Nicole J. Caruth Named New Artistic Director of McColl Center

McColl Center for Art + Innovation has named Nicole J. Caruth as its Artistic Director, effective December 1, 2016.

“I’m thrilled to be joining McColl Center,” said Caruth. “The Center has a reputation for supporting brilliant artists through its residency program, and I have deeply admired the organization’s commitment to engaging local communities. I feel fortunate to continue this work in collaboration with the staff and to lead McColl Center’s artistic direction, contributing to Charlotte and the field at large.”

With over fifteen years of proven experience as a writer and curator of contemporary art, Caruth comes to McColl Center from The Union for Contemporary Art in Omaha, Nebraska. As the Director of Pedagogy and Public Practice, she is strategist and steward of the organization's commitment to social justice, ensuring its reflection in all new and existing programs.

Caruth has organized numerous national exhibitions, including, most recently, The Grace Jones Project at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, which features works from some of today's leading contemporary artists, including Wangechi Mutu, Simone Leigh, Lyle Ashton Harris, Jacolby Satterwhite, and McColl Center Alumna Artist Heather Hart. Her recent curatorial projects also include Crossroad: A Social Sculpture by the New York-based artist Derrick Adams and, in 2015, Power of People, Power of Place by the Los Angeles-based collective Fallen Fruit. In 2012, Caruth founded With Food in Mind, a nonprofit project for developing art-based approaches to childhood obesity and nutrition disparities in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color. Her extensive writing about food in contemporary art has earned her recognition as a leading voice on the subject.

Prior to her work at The Union, Caruth held positions at ART21, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, and Brooklyn Museum. She has contributed to Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, Gastronomica, Public Art Review, Walker Art Center Magazine, the Phaidon Press volumes Vitamin Green and Vitamin D2, and exhibition catalogues published by the Joan Mitchell Foundation and The Studio Museum in Harlem. A native of the California Bay Area, Caruth earned her bachelor's degree in art history at San Francisco State University, and her master's degree at the Bard College Center for Curatorial Studies.

“We are very excited to have Nicole join our staff at McColl Center,” said Suzanne Fetscher, President + CEO of McColl Center for Art + Innovation. “Her deep knowledge of contemporary artists and distinct curatorial vision will lead the Center in bold new creative directions. Nicole brings a personal and professional commitment to social engagement that aligns with McColl Center’s mission of advancing contemporary art and community.”

Caruth’s selection is the result of a national search by McColl Center leadership, the Board of Directors, and the National Advisory Board. The search also included guidance from Alumni Artists-in-Residence, community partners, and leaders from creative and civic sectors in Charlotte.

"Nicole brings a significant understanding of contemporary art and artistic practices to McColl Center,” said Isaac Payne, Alumnus Artist and member of the Board of Directors of McColl Center for Art + Innovation. “She will be an excellent fit with McColl Center’s intent of making artists, and their art and ideas, more broadly accessible to the public. McColl Center and Charlotte will both benefit greatly from her curation of residencies, exhibitions, and programs.”


For more info, contact Armando Bellmas, Director or Marketing + Communications at McColl Center for Art + Innovation, at 704-944-8235 or
Photo by Dana Damewood.

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Download photo of Nicole J. Caruth (Credit: Dana Damewood).