Susan Sollins Founder (In Memoriam)

Susan Sollins has been well known in the field of contemporary art for more than 30 years for her innovations in public programming and museum education, and as a curator. In addition to her work for many art institutions as a curator and consultant, Sollins was the co-founder and Executive Director Emerita of Independent Curators International (ICI), a nonprofit organization that develops, organizes, and circulates traveling exhibitions of contemporary art presenting a broad range of recent trends and aesthetic concerns to viewers nationwide and abroad. During her 21-year tenure, ICI’s 75 exhibitions featuring more than 1,700 artists were seen at more than 360 institutions and alternative spaces in the US, Europe, Canada, and Mexico.

Sollins was formerly the Visual Arts Consultant for Thirteen/WNET‘s Emmy and Peabody Award-winning arts magazine, City Arts; served on the Boards of the MacDowell Colony and ICI; and has been a panelist for the NEA, NYSCA, and New York’s Percent for Art program. Early in her career, Sollins was the Curator of Education (Chief, Museum Programs) at the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum, and Curator of its Discovery Gallery, which showcased contemporary art. In her private life, as the wife of the late composer Earle Brown, she was actively involved in the world of contemporary music for many years.

Sollins founded Art21 in 1997 and served as executive director for seventeen years. She was the executive producer and curator through seven seasons of the organization’s flagship PBS-broadcast series, Art in the Twenty-First Century. Sollins passed away in 2014.


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Remembering the Late Founder of Art21