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.
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."
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
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.
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