Director and Curator Pitzer College Art Galleries
With Pitzer Since: 2007
Website: Pitzer College Art Galleries
Campus Address: Atherton 110
Before receiving her master’s degree in contemporary curating from the Royal College of Art in London Ciara Ennis was a DAAD scholar at the Kunst Akademie Karslruhe. Arriving at MOCA Los Angeles she was project director for Public Offerings, an international survey of contemporary art. As associate curator at the Santa Monica Museum of Art she founded and directed its project room, giving numerous international artists their first west coast exposure. As curator of exhibitions at the University of California Riverside/California Museum of Photography, Ennis revived programming through numerous exhibitions with artists of the Americas, Europe, and Asia.
Since 2007 Ennis has taught and been director and curator of Pitzer College Art Galleries. During that time she has curated dozens of exhibitions including The Ocelots of Foothill Boulevard: Mark Dion, Jessica Rath, Dana Sherwood (2016) concerning the anthropocene; The Racial Imaginary (2015), artists articulating race in various media; Wunderkammer (2015), a reappraisal of curation and artist inclusion; Andrea Bowers: #sweetjane (2014), the media fascination with sexual brutality; Charles Gaines: In the Shadow of Numbers (2012), an annotated retrospective; Synthetic Ritual (2011), artists’ habituation of the bizarre; and Capitalism in Question, co-curated with Daniel Joseph Martinez (2010). Additionally, Ennis has been a panelist/moderator/guest speaker for the American Studies Association, the International Sculpture Conference, the AAMG conference, the California Community Foundation, and the Riksakademie Amsterdam. Her curatorial practice explores identity, narrative, and representation and the intersection of art, politics, and activism.
MA, Royal College of Art
BA, Norwich School of Art
Julie Shafer: Conquest of the Vertical, Exposure Journal: Society for Photographic Education (2017)
The Politics of Painting: Ciara Ennis in Conversation with Liat Yossifor, catalogue, Pitzer College Art Galleries (2016)
The Counter-Archival tendencies of Kang Seung Lee, artist book, Pitzer College Art Galleries (2015)
Ghosts Can Cross Oceans: Nuttaphol Ma, Barnsdall (Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery), (2015)
Don’t Mourn Organize: Andrea Bowers in Conversation with Ciara Ennis, exhibition catalogue Andrea Bowers, Pomona College Museum of Art and Pitzer College Art Galleries (2014)
House of Retention: Clare Graham’s Microcosmology, in conjunction with the exhibition: Clare Graham and MorYork: The Answer is Yes, Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles (2014)
“Photoplay and Zoetrope: the Work of Miles Coolidge and Amy Russell,” Double Helix exhibition catalogue, Jose Druidus-Biada Gallery, Mount St. Mary’s College, September 2013.
“The Lives of Others, The Work of Julia Schlosser,” Exposure Journal: Society for Photographic Education (fall 2012).
“Le Petit Hameau: The Life and Times of Relational Practices,”exhibition catalogue for Interstice: New Economies for Creative Communities, California State University, Fullerton/Main Art Gallery (fall 2012).
“Unfolding Architecture: Interview between British Artists Emily Speed and Curator Ciara Ennis,” Mousse Magazine (September 2010).
“Localization, Location, Ubicación: A Conversation between Ciara Ennis and Carla Herrera-Prats,” LatinArt.com: an Online Journal of Art and Culture (March 2010).
Selected Curated Exhibitions
The Ocelots of Foothill Boulevard: Mark Dion, Jessica Rath, Dana Sherwood Co-curated with Bill Anthes, Pitzer College Art Galleries (2016)
Liat Yossifor: Time Turning Paint, Pitzer College Art Galleries (2015)
Kang Seung Lee: UNTITLED (ART SPEAK), Pitzer College Art Galleries (2015)
Ghosts Can Cross Oceans: Nuttaphol Ma, Barnsdall (Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery), (2015)
Wunderkammer: Joshua Callahan, Chris Cobb, Michael Decker, Clare Graham: MorYork, Nina Katchadourian, Alice Konitz, Rachel Mayeri, Melanie Nakaue, Jenny Perlin, Steve Roden, and Stephanie Syjuco, Pitzer College Art Galleries (2015)
Blacklisted, A Planted Allegory: Jenny Jurshansky, Pitzer College Art Galleries (2015)
Co-curator, Andrea Bowers: #sweetjane, Pomona College Museum of Art and Pitzer College Art Galleries, Claremont, CA, January-March 2014. With Rebecca McGrew.
Co-curator, Synthetic Ritual, an exhibition that originated at Pitzer then traveled to Idaho and Illinois, August-October 2013. With Gabi Scardi.
