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Posted on May 26, 2020



(NEW YORK, NY — May 19th) —  Independent Curators International (ICI) is proud to announce the appointment of seven new board members: Adam AbdallaNeil BarclayLauren KellyCindy LivingstonAngel OteroCarol Salmanson, and Christopher Wise. ICI’s board expansion adds a broad range of expertise to the organization’s leadership, and will strengthen its commitment to supporting the needs of a diverse network of curators and art workers at a time when the art world is facing unprecedented challenges.

During quarantine, ICI has mobilized to launch various philanthropic and content-related initiatives based on conversations with ICI’s network of curators, artists, and art spaces in 70 countries. ICI has commissioned reports and oral history projects from independent curators to bear witness and gain critical perspectives on the impact of the crisis on creative communities around the world; produced online seminars to encourage the sharing of resources and knowledge among curators and prepare for the important cultural rebuilding work ahead; and made online versions of ICI exhibitions, such as The Paper Sculpture Manual, available to the public and to all art spaces free of charge.

Most recently, ICI joined the Serpentine Galleries in London, Kaldor Public Art Projects in Sydney, and Google Arts & Culture to reactivate do it, the exhibition curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist. ICI launched do it (home), a selection of artists’ instructions, especially suited to be realized from home and shared through ICI’s international network of collaborators.

Renaud Proch, ICI’s Executive & Artistic Director, said, “ICI’s view that curators are the leaders and organizers of their arts communities makes our work in support of their practice during these difficult times even more important. An expanded ICI board of trustees plays a crucial role in supporting the staff and championing international, collaborative, responsive programs.”

Belinda Buck Kielland, ICI’s Board President, said, “We are honored to have added over the past year such incredible talent to the board, and grateful for their inspiring advice and meaningful actions that show their deep commitment to ICI’s mission and the organization’s future.”

ICI invites the public to a virtual event to toast the new trustees on Wednesday, June 3, 5-6pm, with more information found on https://curatorsintl.org/events/support-toast-do-it.


Adam Abdalla
Adam Abdalla has been actively collaborating with and advising globally recognized museums, foundations, art galleries, publications, neighborhoods, hotels, and luxury brands for a decade, with a strong focus on communications, strategic marketing and program ideation and execution. Before founding Cultural Counsel, he served as Senior Vice President at Nadine Johnson & Associates for over 5 years, where he formally founded their Arts & Culture department. He currently serves as a Board Member of the New Art Dealers Alliance and Dallas Contemporary. Offering strategic advising to principals in both art and business, he has developed strong relationships with some of the best creative talent in the world, ranging from fine artists and curators to creative directors and branding agencies. He has launched successful global PR campaigns for the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, LUMA Foundation, Creative Time, Art 21, Museo Jumex, United States Artists, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, the New Art Dealers Alliance and countless others.

Neil Barclay
In January of 2019 Barclay was selected to lead the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit as its president and CEO. A former attorney, Barclay was most recently executive director and CEO of the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) in New Orleans. During his five-year tenure, the institution’s budget increased by more than 40 percent including lead gifts from the nation’s major art philanthropists. Barclay’s experience also includes seven years of service as associate director of the Performing Arts Center for the University of Texas at Austin and service as founding president and CEO of Pittsburgh, Pa.‘s August Wilson Center. Additionally, he was instrumental in capital development planning for Los Angeles’ Vision Theater, originally built by Howard Hughes for the city. Barclay has demonstrated his personal commitment to art and culture as a peer panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, the Gerbode Foundation and the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. A leading national presenter of contemporary performing and visual arts, Barclay serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the regional arts organization South Arts. He is currently a member of the College of Communications and Fine Arts Advisory Board for Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, his undergraduate and law school alma mater.

Lauren Kelly
Lauren Kelly, born in England and raised in New York City, has worked at Sean Kelly Gallery since 2006. As Partner at Sean Kelly Gallery, Kelly is principally involved in artist liaison and sales and works with a number of the gallery’s artists, most prominently with Marina Abramović, Julian Charrière, Jose Davila, Hugo McCloud and Sam Moyer. She has been heavily involved in expanding the gallery’s artist roster and was instrumental in the addition of Jose Dávila, Peter Liversidge, Hugo McCloud and Sam Moyer. Kelly has travelled to Havana, Cuba extensively and recently organized the first solo US exhibitions of Diana Fonseca Quiñones and Alejandro Campins. She has also developed the gallery’s partnerships with arts organizations worldwide, facilitating projects such as the production of Güiro, the Los Carpinteros Art Bar installation that was produced in conjunction with Absolut Art at Art Basel Miami Beach. Kelly is a graduate of Smith College with a degree in Art History, she also studied at Goldsmith’s College, London. She currently resides in Brooklyn.

