Philadelphia curator looks over underground museum

Meg Only Will Join underground museum Co-Head of the Museum in Los Angeles as Director and Curator, with Director and Chief Operating Officer Christina Pacheco.

Only joins the museum Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, where she was a curator. Pacheco has been Co-Interim Director and Chief Operating Officer since 2020, and has served on the Underground Museum’s board since 2015.

“The co-leader model feels like the future,” Only said in a recent phone interview. “UM has always been a collective, so it’s natural to work collaboratively.”

In 2012, artists Noah and Karon Davis founded the Underground Museum in four converted storefronts in the Arlington Heights neighborhood of central Los Angeles. Three years later, Noah Davis Died. During its existence, the museum has been A gathering place for the neighborhood and a destination for black art. Only said he is excited to continue the couple’s legacy.

“The curatorial practice was one of the things that attracted me to UM,” Onley said. “The way Noah was creating shows that suit me, shows that were big and bold and not constrained.”

Onley has been interested in running and representation throughout her career. She is the creator of the Black Visual Archive, a website dedicated to writing about Black visual culture. he is also the first person win figure skating prizes, which is awarded to Black curators, artists, and scholars.

“What Noah was doing was really taking a black lens not only at black art, but at all kinds of different arts,” Onley said. “For me, going forward at UM, I want to ask: What does a black lens look like in different bodies of work of all kinds, not just black American artists?”

Only started work on 1st December. She said that one of her first priorities would be to spend time in Arlington Heights.

“I look forward to visiting the neighborhood and see how UM fits in,” Only said. “Who are the visitors to the museum, but who are the owners of the shops?”

Pacheco noted the magic of the place and the importance of connection “even when those things seem lacking in the wider world,” she said in a statement. “I hope our museum continues to demonstrate the power of art.”

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