“Charles Gains: In the Shadow of Numbers.” Pomona College Museum of Art and Pitzer Art Galleries, Pitzer College, Claremont, CA, September 4 – October 21, 2012. Co-curated with Rebecca McGrew, Senior Curator, Pomona College Museum of Art.
“Joyce Campbell: Te Tanihwa/Crown Coach.” Pitzer Art Galleries, Pitzer College, Claremont, CA, September 15–December 7, 2012.
“Liz Glynn: No Second Troy.” Pitzer Art Galleries, Pitzer College, Claremont, CA, January 21 – March 23, 2012.
Emerging Artist Series #6: “Vanitas,” by Matt Olm. Pitzer Art Galleries, Pitzer College, Claremont CA, January 21 – March 23, 2012.
“Synthetic Ritual,” featuring works by Meris Angeoletti, Mounira Al Solh, Beatrice Catanazro, Marcus Coates, Joel Kyack, Lawrence Lemaoana, Yoshua Okon, Adrian Paci, Marco Rios, Kara Tanaka, Carlin Wing, Amir Yatziv. Pritchard Art Gallery, University of Idaho College of Art and Design, September 2011. Co-Curated with Gabi Scardi, Independent curator, Milan, Italy, Exhibition travelled to Pritchard Art Gallery, University of Idaho, College of Art and Design (August 2012); and will travel to Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago (August 2013)
“Euan Macdonald: KIMBAL 1901.” Pitzer Art Galleries, Pitzer College, Claremont, CA, January 27–March 25, 2011.
Emerging Artist Series #5: “Worker,” by Jennifer Vanderpool and James Gilbert.Pitzer Art Galleries, Pitzer College, Claremont, CA, January 27–March 25, 2011.
“Writ Large,” featuring artists Marcus Civin, Patrick Hebert, Herve Constance, and Iane Mi. Pitzer Art Galleries, Pitzer College, Claremont, CA, July–September 2010.
“Capitalism in Question (Because it is),” featuring works by Ian Arenas, Matthew Brandt, James Melinat, Gabie Strong, Kara Tanaka, and Grant Vetter. Pitzer Art Galleries, Pitzer College, Claremont, CA, January 28–March 19, 2010. Co-curated with Daniel Joseph Martinez.
Emerging Artist Series #4: “Localization, Location, Ubicación,” by Carla Herrera-Prats. Pitzer Art Galleries, Pitzer College, Claremont, CA, January 28–March 19, 2010.
Selected Conference Presentations and Invited Talk
Presenter: Opening the Cabinet of Curiosities (workshop), Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK with Bergit Arends, Tim Boon, John Davis, Mark Dion, Eloise Donnelly, Earle Havens, Arthur MacGregor, Bill Sherman, Christine Takengny, Sarah Wade, and Jane Wildgoose (2017)
Juror, APEXART International Franchise Program, New York (2016)
Panelist: Pacific Standard Time, LA/LA – Arts Organizations Prepare for Pacific Standard Time 2017, with panelists: Alma Ruiz, Senior Curator, MOCA; Rita Gonzalez, Curator of Contemporary Art, LACMA; Robb Hernandez, Assistant Professor, UC Riverside; Karen Rapp, Director, Vincent Price Museum; moderated by Jennifer Doyle, UC Riverside. Organized by MOCA in conjunction with the American Studies Association (2014)
Moderator: Plan B, on the Possibility of Engaging in a Radical Art Practice in our Current Market-Driven Times, 24th International Sculpture Conference, New Orleans (2014)
“A Moderate Proposal, Non-Heroic Manifestos,” 2014 Association of Academic Museums and Galleries Annual Conference: Moving the Needle: Academic Museums and Galleries Innovating the Future, Seattle, WA, May 2014. With Jennifer Vanderpool.
Award panelist/juror, Wall Artists, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles, CA, February 2014.
“Expanding the Definition of Photographic Practices at the Museum of Photography,” invited talk for Women in Photography honors class with Professor Stacy McCarroll Cutshaw, University of La Verne, La Verne, CA, January 2014.
“Synthetic Ritual,” invited talk at Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL, August 2013.
“Mixed Marriage: Artists, Curators and the Exhibition,” panel moderator, Torrance Art Museum, June 2012. With Karen Lofgren (artist), Rebecca McGrew (senior curator, Pomona College Art Museum), Rebecca Morse (associate curator, MOCA), Holly Myers (art critic, Los Angeles Times) and Carrie Patterson (editor, Artillery Magazine).
Review award panelist, Visual Arts, Rasmuson Foundation, Anchorage, Alaska, April 19-22, 2012.
“Curatorial Practice in the 21st Century,” guest lecturer and critic, University California Irvine, Irvine, CA, March 2012.
