Biography

Cortney Lane Stell is the Executive Director and Chief Curator of Black Cube, a nomadic contemporary art museum based in Denver, Colorado.  She has held independent curatorial practice since 2006, which has included curating numerous exhibitions nationally and internationally for museums, university galleries, biennials and art events. Stemming from a philosophical interest in art as communication, Stell has organized exhibitions that focus on artworks experimental in both conceptual and material nature, including exhibitions with artists such as Liam Gillick, Cyprien Gaillard, Daniel Arsham, and Shirley Tse.  Stell holds a MA from the European Graduate School in Switzerland where she is also a PhD candidate in Media Communications.

 

Selected Press

Denver Post review by Ray Mark Rinaldi "Art that invites you to "play" and see the world now."

Art F City review by Paddy Johnson "First Draft: A Survey of Denver’s Artistic Talent." 

Westword review by Susan Froyd "CORTNEY LANE STELL ON FIRST DRAFT AND BRINGING LOCAL ARTISTS TO THE INTERNATIONAL STAGE." 

Westword interview by Robin Edwards "LUCKY '13: CORTNEY LANE STELL, RMCAD GALLERY DIRECTOR AND CURATOR."

Denver Post review by Kyle MacMillan "Offbeat art approach: "Do It," and then undo it at Denver exhibit."

Denver Post review by Kyle MacMillan "Starn brothers' artistic vision takes wing."

 

 

Employment History 

2008–present       Unaffiliated Curator 

2015–present         Executive Director + Chief Curator, Black Cube. Denver, Colorado 

2014–2015              Interim Senior Advisor for Contemporary Art, David and Laura Merage Foundation. Denver, Colorado 

2007–2014             Gallery Director, Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. Denver, Colorado 

2004–2007            Modern & Contemporary Education Assistant, Denver Art Museum. Denver, Colorado 

2005–2007            Assistant to Gwen Chanzit, Professor of Museum Studies. Denver, Colorado 

1999–2005             Rave/ DJ Promoter, Together Productions. Colorado/ Wyoming/ Utah

 

 

 

Education 

Est.2014                  Candidate for PH.D. Philosophy and Media Communication,

                                European Graduate School, Switzerland. 

2013                        Master of Arts, Philosophy and Media Communication,

                                European Graduate School, Switzerland. 

2004                       Bachelor of Fine Arts -­‐ emphasis in Photography,

                                University of Colorado, Denver, CO.

 

 

Additional Vocational Training

2013                        Exhibition Design, Node Center for Curatorial Studies-­‐ Berlin, Germany.

2011                         Independent Curators International, Curatorial Intensive, NY, NY.

2007                       Shapes: Pilates Teacher Training, w/ Master Teacher, Barbara Huttner, Vail, CO.

2004                       Alternative Photographic Processes Study Abroad, Florence, Italy.

 

 

Publications / Exhibition Catalogues

“First Draft: Process and Temporality.” [essayist] DRAFT URBANISM Biennial of the Americas Catalog, 2013.

“Jorrit Tornquist: Color as Thought.” [curator and essayist, exhibition catalog] Verso L’Arte, 2012.

“Supakitch: New French Graffiti Art.” [essayist] expected release date Fall, 2013.

“Shirley Tse: Vital Organs.” [essayist and project manager, exhibition catalog] A RMCAD Publication, 2011.

“Au: Exchange.” [curator and essayist, exhibition catalog] 2012. “DO IT.” [curator and essayist, exhibition catalog] A RMCAD Publication, 2011.

“Constantin Brancusi In The XXI Century: New Studies,” Verso L’Arte, 2010.

“Maria Cristina Carlini: Works in Passage.” [curator and essayist, exhibition catalog] Verso L’Arte, 2010. 

