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ViVA Announces Inaugural Board of Directors

ViVA Virtual Visiting Artists is proud to announce its inaugural board of directors, a diverse group of educators, artists, arts administrators and thinkers. They will guide ViVA toward achieving our mission and provide both transformative and rigorous oversight of our operations and programming.


Renay Conlin is the Executive Director of the Vallejo Community Arts Foundation. She brings to her work a wide-ranging background of experience and accomplishments in music, theater, dance and other performing arts and a passion for painting, sculpture and all of the visual arts. She is a former executive director of Napa Valley Museum and the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and has served as Director of Development at the Museum of Craft and Design and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, among other notable posts. Prior to relocating to Napa in 2010, Renay was Commissioner of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and executive and artistic director of Toledo Opera.


Lisa Freiman, PhD is an internationally recognized curator and leader in the contemporary art field. She currently works as an independent curator, arts consultant, and writer, with a tenured faculty appointment in Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts. From 2013-2018, Freiman served as the inaugural director of VCU’s Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA). Freiman served as senior curator and chair of the contemporary art department at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) between 2002 and 2013, creating a dynamic and widely renowned contemporary art program that supported artists’ work through major traveling exhibitions, commissions, acquisitions, and publications. In 2011, Freiman was commissioner of the U.S. Pavilion in the 54th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia, presenting six newly commissioned, site-responsive works by Puerto Rico-based artists Allora & Calzadilla, the first collaborative to be presented in the U.S. Pavilion.


Taniecea Mallery, PhD is the owner of Diverse City Labs, LLC, a consulting firm providing expertise in diversity, equity and inclusion for individuals and organizations. She also provides research expertise in the areas of mathematical modeling, social network analysis, and the science of unconscious bias. Dr. Mallery currently serves as the Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives and Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In this role, she is responsible for fostering diversity among students, faculty and staff, as well as ensuring that underrepresented groups have equal access to educational opportunities and resources. She is also a member of the graduate faculty, teaching doctoral-level courses in the College of Education.


Jamaal B. Sheats, MFA is an alumnus of Fisk who, through his joint position leading the galleries and teaching, works with students, faculty, and the community in ways that integrate his expertise and passion for the arts, education, and mentorship. As a member of the Art Department, he has taught Sculpture, Arts and Ideas, Drawing, and Independent Study courses. In his director and curatorial appointment with the Fisk University Galleries, he successfully integrated the Arts into all academic disciplines and increased engagement with the Middle Tennessee community through novel and innovative approaches. During Sheats’ 3-year tenure as Director and Curator of the Fisk University Galleries, he has also curated 15 art exhibitions; welcomed over 16,000 visitors from across the globe; created the Fisk University Galleries Fellowship for post-doctoral scholars; and built a continuous pipeline of charitable giving from the annual Friends of the Gallery Campaign that he instituted in 2016. In addition to his appointments at Fisk, Sheats founded Sheats Repoussé, his art gallery and studio in 2003; as well his art education organization, the Charlotte Art Project, in 2013.


Steven Mintz, PhD is a leading educational innovator and an award-winning teacher and author. A Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin, Steven is a leading authority on families, children, youth, and the life course. He has published extensively on slavery, social reform, ethnicity, and film. For five years, he served as the founding director of The University of Texas System's Institute for Transformational Learning, which was responsible for designing and testing new educational models and technologies that can make a quality education more accessible, affordable, and successful. As a historian, he is the author of 15 books, including The Prime of Life: A History of Modern Adulthood, a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice, and Huck’s Raft: A History of American Childhood. A pioneer in the application of new technologies to historical research and teaching, he is past president of H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online, which serves over 200,000 academics world-wide. He blogs on Inside Higher Ed and Psychology Today. His writings have also been featured in The Washington Post.


Dwayne Todd, PhD serves Ohio Wesleyan University as the Vice President for Student Engagement and Success, Dean of Students, and Title IX Coordinator. In these roles, Dr. Todd leads Ohio Wesleyan’s efforts to sustain a vibrant campus community for students, to support students’ learning and development goals, and to prevent and respond to incidents of gender discrimination and sexual misconduct. With a higher education career spanning over 26 years, Dwayne previously served as Vice President for Student Affairs at Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD), MBA Assistant Program Chair at Franklin University, and various roles in residence life and student development services at Texas Christian University. Dwayne is actively involved in several professional organizations, including ACPA – College Student Educators International, where he served in several Governing Board roles. Additionally, he is a past president of the ACPA Foundation and of the Ohio College Personnel Association (OCPA).


In addition to these six members, ViVA Co-founder, Executive Director and Chief Curator, Natalie R. Marsh, MFA, PhD will serve as board chair. ViVA Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Scott R. Baker will serve as Secretary/Treasurer.


Full biographies for ViVA’s board of directors are available at vivavirtualartists.org.


ViVA is a nonprofit education and curatorial platform connecting internationally-recognized artists and projects emphasizing women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and social justice to diverse students, educators, and communities across all disciplines and ages.


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