NOLA/NYCBX Research Fellowship Spring 2024

Residency Begins: Monday, April 1 – Monday, May 31 2024 

Meet the Fellows of the Spring 2024 NOLA/NYC Residency

Mare Spanoudaki is a researcher, cultural manager and curator who works in broad arenas that relate to social movements, identity politics, folk and popular culture, institutional critique, communality, intimacy, archives and exhibition histories. Her education includes a BA in Communication, Media and Culture from Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, an MA in Cultural Policy and Management from City (University of London) and an MRes in Exhibition Studies from Central Saint Martins (University of the Arts London). She has worked for various cultural and art institutions in Europe, is actively involved with the production, communication and organization of cultural events, and has curated community projects, art publications and contemporary art exhibitions in Greece, the UK, and Germany, both online and offline. She is a fellow of the Start – Create Cultural Change program (2017–2018) for her work as a cultural manager, and an awardee of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Artist Fellowship Program (2019 – 2020) for her curatorial practice. In 2023 she was selected to participate at the UNIDEE residency program ‘Neither on Land not at Sea’ (Module IV) at the Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto in Biella, Italy. She has contributed to exhibition catalogues, contemporary art journals and art books. Since 2017, she is one half of the two-person female artistic/curatorial synergy, This is not a feminist project, whose work has been presented at the Thessaloniki Concert Hall (Thessaloniki), at the Eleusis European Capital of Culture (Elefsina), at the A-DASH space and at the National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) in Athens. She is also a founding member of the Union of Workers in Contemporary Art (GR), an amateur photographer and dj, and a collector of archival material and vinyls.

The conditions that define my approach as a curator, apart from the care for objects or subjects of art, are interdisciplinarity, intersectionality and reflexivity. I am interested in fostering exhibitions that not only function as sites of aesthetic engagement but also of social activation, dialogue and institutional critique. A priority of mine is to reflect on the urgencies of the present sociopolitical landscape in order to reimagine structures that have sustained long-standing exclusions based on gender, race, geography, ethnicity and sexuality. I believe in the disruptive and reparative potential of contemporary art and its capacity to encourage self-determination and togetherness. My practice and research are so far manifested in participatory and collaborative exhibitions and events, interactive digital platforms, social media profiles, and written material. Depending on the respective project, I have worked closely with cultural workers, artists, theorists, activists, communities, vulnerable social groups, and have presented artworks combined with archival material, oral histories as well as customs and rituals associated with my ancestry.”

Nikolas Ventourakis is a visual artist living and working between Athens and London. His practice situates in the threshold between art and document, in the attempt to interrogate the status of the photographic image.

Ventourakis completed an MA in Fine Art (Photography) with Merit at Central Saint Martins School of Arts (2013) and  is the recipient of the Deutsche Bank Award in Photography (2013). He was selected for Future Map (2013), Catlin Guide (2014) and Fresh Faced Wild Eyed (2014) in the Photographers Gallery as one of the top graduating artists in the UK. In 2015 he was a visiting artist at CalArts with a FULBRIGHT Artist Fellowship and is a fellow in New Museum’s IDEAS CITY. He was shortlisted for the MAC International and the Bar-Tur Award. Recently he has exhibited in FORMAT Festival, Derby; the NRW Forum, Düsseldorf, the Mediterranean Biennale of Young Artists 18, the parallel program of the Istanbul Biennale , Hors Pistes 14 at Centre Pompidou, and The Same River Twice, at the Benaki Museum. Since 2017 he is the artistic director of the Lucy Art Residency in Kavala, and is co-curator of the project “A Hollow Place” in Athens. He is a 2020 Stavros Niarchos Artworks Fellow and a 2021 and 2023 Onassis AIR resident artist. 

“Nikolas Ventourakis is a visual artist living and working between Athens and London. His practice situates in the threshold between art and document, in the attempt to interrogate the status of the photographic image. A quest that unfolds in the decisive years of the digital revolution, when a crucial overlap between producers and viewers seems to have reset all previous critical discourses. Central to Ventourakis’s visual work is a denial for a one-way resolution and an invitation to embrace an ambiguous imagery, where the photographic is not yet real, and the familiar is a projection of a mix of memory – stemming from both private and media experiences – with abstract thinking. Ventourakisfascination lies in our need for stories to be conclusive, which cannot but clash with the impossibility for apparent pictures to provide any evidence nor “objective truth”. This is why his work allows for bias and misinterpretation.”

Meet the Jury of the Spring 2024 NOLA/NYC Residency

We would like to thank our stellar jurors for their service in thoughtfully and patiently considering the applications!
Ron Bechet
Ron Bechet was born in New Orleans and lives there in the Gentilly neighborhood. He began his college career with an athletic scholarship at Mississippi State University but returned to New Orleans to study art at the University of New Orleans where he earned a B.A. degree. He continued his education earning a MFA degree in Painting from Yale University School of Art. He is known for intimate large-scale drawings and paintings. In addition to his studio practice, he has worked on several community-based projects using the arts in collaboration with other artists and community members. He is also the Victor H. Labat Professor of Art at Xavier University of Louisiana where he has been teaching for more than twenty years.
Danai Giannoglou / Image by Irena Haiduk

Danai Giannoglou (Inaugural Curatorial Fellow of NOLA/NYC Research Fellowship) is a curator, writer and editor currently living and working independently between Athens and Amsterdam. Danai is the co-founder and curator of Enterprise Projects, a project space in Athens that has been functioning independently and periodically since September 2015, as well as the editor of Enterprise Projects Journal, a publishing initiative by Enterprise Projects in the form of a bilingual online publication of newly commissioned theoretical and research essays.

Russell Lord

Russell Lord is a writer and curator working in the field of photography and the history of art. He received a B.A. in art history and French from James Madison University in 2000, and an M.Phil. in art history from The Graduate Center of the City University of New York in 2009. He is currently the Director of Exhibitions and Curatorial Initiatives at the American Federation of Arts in New York City. Previously he served as the Freeman Family Curator of Photographs, Prints, and Drawings at the New Orleans Museum of Art, a position he held from October 2011 to April 2023 where he organized dozens of exhibitions on historic and contemporary photographs, prints, and drawings, working with artists such as Willie Birch, Edward Burtynsky, Lee Friedlander, Dawn DeDeaux, Vera Lutter, and increased the museum’s photography collection by over 30%, bringing the collection’s total to around 12,000 works. Along with museum Director Susan M. Taylor, Lord helped organize the creation and endowment in 2013 of the A. Charlotte Mann and Joshua Pailet Gallery, a gallery dedicated to photographic works on paper. Lord serves on the advisory board of The Gordon Parks Foundation, and is an at-large board member of the New Orleans Photo Alliance.