Ryan N. Dennis is Senior Curator and Director of Public Initiatives at the Contemporary Art Museum Houston (CAMH). Prior to joining CAMH, she served as Chief Curator and Artistic Director of the Center for Art & Public Exchange (CAPE) at the Mississippi Museum of Art were she organized projects that include Leonardo Drew’s City in the Garden (2020), Betye Saar: Call & Response (2021), Dusti Bonge: Piercing the Inner Wall (2021) and organized CAPE Artist in Resident Shani Peter’s Collective Care for Black Mothers and Caretakers with the local Jackson community. 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 Baltimore Museum of Art and traveling nation-wide through 2024. She was Curator and Programs Director at Project Row Houses (PRH) in Houston, where she worked with over 100 BIPOC artists to exhibit their work in the shot-gun houses, 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 temporary, site-specific, 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 her master’s degree in Arts and Cultural Management from Pratt Institute with a focus in Curatorial Practice. Her writings have appeared in online and print catalogs, journals and publications nationally and internationally. She has been a visiting lecturer and critic at a number of art schools and institutions and has taught courses on community-based practices and contemporary art at the University of Houston. Most recently she was the co-curator of the 2021 TX Biennial titled A New Landscape, A Possible Horizon (2021) and the guest art editor for Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts.
Philip Johnson commissioned Warhol to make a large-scale work for the exterior for his pavilion for the New York World’s Fair, along with other artists. Warhol’s provocative response, a multiple portrait of ‘Most Wanted Men’ was installed a few days before the opening but was deems too inflammatory and contrary to the upbeat image of the World’s Fair and the work was taken down.