Louisville gallery director Joey Yates is joining the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft artistic staff. As associate curator, Yates will help manage exhibitions, organize public events and contribute to educational outreach.
The associate curatorial role will be significant. Executive director Aldy Milliken says going forward, the museum’s exhibitions will inform everything from programming events to what’s in stock at the museum store.
“I was looking for someone who is young enough that they are still exploring their career, but someone who had experience and who has had a chance to write and who has sort of an idea of what kind of art that they appreciate. They have their own voice as a curator,” says Milliken.
Yates, who holds a master’s degree from the University of Louisville’s critical and curatorial studies program, has curated exhibits for a number of local institutions, from Forecastle Festival to the Speed Art Museum. But it was his work as a gallery director at Land of Tomorrow, a project space on Broadway that facilitates both the making and showing of experimental works of art and design, that caught Milliken’s eye.
“That was something that stood out in my mind as something that is very contemporary, that is production based – so there’s craft — they’re making things, that’s part of their mission,” says Milliken. “He was trying to articulate a vision within that.”
Milliken relocated to Louisville from Sweden earlier this year, and he says Yates’s significant local connection will complement his own international perspective.
“By understanding what we have here we have to understand the greater art world context. We have to position the artists and the curators and the intellectuals of the community in a greater context or there is no context, in a sense. So, that’s something that I quickly bring,” says Milliken. “But we need to transport the artists from the community into the dialogues that other people are having. That’s why Joey and I will work well together, because he wants what I have, and in a sense I want what he has.”