with faculty, and curate dynamic art exhibitions. We wish her all the best as she shares her knowledge, awareness, and appreciation of contemporary art.”