 

Selected Curated Exhibitions                     

2013                         DRAFT URBANISM (associate curator) Billboard Exhibition, Biennial of the Americas

2013                         First Draft, McNichols Building, Biennial of the Americas

2013                         Reexamined, Daniel Eatock, Philip J. Steele Gallery

2013                         The Temporary Institute of Emancipated Objects, Philip J. Steele Gallery

2012                         The Eye Awake, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art

2012                         Appropriated Punk, Hinterland Gallery

2011                          Shirley Tse: Vital Organs, Philip J. Steele Gallery

2011                           Au: Exchange, RedLine Museum

2011                          Justin Cooper: Like You, Philip J. Steele Gallery

2010                         Jimmy Joe Roche: American Ectoplasm, Philip J. Steele Gallery

2010                         Maria Christina Carlini: Works in Passage Miami, Denver, Milan.

2009                        Roger Herman, New Works, Philip J. Steele Gallery

2008                        Mike and Doug Starn, Attracted to Light, Philip J. Steele Gallery

2008                        Paralleled: French Street Art and Western Landscapes Denver, CO & Paris, FR

2007                        “Better” A Lab Project, Laboratory of Art and Ideas

2006                         Denver Art Museum’s inaugural photography exhibition, Denver Art Museum

*A complete list of exhibition history is available upon request.

 

Development of Innovative Educational Programs

2012–present          ‘Curatorial Workshop 101 and 102’ -­‐ Developed and taught RedLine Museum

2005-­‐2008             developed and implemented “Untitled” events at the Denver Art Museum

 

Selected Public Lectures

2013                         “DRAFT URBANISM” Venice Biennale Kaledoscope Venice Bar, Venice, Italy

2011                          “DO IT, a lecture on exhibition making!” European Graduate School, Saas Fee, Switzerland

2011                          Panel discussion on Arts Administration. Emmanuel Gallery, Denver, CO

2011                          Independent Curators International, Curatorial Intensive Symposium, NY, NY

2010                         Curating and Exhibition Organizing, University of Colorado Boulder

2010                         “Works in Passage, Maria Cristina Carlini.” RMCAD, Denver, CO.

2009                        “Works in Passage, Maria Cristina Carlini.” Emmanuel Gallery, Denver, CO.

2008                        “Curating in Colorado.” Redrocks Community College, Lakewood, CO.

2008                        “Attracted to Light: the experimental photography of Mike and Doug Starn.” RMCAD Denver, CO.

 

 

Teaching Experience

2011–present            Adjunct faculty, course: Senior Professional Practices. RMCAD

2006                         Certified Pilates Teacher. Denver Athletics Club. 2006 Art at All Hours Tour Development and Implementation, Denver Art

2006                         Internship Project Manager, Denver Art Museum.

2006                         Docent Training Assistant, Denver Art Museum, Modern and Contemporary collection

2005                         Internship Project Manager, Denver Art Museum

2005                         Eye for Inspiration Teacher Aid, Denver Art Museum

 

Awards and Organizations

2013                          nominated for Denver Office of Cultural Affairs Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts

2012                          nominated for Denver Office of Cultural Affairs Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts

2012                          featured in the New Museum’s Art Space’s Directory

2011–present            Independent Curators International – Member and Curatorial Intensive Alum

2009–present          College Arts Association -­‐ Member

2009–present          Colorado Wyoming Association of Museums -­‐ Member

2005–present          Denver Art Museum Contemporaries (formally Alliance for Contemporary Art) -­‐ Member

2012                           Lakewood/ Denver Public Arts Program committee

2008–11                     Philip J. Steele Foundation – Board Member

2004                          Art Alliance at The University of Colorado, Denver, CO -­‐ Vice President

2003                          Sculpture Club at The University of Colorado, Denver, CO -­‐ Member

2003                          Art Alliance at The University of Colorado, Denver, CO -­‐ Vice President

2002                          Art Alliance at The University of Colorado, Denver, CO -­‐ Member

 

Selected Volunteer Work

2012                           Redline’s annual fundraiser, juror

2008–9                     Art Bash, Philip J. Steele Arts and Education Foundation Annual Fundraiser, volunteer

2007                          Stop Landmines in Mozambique Auction, event organizer

2007                          DAM Contemporaries Lecture Series – front desk registration aid

2006                          Beethoven's Birthday Card Contest KVOD classical radio station -­‐ contest judge

2006                          Denver Art Museum Ambassador, Interview committee

2006                          The Laboratory of Art and Ideas, Art Fitness Program Assistant

2006                          Denver Art Museum Uncorked, volunteer

2005                          The Red Cross, Hurricane Katrina Relief, volunteer

2005                          Alliance for Contemporary Art Auction, benefiting the DAM’s new acquisitions, volunteer

2004                          The Art at the Oxford Auction, Production Assistant

2003                          Snow Shoe Shuffle for Cancer Research, fundraising volunteer

2000                          Youth Outreach Center, aided in the organization of fundraising events