“The Dark Side: The Use of Ceramics as a Tool to Discuss Issues of Identity, Representation, and Narrative in the of UK and Contemporary Art,” invited talk as part of the Art History Lecture Series, The Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art, California State University San Bernardino, San Bernardino, CA, November 10, 2011.
Panelist, What Can We Learn from Documenta (13)? Otis Graduate Public Practice at 18th Street Art Center, 2012. With panelists John Tain, Curator for Modern and Contemporary Collections, Getty Research Institute; Leslie Labowitz-Starus, artist; and Tamarind Rossetti, Graduate Student, Public Practice artist, intern with Mariam Ghani at Documenta (13).
Guest lecturer, Synthetic Ritual. Prichard Art Gallery, University of Idaho, College of Art and Design, August 24, 2012.
Moderator, Mixed Marriage: Artists, Curators, and the Exhibition, Torrance Art Museum, June 2, 2012. With panelists Karen Lofgren, artist; Rebecca McGrew, Senior curator, Pomona College Museum of Art; Holly Myers, LA Times Art Critic & Writer; and Carrie Paterson, Editor, Artillery Magazine.
Review award panelist, Visual Arts, Rasmuson Foundation, Anchorage, Alaska, April 19–22, 2012.
Guest curator, Britweek, in conjunction with LAA: Los Angeles Arts Association, May 2012.
Guest curator, LACE Benefit Art Auction, May 16, 2012.
Guest lecturer and critic, Curatorial Practice in the 21st Century. UC Irvine, Class, Daniel Joseph Martinez, February 12, 2012.
Recent Grants, Awards and Honors
Pasadena Art Alliance, 2017, 2014
NEA Grant to support, A Moderate Proposal, co-curated with Jennifer Vanderpool, 2016
GETTY Exhibition implementation grant with LACE to support Juan Downey: Radiant Nature, 2015
GETTY Research Grant with LACE, 2014
Research and Planning grant from the Getty Foundation for the exhibition Juan Downey: Radiant Nature. The grant was jointly awarded to Pitzer and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, which will administer the grant. 2014-17.
Guest curator, Benefit Art Auction, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), Los Angeles, CA, May 2012.
Public Commentary and Media Coverage
Michno, Christopher: “Ciara Ennis, Exhibition Practices and Alternative Theories of the Archive”, Artbound: Arts and Entertainment, Southern California Cultural Journalism, KCET, April 27, 2016.
Finkel, Jori: “The Pacific Standard Time Initiative Seeks to Rescue Fugitive Art”, The New York Times, Art and Design section, March 15, 2016.
Michno, Christopher: “The Ocelots of Foothill Boulevard”, Artillery Magazine, February 2016.
Hardcourt Glenn: “Signs Taken for Wonders”, Archives Remixed, Critical Perspectives and Pathways, Archive Journal, Issue 5, Fall 2015.
Osborne-Batucca, Kristen: “Object D’Art Piquing Curiosity”, Artillery Magazine, March 17, 2015.
Bell David, “Jenny Yurshansky: Blacklisted, A Planted Allegory”: Notes on Looking, Contemporary Arts in Los Angeles, ARCH, 2015.
Eler, Alicia: “Invasive Species, Jenny Yurshansky Plants Her Stake”, Artbound: Southern California Cultural Journalism, KCET, January, 2015.
Professor Ennis’ curatorial work is cited in “‘#sweetjane’ fuses art, a horrific crime to powerful effect,” Los Angeles Times, February 18, 2014.
Professor Ennis was quoted in “Investigating Steubenville: Andrea Bowers’ #sweetjane,” in KCET’s Artbound, February 6, 2014.
Cheh, Carol. “Liz Glynn,” Artillery Magazine, vol. 6, no. 5 (June/July 2012).
Taft, Catherine. “Liz Glynn: Pitzer Art Galleries,” Artforum (April 2012).
Shaw, Michael. “Preview of Exhibitions: Liz Glynn,” ArtScene: The Monthly Digest to Art in Southern California, vol. 31, no. 6 (January, 2012).
Michno, Christopher. “Out of Bounds: Curators Make Their Mark in the Inland Empire,” Artillery Magazine (July/August 2011).
Dambrot, Shana Nys. “Marcus Coates’ Journey to the Lower World at Pitzer College Art Galleries: Can Deer Antlers Solve America’s Housing Problem?” Best Art I Saw All Week: LA Weekly (December 9, 2011).
Teaching: Recent Courses
The Art World Since 1989
Art in Los Angeles Now
Art and Animals (co-taught with Bill Anthes, Professor of Art, Pitzer Art College)
Contemporary Curatorial Practice