Valerie Cassel Oliver

Valerie Cassel Oliver.

Valerie Cassel Oliver is senior curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, where she has worked since 2000. She has organized numerous exhibitions that have earned national and international acclaim including Double Consciousness: Black Conceptual Art Since 1970 (2005) with Dr. Andrea Barnwell Brownlee; Cinema Remixed and Reloaded: Black Women Artists and the Moving Image (2007), which was nominated for an AICA Award and presented at the 11th Havana Biennial in 2012; the retrospective Benjamin Patterson: Born in the State of Flux/us (2010); and the 2011 survey, Donald Moffett: The Extravagant Vein (2011). Recently, she organized a posthumous survey of photographs by Alvin Baltrop entitled Dreams Into Glass. Another exhibition, Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art, open from November 15, 2012 to February 13, 2013, chronicled the history of black performance in the visual arts from the 1960s to the present. She’s a contributor to Pigeons on the Grass, Alas: Contemporary Curators Talk About the Field, published by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage in 2013. She served as a Pew Fellowships panelist in 2014.


Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib developed an exhibition plan to explore early works by experimental filmmaker Pat O’Neill, alongside a new commission.

What inspires our imaginations and catalyzes our creativity? As we bid farewell to 2014, we asked members of our cultural community to share something that inspired them this year.

The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia has a well-established reputation for distinguished performances of repertoire from the Baroque period through the 21st century.

We invited a group of artists and an organizational leader working to serve individuals with disabilities to discuss how art can offer new lenses through which to interpret people’s lived experiences.

Pew Fellow and former Philadelphia Poet Laureate Sonia Sanchez leads a poetry workshop exploring the history of Johnson House, Philadelphia’s only intact stop on the Underground Railroad.

Grants & Grantees

Alice Schell is a fiction writer and a 1994 Pew Fellow.

Boston-based guest curator Lucia Sanroman has invited Cohabitation Strategies, an innovative European urban design and performance group, to work with Mural Arts on a community-driven project.

The library that Benjamin Franklin founded—one of the first in the country—is the only University of Pennsylvania institution to have been in continuous operation since 1750.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Dushko Petrovich is a painter and writer who lives in New York. He is a co-founder of *Paper Monument *and teaches at Yale University.

“I curate for curious people. I curate for people who love some other field or subject the same way I love art. I curate for those people who need to be won over, but are willing.”

For the past four years, Meg Foley has been inserting unexpected performance into ordinary life with her 3:15 dance project, in which she creates a dance, wherever she is, at exactly 3:15 p.m.

Development of a preservation plan considered Fleisher Art Memorial’s historic buildings on Catharine Street in South Philadelphia.