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Affordable Art Fair
Interviews - 20 March 2017

Meet the NYC Recent Graduates curator

Headshot of Recent Graduate Exhibition Curator Pamela Jean Tinnen

On LaGuardia and West Third Street in the West Village, there are thirteen ground-level windows displaying, among other things, the talent of Pamela Jean Tinnen. Pamela has been a curator at New York University’s Kimmel Windows since 2011, a job she describes as “always fun and never easy”. And alongside curating, she represents ceramic artist Young Sook Park and dabbles a little in photography herself.  

The recent graduate exhibition at the spring fair, "Objects In The Mirror | Are Closer Than They Appear", will feature three emerging artists that Pamela has chosen as her current ones-to-watch - so be sure to stop by and check them out! 

How would you describe the aesthetic you find yourself drawn to most? 

Humans are extremely complicated, and I’m a very inquisitive person. You get to know a lot about someone through the things they like - music, art, movies, books. I love the idea that artworks are like people. Personally, I love getting to the heart of the object. What does it mean to its creator? What does it mean to me? What does it mean to you? As a curator, I feel a responsibility to understand these nuances while honoring the intention of the artist, but I also know that perspectives are advanced when works are put in dialogue.

Zach Osif, Iraq V, 2007, 46x56in, acrylic on canvas

What elements do you look for in a space when putting together an exhibition?

The first thing I consider is the audience. Throughout my career, I've curated a lot of 'non-traditional' spaces (office buildings, university spaces, public art, etc.), so understanding the people who visit helps me understand how the art or artist might be viewed by the individuals coming through. The space is important, but the art and objects really decide how it will be filled. I'm just the mediator.

How do you choose venue specific artwork?  

Does it fit (literally and conceptually)? Does it work, meaning will the narrative be appropriately conveyed and received? Will people care? These are the questions I ask myself. It’s a game I play called, “Pay attention to this! Are you paying attention to this!?”

Azi Amiri, Eternal Embodiement, 14x15in, Mixed Media on Wood Panel

When did you first know you wanted to be a curator?

For as long as I can remember, I've really loved art. If you ever spend any time with my mother, she’ll tell you this story about when I was 3 years old. She and my father were choosing some artwork from a small gallery in Charleston, SC while we were on a family vacation. I very much wanted a small print for myself and begged them for it. Graciously, they did buy it for me. And, as she’ll tell you, I sat well-behaved through dinner, pacified by the ownership of my very first piece of art. It was the most content she’d ever seen me. The work, a delicate watercolor of a bird’s nest with two eggs, holds up. Thirty years later, it’s still hanging above my bed.

Chelsea Rae Klein, Two Spirit (What the Body Remembers 3), 2015, Digital Composite, Archival print on Hahnemuele Photo Rag, 24x16in unframed, 29x20in finished (Graphite Metal Frame)

What’s your ultimate movie?   

Oh jeez. I’m not a movie critic, it’s "Citizen Kane", no? Look, I know I’m supposed to say something really intellectual or art-house cool but, if I’m going to be real with you, can we just talk about how fabulous Benicio Del Torro was in "Excess Baggage" and how that soundtrack basically rocked my world when I was 15? I will watch that movie on repeat. 90’s nostalgia is trending now, right? I think I read that somewhere!



We love Pamela’s passion for art and can’t wait to see the recent graduate exhibition at the spring Affordable Art Fair NYC come to life!

The recent graduate exhibition is supported by Qapital

Qapital logo

Qapital is the leading personal finance app committed to helping everyday people achieve their goals. Whether you’re saving for must-haves or nice-to-haves, putting money aside doesn’t have to hurt.

Qapital works hard to bring together the best technology, design and innovative thinking to help users reach their goals, all while changing money habits for the better.

Much like Affordable Art Fair NYC, Qapital is committed to transparency and accessibility. Qapital is building the future of banking by creating transparent, accessible banking products that people need and want for themselves.

Qapital has supported The Recent Graduate Exhibition to inspire art lovers to become art collectors. Qapital will allow you to collect the art you love with a few easy steps. Want to learn more?  Visit qapital.com to get started!

Featured artworks:
Main image: Azi Amiri, I Am a Dreamer, 38”x 33”, Digital Print, Water Color, Acrylic on Paper, 2012
Zach Osif, Iraq V, 2007, 46x56in, acrylic on canvas
Azi Amiri, Eternal Embodiement, 14x15in, Mixed Media on Wood Panel
Chelsea Rae Klein, Two Spirit (What the Body Remembers 3), 2015, Digital Composite, Archival print on Hahnemuele Photo Rag, 24x16in unframed, 29x20in finished (Graphite Metal Frame)

Homepage image: Tim Hall, 'The Party(detail), Pigment print on paper, Limited edition, 38 x 55 cm, £750.00, Durlacher Contemporary. 

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