Elizabeth Armstrong

Elizabeth Armstrong is an independent curator based in Palm Springs, California. From 2014 to 2018 she was Director of the Palm Springs Art Museum (PSAM); from 2009 to 2014 she was Curator of Contemporary Art at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Mia) where she started the Center for Alternative Museum Practice (CAMP). Prior to her Mia post, she served as Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport, California (20002008). She was also a Curator at the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art (19962000) and the Walker Art Center (19831996). Armstrong is committed to innovative artists and experimental museum practices. With a long track record of acclaimed exhibitions and books, and has received awards from the American Association of Museum Curators (AAMC) for, among others, Birth of the Cool: California Art, Design, and Culture at Midcentury; and from the International Association of Art Critics for In The Spirit of Fluxus. She was in the first group of U.S. curators selected to participate in the Center for Curatorial Leadership in 2007. Armstrong earned her M.A. in the History of Art from the University of California, Berkeley, and holds a B.A. in Cultural Studies from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Connie Butler

Connie Butler is the Chief Curator at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles where, since 2013, she has organized numerous exhibitions including the biennial of Los Angeles artists Made in LA (2014), Mark Bradford: Scorched Earth (2015), Marisa Merz: The Sky Is a Great Space (2017) and Lari Pittman: Declaration of Independence (2019). She also co-curated Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions (2018), organized with The Museum of Modern Art and travelled to the Hammer Museum in 2018, and Witch Hunt, a collaboration with ICA LA which closed in January 2022. From 2006 – 2013 she was the Robert Lehman Foundation Chief Curator of Drawings at The Museum of Modern Art, New York where she co-curated Lygia Clark: The Abandonment of Art, 1948 – 1988 (2014), the artist’s first retrospective in the United States and On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century (2010) and Greater New York (2010). Butler also organized the ground­break­ing survey WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution (2007) at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles where she was curator from 1996 – 2006. She was the 2020 recipient of the Bard College Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence.

Gianna Drake-Kerrison

Gianna Drake-Kerrison is a highly accomplished Wealth Advisor, collaborating with her husband Dee Kerrison at UBS Financial Services, Inc. With over 25 years of invaluable experience in the financial services sector, Gianna has established herself as a trusted advisor in wealth management. She also serves as a member of the Multicultural Investor Financial Advisory Board at UBS, contributing her insights to foster diversity and inclusion within the organization. Passionate about the arts, Gianna and Dee have been dedicated contemporary art collectors for over two decades, enriching their lives with a deep appreciation for creativity and expression. Gianna’s commitment to empowering women and supporting her community is evident through her past leadership roles, including her tenure as the former Board Chair of Girls Inc of Orange County and her involvement as an Advisory Committee member for the Girls Inc National Board. She has also contributed her expertise as a former Board Member of New Directions For Women. Currently, Gianna is actively involved with The Hammer Museum, where she continues to champion the arts and cultural enrichment. 

Glenn Kaino

Glenn Kaino is an artist known inter­na­tion­al­ly for his expansive vision and activist-minded practice, which encompasses painting, sculpture, installation, performance, monumental public art, theatrical production, and feature film. Examining a wide range of political, social, and environmental issues in his work, Kaino takes a mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary and collaborative approach to art making. His work brings together systems of knowledge, forms of production, and people that do not normally have a chance to connect, and often involves long-term partnerships with a diverse array of visionary collaborators. Kaino’s work was featured in the 2004 Whitney Biennial, New York; Prospect.3, New Orleans, in 2014; and the 12th Biennale de Lyon, France, in 2013. The artist represented the U.S. at the 13th Cairo Biennale in 2013, and is included in the 2022 Québec City Biennial. Kaino has presented solo exhibitions at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; San José Museum of Art, California; and elsewhere. The artist’s works are part of the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and other institutions.

Miwon Kwon

Miwon Kwon is Research Professor and The Walter Hopps Chair Emerita in Modern and Contemporary Art in the Department of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her academic career started and concluded at UCLA, where she established the department’s first curriculum in contemporary art history as an Assistant Professor in the late 1990s and served as the Department Chair for nine years prior to her retirement from the university in 2023. Her research, scholarship, and interventions in contemporary art will continue beyond UCLA. She is the author of the influential book One Place After Another: Site-Specific Art and Locational Identity (MIT Press, 2002) as well as numerous essays on the work of an extensive list of contemporary artists. In 2012, she co-organized a major historical exhibition Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974, which was on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and traveled to Haus der Kunst in Münich. The exhibition catalogue of the same title (published by Prestel) received the prestigious 2013 Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award from the College Art Association. Trained in architecture, she holds a M.A. in photography and has extensive curatorial experience from her tenure at the Whitney Museum of American Art in the early 1990s. She received her Ph.D. in architectural history and theory from Princeton University.

Photo by: ©Todd Cheney

Claire Peeps

Claire Peeps serves as Executive Director of the Durfee Foundation. In her earlier professional career, Peeps was President of Grantmakers in the Arts, Chair of Southern California Grantmakers, and Vice Chair of the California Council for the Humanities. She is a former President of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, appointed by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl to represent the Third District, and a current Commissioner on LA County’s Quality & Productivity Commission. She is a Senior Fellow at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Policy, and an adjunct instructor at the USC Price School of Public Policy. Peeps is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of New Mexico, and holds certificates from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.

Ed Rada

Edward Rada has held leadership positions at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, including Chief Financial Officer, Managing Director of Center Theatre Group, and producer at both the Ahmanson Theatre and Mark Taper Forum. He is a former President of The Music Center Foundation and past chairman of Project Angel Food. He also serves on the Boards of Directors for USA for Africa/​We Are The World; Boston Court Pasadena; and Friends of Soochow University, Taipei, Taiwan. Additionally, he has worked at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Entertainment Industry Foundation in Century City, Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, and Hands Across America. He received an A.B. in Economics from Occidental College and completed The Executive Program in Management at UCLA’s John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management.

Gary Simmons

Gary Simmons is an artist who uses icons and stereotypes of American popular culture to create works that address personal and collective experiences of race and class. He has exhibited extensively throughout the United States, including solo exhibitions at the California African American Museum, Los Angeles (2019); Drawing Center, New York (2016); and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2002). In 2015, his work was included in All the World’s Future, Venice Biennale. Simmons’ work is housed in numerous permanent collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York. He is a recipient of the Studio Museum in Harlem’s Joyce Alexander Wein Prize (2013), Penny McCall Foundation Grant (1991), and a National Endowment for the Arts Interarts Grant (1990). Simmons received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts, and his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. 

Pilar Tompkins Rivas

Pilar Tompkins Rivas is Chief Curator and Deputy Director of Curatorial and Collections at the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. Previously, she served as the Director and Chief Curator at the Vincent Price Art Museum, where she spearheaded partnerships between the museum and other institutions and launched diversity pipeline programs including a Museum Studies certificate program. Prior to her tenure at VPAM, she served as the Coordinator of Curatorial Initiatives at LACMA, co-directing the institution’s UCLA/LACMA Art History Practicum Initiative and the Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program in addition to co-curating exhibitions in partnership with the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative. She is completing a Ph.D. in cultural studies and holds an M.A. in cultural studies from Claremont Graduate University, in addition to a B.A. in Latin American studies and a B.F.A. in studio art from the University of Texas at Austin.

Photo by: Monica Orozco


Joan Weinstein

Stephanie Barron

Catherine Opie

Gary Cypress

Jim Shaw

John C. Welchman, Founding Chair