The nonprofit 1708 Gallery has announced the appointment of Ra-Twoine "Ray/Rosetta" Fields as the next Royall Family Curator. This position is a three-year, full-time appointment that was established in 2018 in order "to support an individual curator with time and resources to develop a body of exhibitions, projects and programs, and establish an ongoing process for presenting diverse curatorial visions and perspectives," according to a press release sent today.
The Royall Family Curator position was named "in honor of and gratitude for 1708 friends and champions Pam and Bill Royall." Fields has a wide range of experience as "a curator, cultural organizer, and media and branding consultant." The release notes that he has worked with artists across multiple platforms from the Well Art Gallery in Manchester to the Bishop Gallery in Brooklyn "producing gallery exhibitions, public art projects, and community engagement programs." He is also a poet and published author as well as the founder and CEO of Crenius, a creative agency that offers artist management, community programming, curation and brand development. The release adds that "Manchester Manifest, a key program under Crenius, creatively connects dots in the Southside of Richmond through staple events such as First Fridays in Manchester/Blackwell.
The release quotes Fields as issuing this statement about his new position:
"Catalyzing the creative ecosystem in Richmond, VA has remained a central goal of mine and I am excited to continue identifying methods of achieving this goal at such a cornerstone as 1708 Gallery. The Royall Family Curator position provides optimal opportunity to learn new skills, hone formulas, cross-build networks, fearlessly experiment, intimately explore, empathically engage, intentionally immerse, and passionately disrupt. These next years will transform into a beautiful, powerful story written together with the entire creative ecosystem."
Here's another e-mailed statement on the appointment from Emily Smith, executive director of 1708 Gallery:
"In addition to supporting our mission to empower artists’ ideas and voices, Ray’s curatorial vision and commitment to community engagement will expand the way diverse audiences experience and view contemporary art and artists and will connect new and existing audiences to build and cultivate an inclusive and diverse arts community. His experiences and interests offer an important opportunity to create true connections across the multiple arts communities in Richmond, contributing to the cultural vibrancy of Broad Street, Richmond, and our regional and national communities."