The Bronx Museum of the Arts announced today that Jasmine Wahi has been named the Holly Block Social Justice Curator for exhibitions in 2021. Wahi is a codirector of the New Jersey nonprofit Project for Empty Space, which promotes artists whose works are oriented around social impact. She recently curated the exhibition “Abortion is Normal” (2020) with Rebecca Jampol, which was presented at Eva Presenhuber and Arsenal Contemporary in Manhattan.
“I’m inspired to join an institution whose mission of inclusivity reflects my own values as a curator,” Wahi said in a statement. “I look forward to bringing dynamic programming that channels the longstanding history of activism and radicalism for which the Bronx Museum is known, and am excited for the future of what that looks like both regionally and at a global scale.” In her new role, Wahi will curate exhibitions that highlight the museum’s history of social activism, with a focus on both emerging and established artists responding to the Bronx.
Her position is named after Holly Block, the late director of the Bronx Museum. The pioneering arts administrator recognized the importance of diversity and community outreach ahead of her time. Among her many accomplishments was the lifting of admission fees, making the museum one of the few major free cultural institutions in New York. Under her leadership, it also sponsored Sarah Sze’s pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale.
“Jasmine’s dedication to creating equitable spaces for audiences and artists reflects the foundation and the future of our museum, and we’re excited for the fresh perspective she will bring,” said Klaudio Rodriguez, the museum’s interim director—the institution’s former director, Deborah Cullen-Morales, stepped down after an eighteen-month tenure in December.