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Amber J. Esseiva
Alumni 2015
Amber Esseiva

CCS Bard ‘15

Amber Esseiva is the Assistant Curator at the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Previously, Amber served as the ICA’s Curatorial Assistant from 2016-2017. She holds a B.A. in Art History (2011) from VCU and has worked in several arts institutions in Richmond, including the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and VCU School of the Arts Anderson Gallery. In 2012 and 2016, she was a guest curator at VCUQ in Doha, Qatar.

Esseiva received her M.A. in 2015 from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (CCS Bard). Prior to joining the ICA, Esseiva developed both traditional exhibitions and experimental program formats for cultural institutions and commercial galleries. Key projects include curating the exhibitions Romancing the Fragment, featuring the work of Avery Singer and Cayetano Ferrer, and Classical Derision, featuring Ida Applebroog, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Gabriel Orozco, and Ned Smyth; co-founding the transdisciplinary curatorial journal aCCeSsions at CCS Bard; and serving as curator for the Bard M.F.A.’s graduate thesis exhibition in 2014.

From 2015 to 2016, she worked extensively curating exhibitions by emerging and mid-career artists. After CCS Bard, Esseiva was appointed Director of Retrospective gallery in Hudson, NY; guest curator at the 2016 Glasgow International biennial festival of contemporary art; and curator at September gallery, in Hudson, NY, where she organized the Arcade Bloc performance series.

She has worked with several all-women organizations/galleries, including serving as A.I.R Fellowship juror and mentor as well as A.I.R. inaugural curatorial fellow, and establishing the performance series, “The Arcade Bloc,” at SEPTEMBER Gallery (an all-women gallery in Hudson, New York founded by Kristen Dodge). From 2016-2018 she has served as a visiting curator and lecturer to VCUarts’s Departments of Painting and Printmaking, Sculpture and Extended Media, Photography and Film and VCUart’s Summer Studio Program (SSP).