Curator, writer, and all-round arts advocate Tempestt Hazel talks with Klein Artist Works participants about the vitality of lesser-known art communities, and the deep importance of personal relationships to her curatorial practice.

“I don’t have to try to please the audience of a museum that already has an audience it’s seeking to connect to. I don’t necessarily have to think of a bottom line that a gallery has. I have a kind of freedom in my curatorial practice that can hopefully, exhibition by exhibition, in some small way, be able to give that visibility to artists who are being missed by the museums or the galleries. That’s really what I try to do.”

Tempestt Hazel is a freelance writer, independent curator, the Executive Director of Sixty Inches From Center (SIFC), and the Professional Development Director for the Chicago Artists Coalition (CAC). Born and raised in Peoria, Illinois, Hazel moved to Chicago to study art history and art management at Columbia College. Directly after graduating Hazel co-founded SIFC, a nonprofit that uses text, audio, and video recordings to compile a documentary archive of Chicago’s lesser known art happenings. Hazel took a position as Marketing and Outreach Coordinator for the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events before moving on to her current role at the CAC. As an independent curator, Hazel has worked with a number of organizations including Terrain Exhibitions, The Salon Series Projects, and the South Side Community Art Center. She is currently developing a upcoming exhibition for the University of North Texas.

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