New Creative Time Leader From Dallas Contemporary
Creative Time, the New York-based nonprofit arts organization that is known for large-scale public art projects, has chosen Justine Ludwig, who has served as deputy director and chief curator at Dallas Contemporary, as its next executive director.
The appointment ends a nine-month search for a new leader at Creative Time. Ms. Ludwig is to take up the post on June 15.
Her predecessor, Katie Hollander, a Creative Time veteran, was chosen in 2016 to fill the shoes of the organization’s longtime, Anne Pasternak, who departed for the Brooklyn Museum. Ms. Hollander left Creative Time in June after a year and a half as executive director.
“We are thrilled to be working with Justine,” Jon Neidich, Creative Time board member and head of the search committee, said in a statement. Her “commitment to social justice and devotion to the realization of artists’ dreams make her the perfect person to further Creative Time’s role as a leading voice in public art, both nationally and beyond.”
While at Dallas Contemporary Ms. Ludwig wrote for international publications and oversaw exhibitions by artists including Pia Camil, Pedro Reyes and Paola Pivi. Among them was “Bara, Bara, Bara,” an installation by Ms. Camil comprised stitched-together T-shirts made in Latin America for sale in the United States and then transported illicitly to bargain markets in Mexico, which Ms. Ludwig said addressed the “economic dependency” between the two countries.
“Creative Time is an organization I have admired for many years,” Ms. Ludwig said in a phone interview, “As we contend with the consequences of a deeply divided nation, I see Creative Time as having the opportunity to engender productive, discursive debate.”
Among her first tasks at Creative Time, Ms. Ludwig said, would be finding a new artistic director to replace Nato Thompson, who left in the fall to head a new arts organization, Philadelphia Contemporary. And she said that she wanted the organization to be involved in more projects outside of New York City and give more support to emerging artists.
But she also said that she was strongly committed to the sort of politically conscious programming that Creative Time is often associated with and which she described as “deeply part of its DNA.”
For instance, Ms. Ludwig said, she believes that political divisions in the United States provide an important chance for artists to explore what separates people along ideological lines and, perhaps, what may help bridge the gulfs between them.
Creative Time already has a record of projects that can encourage discussion of complicated topics. Ms. Ludwig gave the example of Jeremy Deller’s 2009 traveling project “It Is What It Is: Conversations About Iraq,” which included a car destroyed by a bombing in Baghdad. That created a setting for people to talk with journalists, Iraqi refugees, soldiers and scholars, all with firsthand experiences of Iraq.
“We are dealing with a moment in which people are having difficulty speaking with one another and through art we can drive those conversations,” Ms. Ludwig said, adding, “I am a bit of a romantic.”