Cindy Livingston
Cindy Livingston is the retired CEO of Sequel AG, the global licensee of Guess and GC Watches. She was the CEO of that company from 1998-2016, conducting business in more than 100 countries around the world.  Under her global oversight, she was instrumental in starting Time to Give, the charitable arm of the company that raised more than $8 million for 15 children’s charities around the world. She currently is a member of the Board of Directors of Bravado Designs, a lingerie company based in Toronto, Canada, and the Board of Directors of Guess Inc., based in Los Angeles. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, she is a graduate of Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business with degrees in marketing and advertising. She previously held jobs as Vice President of Accessories and Cosmetics for the Ohio Division of Federated Department Stores.

Angel Otero
Angel Otero is a visual artist best known for his process-based paintings. Otero received his MFA in 2009 and his BFA in 2007 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Solo exhibitions of his work have been organized at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York (2017); Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, TX (2016); Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain (2015); SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, GA (2013); and Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh, NC (2012). Select groups exhibitions and biennials featuring his work include Inherent Structure, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH (2018); Surface Area, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2016); Nexo / Nexus: Latin American Connections in the Midwest, DePaul Art Museum, Chicago (2016); 6th Prague Biennale (2013); El Museo Bienal The [S] Files, El Museo del Barrio, New York (2011) and Queens International 2012: Three Points Make a Triangle, Queens Museum, New York (2012), among others. Otero is the recipient of the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Visual Arts. His work can be found in collections at DePaul University Museum, Chicago; Istanbul Modern, Istanbul; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS; the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC; and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA.

Carol Salmanson
Carol Salmanson is an artist working with light to create installations, sculptures, and wall pieces, as well as a painter. She received a B.S. in Biological Psychology from Carnegie-Mellon University and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. She attended the Arts Students League, the School of Visual Arts, and the National Academy of Fine Arts as an Abbey Mural Workshop Fellow. She is currently an Artist Fellow at the National Arts Club. Salmanson has been the subject of numerous other solo, two-person, and group shows. Public art projects include Water Bubbles, an installation in twenty windows of the abandoned landmark Constructivist White Tower in Yekaterinburg, Russia, and other window installations throughout New York City. Salmanson also curated The Language of Painting at Lesley Heller Workspace, and co-curated Tonal Shifts at Station Independent Projects. A native of Providence, Rhode Island, Salmanson lives and works in New York City.

Christopher Wise
Christopher Wise has over fifteen years’ experience managing large and complex fine art operations. As Vice President at DeWitt Stern | Risk Strategies, Wise is responsible for expanding DeWitt Stern’s practice with a broad spectrum of fine art clients including, private collections, galleries, museums, artists and estates and foundations. Prior to joining DeWitt Stern Wise was Executive Vice President at UOVO. He played a key role on the leadership team launching a globally recognized fine art storage firm that developed over 500,000 SF of real estate, a specialized transportation company with a fleet of vehicles, nearly 100 employees, and the management of over $2B customer owned artwork. Wise developed the risk management program for UOVO, including contracts, terms of service and the placement of insurance coverages. Prior to UOVO, Wise was director and co-founder of SD Fine Art Storage, an owner and developer of fine art storage properties in New York City. Mr. Wise is a frequent speaker at professional organizations and in the press, including American Alliance of Museums (AAM), Association of Registrars & Collection Specialists (ARCS), The Aspen Institute of Artist-Endowed Foundation Initiative (AEFI), The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, among others. He graduated with honors from Knox College with a dual degree in Studio Art and English Literature.

Kaitlin Phillips
Account Executive, Cultural Counsel

Image Caption: Clockwise from top left: Adam Abdalla; Neil Barclay; Lauren Kelly (photo by Sarah Muehlbauer); Christopher Wise; Carol Salmanson; Angel Otero (photo by Javier Romero); Cindy Livingston.