Arthouse: Unveiling a new curator

Elizabeth Dunbar joins Arthouse as its first full-time curator in the organization's 95-year history

Arthouse: Unveiling a new curator

Arthouse has been serving the visual arts in Texas for some 95 years now, but it's about to get something it's never had before: a full-time curator on staff. While the statewide organization has certainly employed curators in the past – as evidenced by the sterling job that Regine Basha has been doing for the past three years – they've worked on only an adjunct or consulting basis. Now, one is coming aboard who'll be pulling down 40 hours a week at the Jones Center for Contemporary Art. (Although, who in the arts ever works just 40 hours a week?) Her name is Elizabeth Dunbar, and she comes to Austin from the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Mo., where she has spent the past three years as curator and garnered national attention for her development of shows with emerging and midcareer artists – among them a few names familiar to Texans and Arthouse patrons, such as Dallas photographer Nic Nicosia, San Antonio installation artist Dario Robleto, and Austin-based film artists Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler.

"Elizabeth has a phenomenal record of organizing exhibitions of excellence focusing on emerging artists," Arthouse Executive Director Sue Graze stated in a press release. "Her curatorial work is nationally recognized and sets the bar very high for us. Arthouse looks forward to bringing her expertise and community spirit to Central Texas."

That trip will be something of a homecoming for Dunbar, who's a native of the Lone Star State and a graduate of Texas Tech. "Having grown up in Texas, I am thrilled to be returning to my home state and especially to the unlimited opportunities that await at Arthouse," she says. "In recent years, Austin has emerged as one of the most vital, forward-thinking, and ambitious centers for contemporary visual arts in the region and in large part thanks to Arthouse's dedication to experimentation. I am excited to become an active member of this energetic community and to help Arthouse continue its efforts in stimulating discussions about contemporary art and to expand the institution's reach nationally and internationally."

Dunbar hopes to build on Arthouse's public programming with more gallery talks, symposia, and lectures and to develop more programs and events that will promote artists in Austin and around Texas. She starts work on April 1. Regine Basha will continue as consulting curator through March.

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Arthouse, Texas Fine Arts Association, Elizabeth Dunbar, Regine Basha, Sue Graze

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