Visiting Curators Series Mentorship Program Central Features Contemporary Art Albuquerque, NM February 2 – October 12, 2018 ?Independent curator Nancy Zastudil and Independent Curators International (ICI) have partnered to initiate the Visiting Curator Series, a biennial program which brings to Albuquerque a select group of curators to conduct studio visits with multiple local artists over the course of several months. In addition to studio visits, curators chose one artist to mentor for six months following ?their visit. In-person encounters are made possible through the duration of the program via a travel budget provided to each artist to visit their mentors in their home cities. Collaborations in Albuquerque and the curators hometowns are encouraged so that regional partnerships cab be activated or strengthened. Each curator gives a public talk about their practice, including the artists and the sociopolitical contexts that shape their work. The series raises awareness for the role of the curator, contributes to the advancement and dissemination of contemporary art discourse, making it accessible to a wider public, and sheds light on art movements and curatorial models that are still in formation. Curators also travel beyond Albuquerque during their time in New Mexico to help lay the groundwork for expanding the program in subsequent years. In addition to the biennial program, the VCS Mentorship serves participating artists and curators in building a network with one another. Following the studio visits, each of the VCS curators chooses one artist they will continue to mentor for the following six months (approximately). Artists may also gain recommendations from their curator-mentors for residency programs and other opportunities as part of this mentorship. In addition to regular conversations, in-person encounters are made possible through the duration of the program via a travel budget provided to each artist to visit their mentors in their home cities. The program is organized following a template from Independent Curators International’s successful partnership with Liverpool Biennial on the Associate Artists program. Information about VCS 2020 is forthcoming. VCS 2018 was funded in part by Common Field, Fulcrum Fund, and the FUNd at the Albuquerque Community Foundation.