Pen + Brush Curators

Pen and Brush, as an organization, will remain outside the review process, believing it is more important and productive for professional artists and writers to be exposed to a broad range of curators from all areas of the visual and literary art worlds.  These curators will rotate in and out of the review process so that the pool of selected work will reflect current perspectives and multiple points of view, as broadly as possible.

By creating a vetting system comprised of a wide variety of outside literary and fine art professionals, Pen and Brush works with industry influencers to review work created by women, making selections based solely on merit for public presentation through P+B's platforms (i.e. exhibitions and publications)

This year, we have the honor of working with a diverse group of curators who are willing to contribute their time, expertise, and individual perspective to support Pen and Brush’s mission to advocate for gender parity in the visual and literary arts.

Mashonda Tifrere, Curator and Founder of ArtLeadHER

Curator Mashonda Tifrere launched ArtLeadHER in March 2016 as a dynamic platform to celebrate and bring awareness to the women creating, curating and thriving in the male-dominated art world.

ArtLeadHER provides marketing support, exhibition placement, social media exposure, artists residencies and mentorship opportunities. By pairing new and underexposed female artists with their established contemporaries, artists are given the opportunity to learn, collaborate, and grow in a community of like-minded women.

Mashonda works with a number of artists that produce a wide range of art that differs in scale, approach and mediums. They include figurative, photography, abstract portraiture, sculpture and street art. Taken together, ArtLeadHER is ultimately a celebration of women, providing a platform for acknowledgment and appreciation.

Mashonda is a graduate of the prestigious Christie’s Education, New York and London. For the past two years, she has studied art and the art market with programs focused on Modern and Contemporary Art and the Market and Art, Law and Business.

She continues to works relentlessly through ArtLeadHER to promote and support female artists across the globe. In the past year alone, she has scouted more than 35 artists worldwide and is committed to continuing the growth of the platform and the community of female artists it supports.

Renato Danese, President, Danese Corey Gallery, New York

Renato Danese served as curator of 20th-century art at the Corcoran gallery of Art in Washington and subsequently was curator at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Concurrent with his tenure at Baltimore, he was appointed associate director of the visual arts program at the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1978 he left Washington for Los Angeles and opened a branch of Light Gallery until 1980, when Arne Glimcher offered him a position at Pace Gallery in New York. Danese was Director of Pace until 1995, when he became Senior Partner at C & M Arts. He then opened his own gallery, Danese, in 1996. In ‘98, he hired his now-partner, Carol Corey. In 2013, the gallery relocated from 24th Street to a large ground floor space at 511 West 22nd Street.

Kelly Kivland, Assistant Curator, Dia Art Foundation

Kelly Kivland is the assistant curator at Dia Art Foundation, where she has been involved with exhibition and performance programs, including Thomas Hirschhorn’s Gramsci Monument (2013); Lisa Nelson and Steve Paxton’s Night Stand (2013); Yvonne Rainer (2011–12), and Jean-Luc Moulène’s Opus + One (2011-12). She is currently working on choreographer Steve Paxton’s upcoming performance program at Dia:Beacon (2014), among other exhibitions and projects. She co-curates Dia’s Artists’ Web Project series, commissioning works including Laylah Ali’s John Brown Song! (2013) and Daniel Lefcourt’s Modeler (2013). She received her Master’s Degree from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Marcroy Smith, Independent Curator and Founder of People of Print

Marcroy Smith is the founder and director of People of Print, a daily source of inspiration to thousands of people, uncovering and sharing the work of the world’s most talented creatives who use the process of print.

People of Print is not only a prestigious online platform, but also a liquid community that provides exciting live printing events and workshops, a fully bespoke print service and creative consultancy. A vast client list includes Levi’s, V&A Museum, MasterCard, Microsoft and Design Museum - as well as support from WPS & Fedrigoni paper. People of Print recently signed a book deal with Thames & Hudson, one of the world’s leading arts publishers. The book will be translated into numerous languages and published internationally in early 2015.

Marcroy has also recently launched Department Store, The Creative Universe and a Kickstarter for Print Isn’t Dead Magazine. Marcroy worked alongside Chris Haughton on the 18x18 Project for Node which was displayed at the Design Museum during Fair Trade Fortnight. He also recently launched Universe which is a Gumtree-like website for creatives to place a listing. He has worked for established design and print studios, alongside freelancing for over 6 years where he worked on projects for clients including: Microsoft, History Channel, Dove, Tumi, Universal, Co-operative Music, Crystal Castles and Bella Union.

Marcroy has organized exhibitions worldwide featuring the work of established printmakers, illustrators and designers alongside those who are emerging.

Marla Prather, Curator, Modern & Contemporary, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Marla Prather is Curator in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she has been on staff since 2008. She was a Curator for American Art at Tate Modern, London from 2005 to 2007, and Curator of Postwar Art at the Whitney Museum of American Art from 1999 to 2004. She joined the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC in 1986, becoming Curator and Head of the Department of 20th Century Art at the museum from 1996 to 1999. From 1982 to 1984 she was Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, where she was also a lecturer in the history of art.

Rick Kinsel, Executive Director, The Vilcek Foundation

Rick Alan Kinsel is the Executive Director of The Vilcek Foundation. He has worked to conceptualize and administer the philanthropic programs of the Foundation since the philanthropy’s founding in 2000, first as a member of the Board of Directors and since 2003 as the executive director.

Kinsel brings to the Foundation experience in both the corporate and non-profit sectors. For Coty Inc. in New York he served as director of cultural affairs, directing all cultural and educational programs for the corporation and its global subsidiaries from 1997 to 2003.

