Curatorial Opportunities

Executive Director, Peggy Sivert Zask, interview by Alyssa Wynne

aw:  SoLA Contemporary offers various programs for individuals to explore art through workshops, residences, and guest curating. As a former art teacher and also as an artist and curator, what do you hope to emphasize in the curatorial program? What do you hope will be the result of this program for the participants? 

What do we Emphasize in Guest Curatorial program?

Curatorial philosophy:

  • Inclusion (Artists and Curators) Diversity of age, gender, race, concept
  • Broad Perspective: (Programming) Diverse expression of contemporary culture
  • Collaboration: Guest Curator and Director learn through interaction
  • Professional: SoLA supports presentation to attract / provoke viewers to become immersed in the curatorial concept.

Result for Participants:  Guest curator will have opportunity to realize a personal curatorial vision in a supportive environment and professional setting.

aw: How is the process for hosting a curator different from hosting an artist and/or a workshop? How are they all similar?

Process and responsibilities for Guest Curator

Guest curators are supported by director as they take on the responsibility for the presentation of a thoughtful exhibition including:

  • Initial Curatorial Proposal
  • Communication with the artists and selection of Art work
  • Installation Planning; Design and Layout of Art in Gallery
  • Curatorial Statement
  • Promotional Involvement

For Guest Artists, the responsibilities are in the studio

To create a body of work that is cohesive.  To be able to articulate the relevance and historical connection behind the creation of the work.  To present quality photographs of the art work and reference their past and future creative accomplishments.

And we invite Guest Artists to give back…

We invite exhibiting artists to participate in art education by volunteering to lead an afternoon workshop related to their art process during the run of the exhibition as part of our non-profit charity program for community outreach.

Participants in the workshops can be any age or level of ability and will be offered instruction and freedom to create with materials provided.

The Differences between guest Curatorial and guest Artist?

Differences:  Guest Curator has higher degree of responsibility to artist and gallery.   Also more time is spent inside Gallery.  Guest Artists spend more time in the studio.

Similarities:   Collaboration, Diversity through inclusion / Creativity / responsibility

What inspired you to create this opportunity for guest curators and when did it first begin?

Guest curating began when I transformed the Zask Gallery into a non-profit organization (South Bay Contemporary, now SoLA Contemporary) and a great deal of additional work was added in order to develop the structure of the organization.  After 15 years of curating, I knew a lot of good artists that I could turn to for help in curating and I knew they would do the job with focus and integrity and so the guest curator program evolved…

How has hosting curators helped SoLA so far and what more do you anticipate to come from the program? (please refer to the current show as an example)

Hosting guest curators has helped us meet our mission of art education and curatorial standards for inclusion and diversity.

The guests have added new strategies to our existing ways of operating It has also given us more time to focus on other related programs.

Nicholette Kominos, current guest curator,  focused on spending time to understand her three selected artists by individual studio visits.  Her understanding of their aesthetic and philosophical concepts resulted in her ability to put together complementary art works, write clearly about the work and design the installation to help the viewer understand the connections and creative processes of the three artists.

To Come?

Continue to expand through inclusion and diversity / seek more funding thorough grants and contributions.

Nicholette Kominos, curator / Kristan Marvell, artist

“Tender Ground”: Pamela Smith Hudson and Kristan Marvell. Curated by Nicholette Kominos











Curatorial Proposal

Submit the following to:  info@solacontemporary.org

Subject line: “Curatorial”

1. Contact information

  • Name
  • Mailing Address
  • Email Address
  • Cell Phone

2. Curatorial Proposal

  • One page maximum (Please include how your proposed project connects to contemporary culture).

3. Visual Materials

  • List of potential artists
  • Sample photos of artists’ work by jpg (no larger than 1 mb)
  • Attach Curator’s  Bio / CV or Link to Website


SoLA Contemporary / 3718 West Slauson Avenue / Los Angeles, CA, 90043

www.solacontemporary.org  /  310 429 0973  / info@solacontemporary.org

Elizabeth Kniesley

Elizabeth Kniesley conceptual design for “Transforming Feminisms” 2014

Peggy Zask, Director with Margaret Lazzari, Guest Curator: "Visualizations in Art and Science"

Margaret Lazzari, Guest Curator: “Visualizations in Art and Science” 2015

James Macdevitt, guest curator,  “Via Negativa” 2015