Walker, Hamza

Curator, educator and writer Hamza Walker demystifies the history and workings of a non-collecting museum, and also discusses the wider role that curators play in the world of contemporary art.

“I think it’s beautiful to be able to create different contexts for work, and I love going to see a piece in an exhibition and thinking, ‘I would never have thought of that work in that context.’ It’s enlightening, but not confining.”

Since 1994, Hamza Walker has served as Director of Education for The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago – a non-collecting museum devoted to contemporary art.  He has also held a position as Public Art Coordinator for The Department of Cultural Affairs and is a faculty member at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has written articles and reviews for such publications as Trans, New Art Examiner, Parkett and Artforum. Walker served on the board of Randolph Street Gallery and is currently on the boards of Noon, an annual publication of short fiction, and Lampo, a non-profit presenter of new and experimental music.  He has participated in numerous panels around the world and is the recipient of the 1999 Norton Curatorial Grant. In 2010, Walker was awarded the Ordway Prize for his “significant impact on the field of contemporary art.”