Jayme McLellan: Different models of support for emerging art and artists in the U.S./D.C.


World of Art | School for Curatorial Practices and Critical Writing | Year 15 | Series of public lectures

Lecture: April 15, 2014 at 7 pm
Workshop: April 16 & 17, 2014

Project Room SCCA, Metelkova 6, Ljubljana
Workshop application deadline: Monday, April 14, 2014


Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at 7 pm
Project Room SCCA, Metelkova 6, Ljubljana

Welcome to join Jayme McLellan, a Washington, DC based curator, educator, writer, and gallery director, for a lecture and workshop about different organizational models in art system, its’ successes and failures in supporting artists and curating exhibitions.

In the U.S. the non-profit model is sometimes viewed as hindering social change through complex structures, therefore newer and more rebellious galleries often open without the NGO structure to be more fluid and adaptable. Parallel to that public institutions, like the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design are under the threat by market driven politics.

McLellan is an independent cultural manager and curator with over 20 years of experiences operating in seemingly opposite structures; for example she has founded and run both non-profit and a profit gallery. At her lecture she will present an analytical overview of different modes of operation, especially how to establish and run diverse formats of organisation in the contemporary arts (profit, non-profit, public, private) and a comparative analysis between them, illustrated by examples of her own practice.

» Read the lecture

In Slovene translation published: Jayme McLellan, Umetniške scene in kulturni producenti spreminjajo svet, Artwords, No. 100 (Winter 2014), pp. 67-71.


Potentials of independent operation in the field of art – based on her work in States, but also on her extensive knowledge of Slovene scene – will be the focus of our discussion.

Namely, McLellan has managed to contribute both theoretical (as a professor at various art schools), but especially as initiator and organiser of important organisations and venues that contributed to the emergence of vivid Washington independent art scene. At the same time she has been several times researching Slovene (and wider ex-Yugoslav) art scene and has, since late 90’s, established a fruitful collaboration with local art scene. In the workshop we will compare both art systems and try to answer the questions: How to set up own working conditions and platforms? How to adjust an appropriate structure to the acquired theoretical knowledge? How do two different yet complimentary models of ‘more rebellious galleries’ running without NGO structure in the States benefit artists and support the artistic community? What are the revenue streams used to stabilize such institutions and how does this help or hinder diverse presentations of work?

Participants will be invited to propose suitable organisational format for their work (imagine perfect institution or perfect individual modus operandi) and then analyse and develop further the idea. Come prepared to share your ideas and sharpen your curatorial skills!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 3–6 pm:

Presentation of modes of operandi in the U.S. art system and comparison to Slovenian art system, discussion

Thursday, April 17, 2014, 3–6 pm:

Participants’ feedback and presentation of their ideas about (more) suitable organisational formats, discussion


The workshop costs 10 EUR and will be held in English. The number of participants is limited up to 10 participants.

Applications will be accepted up until Monday, April 14, 2014.

Please send application with CV in English language attached to: svetumetnosti@scca-ljubljana.si

Jayme MclellanJayme Mclellan is an artist, educator, curator, writer, and gallery director. She is the founding director of Civilian Art Projects, a gallery supporting emerging and established artists located in Washington, DC. McLellan has worked in the arts since the mid-nineties curating hundreds of exhibitions and organizing events in galleries, museums, and alternative spaces in DC, Baltimore, New Orleans, Minneapolis, New York City, Miami, Canada and Europe. Prior to Civilian, McLellan co-founded and served as co-director of Transformer (2002–2006), a non-profit arts organization dedicated to serving emerging artists. In addition to running Civilian, she is adjunct faculty at the Maryland Institute College of Art where she leads classes on professional development for graduate students. She has also taught professional development, curatorial practice and art history at the Corcoran College of Art + Design, American University, and St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She is also project manager and co-curator for HARD ART DC 1979 (Akashic Books), a book and traveling exhibition about the birth of the D.C. punk movement. The HARD ART exhibition will be on view at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University from May until October 2014.

Detailed CV (pdf)

Photo: SCCA-Ljubljana archive

Lecture and workshop are part of the 2014 World of Art public programme, which is being prepared by the SCCA–Ljubljana and the Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory.

Svet umetnosti / World of Art    Društvo Igor Zabel za kulturo in teorijo

The programme is supported by: the City of Ljubljana – Department for Culture; ERSTE Foundation; the United States Embassy in Ljubljana.

Mestna občina Ljubljana – Oddelek za kulturo Erste sklad Veleposlaništvo Združenih držav Amerike v Ljubljani

Scroll up