The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts is pleased to announce the election of four new board members; Ryan N. Dennis, Chief Curator and Artistic Director of Mississippi Museum of Art’s Center for Art and Public Exchange; Guadalupe Maravilla, transdisciplinary artist, choreographer, and healer; Sarah Conley Odenkirk, Partner, Cowan, DeBates, Abrahams & Sheppard, LLP; and Paula Volent, Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, Rockefeller University.
As members of the Warhol Foundation’s leadership, they join a diverse group of artists, curators, museum directors, scholars, and arts professionals from across the country whose knowledge and expertise ensure the Foundation is responsive to the needs of artists and the organizations who support them.
“We are extremely fortunate to welcome these four accomplished individuals to the Foundation’s board,” says Joel Wachs, President of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, “They have made exceptional achievements in their fields and will significantly contribute to the Foundation’s role as a leader in supporting artists and artist-centered organizations.”
Ryan N. Dennis is the Chief Curator and Artistic Director of the Center for Art & Public Exchange (CAPE) at the Mississippi Museum of Art. She is the co-curator of the critically acclaimed exhibition A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration, currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum of Art and traveling nation-wide through 2024. Prior to joining the MMA, she served as the Curator and Programs Director at Project Row Houses in Houston. Also, she led the creation of the 2:2:2 Exchange Residency Program with the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago and established Project/Site, a commission-based public art program. In 2017, she launched the PRH Fellowship with the Center for Art and Social Engagement at the University of Houston’s Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts. Dennis earned a Master’s degree in Arts and Cultural Management from Pratt Institute. Her writings have appeared in many online and print publications, nationally and internationally, and she has been a visiting lecturer, critic, and teacher at several art schools and institutions.
Guadalupe Maravilla is a transdisciplinary visual artist, choreographer, and healer. Drawing on his experiences as an unaccompanied, undocumented child in the US and his bout with illness, Maravilla grounds his practice in the historical and contemporary contexts belonging to the undocumented and cancer communities. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, Maravilla’s work is in the permanent collections of major museums in the USA and abroad. He has performed and presented his work internationally at museums and cultural institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Art of El Salvador, among others. A forthcoming commissioned installation, Mariposa Relámpago, will open at the ICA Boston in May 2023. Maravilla’s awards and fellowships include: 2021 Joan Mitchell Fellowship, LatinX Fellowship 2021, Lise Wilhelmsen Art award 2021, Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship 2019, Soros Fellowship: Art Migration and Public Space 2019, Map fund 2019, Franklin Furnace 2018, Art Matters Fellowship 2017, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship 2018, Creative Capital Grant 2016, Joan Mitchell Emerging Artist Grant 2016, Art Matters Grant 2013, Dedalus Foundation Grant 2013 and The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation Award 2003.
Sarah Conley Odenkirk is a partner at Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard, LLP, where she co-heads the Art Law practice group. Her focus is on fine art and emerging technologies, and she advises on matters pertaining to navigating the art market, business transactions, intellectual property, blockchain, public policy, and strategic planning. Previously, Sarah served as the Associate Director for Sotheby’s Institute of Art’s Art Business program at Claremont Graduate University where she was instrumental in curriculum development, management of adjunct faculty, administering of internship programs, and taught courses including Legal Foundations for the Creative Industries (Art Law); Cultural Property and Restitution; International Transactions; and Public Art.
Paula Volent is Vice President and Chief Investment Officer at The Rockefeller University where she oversees and manages the University’s endowment. Prior to her current position she was the Chief Investment Officer and Senior Vice President at Bowdoin College, and a Senior Associate at the Yale University endowment under the leadership of David Swensen. Ms. Volent has a BA from the University of New Hampshire; a master’s degree in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University; a Certificate in Conservation from the Conservation Center at NYU, with a specialization in the conservation of works of art on paper; and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. Prior to focusing on endowment management, she worked as a paper conservator at several US institutions. Ms. Volent was named one of the “100 Most Influential Women in U.S. Finance” by Barron’s in 2020.
The Foundation is honored to welcome this inspiring group of people to the board of directors. Their commitment to artists and accomplishments in their field will make an invaluable contribution to the important work of the foundation.
“The Warhol Foundation aims to support the full range of artistic activity in America—from exhibitions at major museums to neighborhood projects by artist collectives. Arts writers, through the range and specialization of their individual interests, touch upon all of this activity—illuminating and interrogating it and bringing it into conversation with the public. Support for artists is not complete without support for the circulation and serious consideration of their ideas. The Arts Writers Grant program keeps artists at the center of cultural dialogue and debate—in our opinion, right where they belong.”