Common Ground#638

Museum Metamorphosis

Featuring nico wheadon, Ryan Dennis, Ruby Lerner, Mario Gooden, and Thyrza Nichols Goodeve


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Curator and author nico wheadon, curator Ryan Dennis, arts executive Ruby Lerner, and architect Mario Gooden join Rail Editor-at-Large Thyrza Nichols Goodeve for a conversation. We conclude with a poetry reading by Sarah Sophia Yanni.

In this talk

Get your copy of Museum Metamorphosis: Cultivating Change Through Cultural Citizenship by nico wheadon (Rowman & Littlefield, 2022)→

Ryan Dennis

A photo of Ryan Dennis
Chief curator and artistic director of the Center for Art & Public Exchange (CAPE) at the Mississippi Museum of Art Ryan Dennis is deeply interested in the intersection of art and social justice while creating equitable opportunities for artists to thrive in their work. Ryan previously served as the Curator and Programs Director at Project Row Houses where her work focused on African American contemporary art with a particular emphasis on socially engaged practices, site-specific projects, public interventions and the development of public-facing programs for adults and youth.

Mario Gooden

Black and white photo of Mario Gooden
Architect Mario Gooden is Professor of Professional Practice, Interim Director of the MArch Program, Sequence Director for Advanced Architecture Studios, and Co-Director of the Global Africa Lab at Columbia GSAPP, an innovative research initiative that explores the spatial topologies of the African continent and its diaspora. Gooden is also the Director of Mario Gooden Studio: Architecture + Design, a transdisciplinary practice dedicated to the design and exploration of architecture and its relationships to culture and knowledge. His practice merges architectural design with landscape, urbanism, history, cultural production and performance. Gooden received a Masters of Architecture degree from Columbia University in 1990 and is a recipient of the McKim Prize, among other recognitions.

Ruby Lerner

A photo of Ruby Lerner
Ruby Lerner is the founding Executive Director of Creative Capital, an innovative arts foundation that adapts venture capital concepts to support individual artists. Under her leadership, Creative Capital committed more than $40 million in financial and advisory support to 511 projects representing 642 artists. This commitment helped those artists leverage nearly $100 million in additional support. Since June 2016, Lerner has pursued consulting work and independent research. She recently joined the Advisory Boards of New INC and Eyebeam, and was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

nico wheadon

A photo of Nico Wheadon
Based in New Haven, CT, nico wheadon is an independent arts consultant, curator, educator, and writer She is also founder and principal of bldg fund, LLC; a visiting critic at the Yale School of Art; and a board member at The National Academy of Design, and the Arts Council of Greater New Haven. An advocate for BIPOC and womxn artists in all endeavors, she uses her myriad platforms to deepen the canon of contemporary art, whilst cultivating an engaged community of practice. nico has recently curated exhibitions at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art and Welancora Gallery, among others. She is a contributing writer to Artnet News, The Brooklyn Rail, and author of Museum Metamorphosis: Cultivating Change Through Cultural Citizenship.

Thyrza Nichols Goodeve

Thyrza Nichols Goodeve
Thyrza Nichols Goodeve is a writer, editor, and educator who lives in Brooklyn Heights. She was Senior Art Editor at the Rail from 2017 to 2019 and is currently an Editor-at-Large.

The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poetry reading, and we’re fortunate to have Sarah Sophia Yanni reading.

Sarah Sophia Yanni

A photo of Sarah Sophia Yanni
Mexican-Egyptian writer, researcher & educator Sarah Sophia Yanni currently serves as Managing Editor of multidisciplinary arts journal TQR. She was a Finalist for BOMB Magazine’s 2020 Poetry Contest, Poetry Online’s 2021 Launch Prize, the Hayden’s Ferry Review Inaugural Poetry Contest, & the 2022 Letras Latinas Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize. From 2020-2021, she was the REEF Artist-in-Residence, through which she created persistence&rupture, a poetry and research project on postcolonial friendship in collaboration with Christine Imperial. Her zines & text installations have been exhibited at Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair, Acid Free Art Book Fair, the REEF DTLA, Subliminal Projects Gallery, Brand Library & Art Center, & at CalArts’ LatinFest & SWANA Group Show.

❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for American Art for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.