The Spare Parts Mini Art Museum has selected Josh T Franco as its March 2019 Contemporary Art Month exhibition guest curator. “Franco has a disciplined, curious, active and engaged mind towards artists around the globe. He is a leader with diverse skills, including holding his own art practice,” explains Board Member Chris Castillo. Interim Museum Director Mary Elizabeth Cantu continues, “Franco is already familiar with Mini Art Museum (MAM) as he was an invited artist for the award-winning 2014 “Short Stories” exhibition by Lady Base Gallery’s Sarah Castillo. We are thrilled to have him participating in this role for our Contemporary Art month show.
“I am primarily an artist and art historian, and do not have curatorial aspirations. However, I make an exception for MAM, because it is such a unique institution whose impact, especially on San Anto area school children, far outsizes its physical scale. I also enjoy challenging my artist peers to experiment outside the typical premises of their practice. Thanks to MAM, I get to invite artists whose work I find comforting, provocative, and rigorous to try something new by working in a scale not typical for them. As a past MAM artist myself, I know how this challenge can open up new pathways to explore. This is what makes MAM such a rich opportunity, for both the artists and this probably one-time curator,” guest curator Josh T Franco explains.
Franco is an artist with an art history PhD. His dissertation, “Marfa, Marfa: Minimalism, rasquachismo, and Questioning ‘Decolonial Aesthetics’ in Far West Texas” was completed in the Art History department at Binghamton University in 2016. The Clifford D. Clark Fellowship, the Ithaca College Predoctoral Diversity Fellowship and the Imagining America PAGE (Publicly Active Graduate Education) Fellowship supported his graduate work. Franco served as a 2014 – 2015 PAGE National Co-Director. He was an Artist-Guide at JUDD Foundation, the New York home and studio of Donald Judd, commonly known by its address, 101 Spring Street (2013 – 2015).
Franco has presented scholarly and critical work in the following venues: Marfa Book Co., Stanford University, College Art Association, Association of Art Historians, Utrecht University, American Comparative Literature Association, Dartmouth College, HEMI Graduate Student Initiative (Hemispheric Institute), zingmagazine, The Frick Collection, …mightbegood, Latino Art Now!, the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, Joan Mitchell Foundation, Independent Curators International, The Journal of Feminist Scholarship, DePauw University and Ford Foundation.
As an artist, Franco has produced and exhibited one artwork annually since 2009. In addition to fulfilling a creative need, this practice ensures that his scholarship is constantly informed by the intimate processes of making work and participating directly in the exhibition process. These works have been hosted by Co-Lab (Austin), Society for the Study of Gloria E. Anzaldúa (San Antonio / Austin), Community School of Music and Art (Ithaca, NY), Esperanza Peace and Justice Center (San Antonio), Lady Base Gallery (San Antonio), WorkSpaceBrussels (Belgium), NurtureArt Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), DePauw University (Greencastle, IN) and Studio SoHy (Hyattsville, MD).
He is a native West Texan and currently resides in Hyattsville, Maryland.
ABOUT MINI ART MUSEUM
In 2013 Spare Parts under the leadership of Mary Elizabeth Cantu and Gabriela Santiago founded the MINI ART MUSEUM (MAM). MAM takes contemporary art exhibitions to communities around the world making it possible for everyone to engage and learn in an inclusive, accessible fine arts experience.