Kinsel’s first task upon joining Coty was to build new corporate art collections for the company’s offices in New York, Paris, London and Moscow. He then went on to oversee a number of other key cultural initiatives, such as the creation of an annual design award; the raising of scholarship dollars to support students at Parsons School of Design in New York; and the forming of an innovative alliance with the National Air and Space Administration (NASA) whereby Coty developed personal care products suited to counter the dry atmosphere of the International Space Station.

Before and during his tenure at Coty, Kinsel provided marketing and management counsel to such organizations as the Greentree Foundation (Mrs. John Hay Whitney Estate) and the Puerta Vallarta Arts Festival in Mexico. Mr. Kinsel has also advised the New York State Attorney General’s Office on various issues related to confiscated art objects.

He began his career at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1989. There, as cataloguer in charge of acquisitions, he was responsible for the accessioning of all objects acquired by the museum (more than four thousand objects per year).

During his tenure at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, he earned an M.A. in the History of the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture from The Bard Graduate Center in New York. He completed undergraduate studies at Sinclair College in Dayton, Ohio, and The Ohio State University in Columbus. Mr. Kinsel also pursued non-degree coursework in museum studies at the L’Ecole du Louvre in Paris.

Kinsel has served on the board of directors of Sheeba Records, Toronto, and The International Perfume Bottle Association. As a specialist in the decorative arts, he is a member of the International Association of Professional Art Advisors (IAPAA).

Stephanie Koven, Literary Agent, Director of Foreign Rights, Janklow & Nesbit Associates

Stephanie Koven started her career in publishing as Assistant Editor of Grand Street magazine in 1993. She left two years later to join Alfred A. Knopf, where for thirteen years she was Associate Editor and Foreign Rights Manager, selling UK and translation rights to the work of many renowned authors, including John Updike, Cormac McCarthy, Donna Tartt, Kay Redfield Jamison, Sherwin Nuland and Daniel Jonah Goldhagen. Stephanie joined Janklow & Nesbit Associates as a foreign rights agent in 2008 and has represented authors writing in all genres, including middle grade and young adult. Stephanie also represents a select number of US clients based on her eclectic taste in fiction, narrative nonfiction, health, lifestyle, and memoir.

Also a writer, Stephanie’s short stories and poems have been published in The Sun, The Antioch Review, Epoch, and Green Mountain Review. Her stories have been listed in the Best American Short Stories 2007 as a “Distinguished Story” and in the O. Henry Prize Stories 2005 as a “recommended story.” She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.

Christina Granados, Co-Creator of Soapbox Poets L.A. and Curator, Sundance Institute Documentary Fund

Christina Granados is a writer-producer with multi-media vices. She is the lead producer at Lore D’Morrow, an independent film production company dedicated to high-concept storytelling. Most recently she independently produced fashion films and lifestyle branding for companies such as Zady, +Olive and Lisa C. She honed her development experience at the Sundance Documentary Fund and Katalyst Network. Prior to film, she moved through the publishing world as a journalist, a news editor and completed the prestigious Columbia Publishing Course. She is also the co-founder of SoapBox Poets, an established poetry collective based in Los Angeles.

Joni Evans, Founding Member and CEO of wowOwow.com; former President and Publisher of Simon & Schuster and Publisher at Random House

Joni Evans’ 40-plus year career in publishing includes serving as President and Publisher of Simon & Schuster, and Publisher at Random House. As Senior VP of the William Morris Agency’s literary department, she represented such bestselling authors as Marcus Buckingham, Ann Coulter, Fannie Flagg, Quincy Jones, Mary Wells Lawrence, Peggy Noonan, Martin Garbus, James Patterson, Liz Smith and John Stossel. In her dynamic career, she has brought more than 100 books to the bestseller list. Joni is a member of the Young President’s Organization, the Women’s Forum and a founding member of both the Committee of 200 and Women’s Media Group. She has served as a director of the Dreyfus Fund for 23 years. She has written for the New York Times, The Washington Post, Vanity Fair, New York, and O. Joni is the recipient of Springboard Enterprises Northstar Entrepreneur Award, 2010. She is co-creator, with Lesley Stahl, Liz Smith, Mary Wells Lawrence and more, of purewow.com, a digital publication dedicated to finding ways to make your life more interesting, beautiful and manageable.

Carey Salerno, Executive Editor, Alice James Books

Carey Salerno is the executive editor of Alice James Books. She earned her MFA in Poetry from New England College, and her poems have appeared in various journals in print and online. Her first book, Shelter, was published in 2009, and she is the editor, along with Anne Marie Macari, of the anthology Lit from Inside: 40 Years of Poetry from Alice James Books (2013).

Kate Angus, Founding Editor, Augury Books

Kate Angus is a founding editor of Augury Books. Her poetry and nonfiction have appeared in The Atlantic, Tin House, The Awl, Verse Daily, Best New Poets 2010 and Best New Poets 2014. She has received the A Room of Her Own Foundation’s “Orlando” prize, as well as awards from Southeast Review, American Literary Review, and The New York Times’ “Teacher Who Made a Difference” award. Kate is the Creative Writing Advisory Board Member for the Mayapple Center for Arts and Humanities and curates the “Pen and Brush Presents” reading series for the visual and literary arts nonprofit Pen and Brush. She has received residencies from Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan; the Betsy Hotel’s Writer’s Room in South Beach, Florida; the Wildfjords trail in Westfjords, Iceland; and the BAU Institute in Otranto, Italy. Kate has a BA from Brown University, an MFA from The New School University, and has done additional studies at Yale University, Barnard College, Columbia University and Trinity College, Dublin. Born and raised in Michigan, she currently lives in New York.

Over the last decade a number of extraordinary professionals contributed their insight and vision to our programs. Their work ignited our imagination and helped shape the 2014 relaunch of Pen and Brush.

Past Curators