Visual artist, curator, and arts administrator
“I designed Hecho en Tránsito to foster intercultural understanding between U.S. and Cuban artists, but as the political climate changed, the exhibition became even more relevant. We were fortunate to exhibit it at the Macy Gallery at Columbia University and the Salena Gallery at Long Island University in Brooklyn. Now more than ever, I feel we need ways of understanding difference that are rooted in respect, curiosity, and goodwill.
The Hecho en Tránsito project presented many challenges from communications to logistics, but the greatest had to do when we were launching the exhibitions in New York.
I hoped the artists would have an opportunity to meet one another in person at the openings and also to share their experiences with a larger audience. As ties between Cuba and the U.S. once again became frayed, however, it became clear it would be impossible for the artists in Cuba to get visas. Fortunately, one of the Cuban artists was already in U.S., so he was able to attend and spoke eloquently at the opening about his role in the project. The situation forced me to become both more patient and more resourceful. I’m now working on a way to bring the project to Cuba so that – hopefully! – the artists will be able to meet there, and we can continue to extend this dialogue even further.”
Katarina Wong is a visual artist, curator, and arts administrator based in New York City. She exhibits her work nationally and internationally and recently participated in the 2017-18 Getty-funded Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA project in Los Angeles. Her work is in numerous public and private collections including the Scottsdale Museum of Art and the Frost Art Museum in Miami, FL. She has an MFA from the University of Maryland and Masters in Theological Studies focusing on Buddhism from the Harvard Divinity School. Her BA is in Classics from St. John’s College, Annapolis, MD.
As a first-generation American, Katarina’s artwork delves into her experience of being a “mezcla” – a mix – of Cuban and Chinese heritages. Her work includes mixed media installation, ceramics, and works on paper that explore themes of identity and migration as well as longing and memory. In addition, Katarina has curated numerous exhibitions in non-profit and academic organizations, art fairs, and corporations. She joined Columbia University in 2017 as the program manager for the Arts Administration graduate program. Prior to that she was the founder of MADE, an art consultancy, and was also the VP of Community & Curatorial Engagement at Edelman, the global communications firm.