About the Program

Initiated in Fall 2003, the Nesnadny + Schwartz Visiting Curator Program brings distinguished curators to Cleveland to conduct one-on-one studio visits with local artists as well as deliver a public lecture. The program provides artists with professional exposure and critical feedback from accomplished art world professionals. 

Spring 2015 Visiting Curator

Naomi Beckwith is the Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Her projects at the Museum include a solo exhibition of William J. O’Brien in 2014, and the upcoming 2015 exhibition The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now, co-curated with Dieter Roelstraete, which links the vibrant legacy of the 1960s African American avant-garde to current art and culture. Prior to joining the MCA, Beckwith was a fellow at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia and, most immediately, Associate Curator at The Studio Museum in Harlem. Her projects at the Studio Museum included Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Any Number of Preoccupations (2010-11); Zwelethu Mthethwa: Inner Views (2010), and 30 Seconds off an Inch (2009-10), a major group exhibition that explored ways in which artists playfully and irreverently engage with black culture, history, and identity in the wake of mid-twentieth-century neo-avant-garde movements. Beckwith holds an MA with Distinction from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London and was a Critical Studies Fellow at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program.

Beckwith will choose 4 regional artists for individual studio visits on May 14/15. All applicants will be invited to a reception with Beckwith preceding her public lecture at MOCA Cleveland on Thursday, May 14.

How to Apply

Applicants must live in the Cuyahoga County or one of its six contiguous counties (Lorain, Medina, Summit, Portage, Geauga, and Lake). Applicants whose studios are more than 20 miles from MOCA Cleveland may be asked to present their work in a space provided at the Museum. Enrolled students must have completed at least one year of MFA study to apply. Artists who were selected for a studio visit with the last Visiting Curator, Andria Hickey, are ineligible to apply for a visit with Beckwith, but may re-apply for studio visits with future Visiting Curators. The application process has changed. Electronic applications must be submitted online. All application materials must be compiled into a single PDF document, not to exceed 5MB. This PDF must be titled “artist last name_artist first name_NSVC Spring 2015”. Applications must include the following images and written information.

  • Ten (10) images or less, labeled with title, date, medium and dimensions
  • One-page Artist Statement and up-to-date curriculum vitae
  • Current contact information including address, phone, and email address
(If applicable) applicants may include one (1) video file, 5 minutes or less in duration. The video must be submitted as a link to an external hosting site (i.e. YouTube or Vimeo). A still from the video should be included as one of the 10 images, with a link to the hosting site directly below the still.
Please note applications not meeting these requirements or applications sent by email or hard copies mailed to MOCA Cleveland will not be reviewed. 
If you have any questions regarding the program, eligibility, or application guidelines, please contact Rose Bouthillier, Associate Curator + Publications Manager, at
Applications for a studio visit with Naomi Beckwith will be accepted from March 17–April 17, 2015. Successful applicants will be notified by May 4, 2015. 



Andria Hickey (Public Art Fund, New York)
Bartholomew Ryan (Walker Art Center)
Sarah DeMeuse (RIVET, independent curator)
João Ribas (MIT List Visual Art Center)
Ann Ellgood (Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden)
Franklin Sirmans (LACMA)
Ian Barry (The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College)
Laura Hoptman (New Museum)
Raphael Platow (CAC Cincinnati)
Douglas Dreishpoon (The Albright–Knox Art Gallery)
Gregory Volk (art critic, Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University)
Dan Cameron (CAC New Orleans)
Eleanor Heartney (Independent critic and author)
Katy Siegel (Hunter College, independent)
Valerie Cassel Oliver (CAM Houston)
David Pagel (LA Times critic and independent curator)
Amada Cruz (Artedia)
James Elaine (Hammer Museum)
Dominic Molon (MCA Chicago)
Shamin Momin (The Whitney Museum of American Art)