Meet Valentine Umansky: CAC's Newly-Welcomed Curatorial Fellow

As FotoFocus approaches, the CAC is welcoming a new curator specializing in lens-based art

click to enlarge Valentine Umansky, CAC's newest curator. - Provided
Valentine Umansky, CAC's newest curator.

The Contemporary Arts Center announced yesterday that a new curator is coming on board as a fellow, with a focus on lens-based artists. Enter: Valentine Umansky.

Her stint will last three years and is funded by FotoFocus — a biennial art event that stretches over 90 projects at museums and galleries across Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, Dayton and even Columbus — and its founder, Tom Schiff. Umansky will bring in more photography-based exhibits to the CAC; long-term, her work will go toward FotoFocus’ approaching 10-year anniversary in 2020.

Raphaela Platow, CAC’s Alice & Harris Weston director, cites her excitement in a press release, saying that the fellowship will allow a new curator to “present the most forward-thinking projects with a focus on photography, video, film and digital production.”

Along with working as a curator, Umansky has worked as an author and critic. Notably, she worked with Rencontres d'Arles, an annual summer photography festival in France. Since 2015, however, she’s been based in the U.S. and has worked with renowned names like New York City’s Museum of Modern Art and the International Center of Photography. But she’s no stranger to the Midwest — Umansky has worked with artists in Michigan and Illinois.

“At the Contemporary Arts Center, I hope to develop new ties between these states and Ohio, creating projects between Chicago, Detroit and Cincinnati,” says Umansky in a press release. “These three cities function as the breeding ground for some of the most creative artists I’ve met and I look forward to being a harbinger of new collaborations and co-productions.”

The new addition comes as this year’s installment of FotoFocus nears, which starts Oct. 4 and runs throughout October, featuring more than 400 artists, curators and educators. The event will be our Oct. 3 cover story — be on the lookout for a breakdown, highlights and more.