WHO WE ARE
KELSEY HALLIDAY JOHNSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Johnson is an interdisciplinary curator, artist, community radio DJ, and writer from Philadelphia who is deeply invested in underrepresented voices and alternative art histories. Before coming to SPACE she was a curator at the Michener Art Museum and previously held positions at Vox Populi, Locks Gallery, the Penn Museum, Blind Spot magazine, and WPRB 103.3FM. She was an instructor at the University of Pennsylvania and Interlochen Center for the Arts, and has been a visiting artist and critic at universities nationwide. In 2016, Johnson was awarded a grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage in support of her independent project Making/Breaking the Binary: Women, Art & Technology (1968-85). Artforum magazine proposed the exhibition would "ultimately aid in bringing about the end of gender determinism and difference in the arts and sciences in large" and Hyperallergic said "this rigorous exhibition uses art to critique the stereotype that men and technology go hand in hand." Her 2014 project, Thomas Chimes: The Body in Spirals was nominated for Best Exhibition in a Commercial Space Nationally by the International Association of Art Critics. In 2017, Kelsey was a Fellow at the Flaherty Film Seminar. In her spare time, Kelsey tries to volunteer with Planned Parenthood whenever possible, and serves on the Executive Commitee of the Sierra Club Maine. (Illustration by Annie Mok)
TOCCARRA THOMAS, MANAGING DIRECTOR
Thomas is a media and performance artist, film programmer, and arts administrator. A native of New England, she obtained her B.A. in Cultural Anthropology (minor in Film Studies) at Smith College, during which time, she was awarded both a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship and the Smithsonian Research Training Fellowship. Both awards allowed her to study the visual representation of culture in the U.S. and Africa before starting her career in the nonprofit sector. While completing her M.A. in Media Studies at The New School, she was an interview facilitator for StoryCorps—the Peabody Award-winning oral history organization—contributing to the collection at the Library of Congress and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Later, she served as program manager at African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF) where she produced screenings at Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Museum of Art and Design and other institutions across the U.S. and abroad before managing artist resources at New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). She joined SPACE after serving as the inaugural General Manager of Pioneer Works in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
Jon Courtney, CO-Founder + EVENTS Programmer
Jon has a twenty-year history in public events presenting beginning with The Black-Eyed Susan, a live music venue in Daytona Beach, Florida and later as a founding member and events programmer at The Werehouse (neé The Wherehouse), a live/work/perform collective space in Winston-Salem, NC. He relocated to Portland in 2001 and co-founded SPACE Gallery in 2002. He daylights as a carpenter and timber framer and grows a variety of food and weeds with his wife, daughter and superlative dog Rosie at their pseudo-homestead in Cape Elizabeth.
IAN P. HUNDT, PRODUCTION MANAGER
Ian P. Hundt is an engineer, producer and musician with a varied background in studio, live and compositional sound. He moved to Portland in 2014 and quickly found his way to SPACE. On his first shift, he had one of the most powerful musical experiences of his life working with Tal National, and he has loved SPACE deeply ever since. Ian began his engineering career with a degree in Electroacoustics at Concordia University in Montreal, and has since worked in Nashville, TN, for several years with a focus on analog recording. He became SPACE’s Production Manager in 2017, and is thrilled to be working in Portland’s music scene. He is married to visual artist Amelia Garretson-Persans with whom he frequently collaborates. When not working at live shows, Ian can be found tinkering in his basement studio, playing piano or making dinner.
GENEVIEVE JOHNSON, MEMBERSHIP + COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
Genevieve has engaged the intersecting realms of visual arts, culinary arts, and education since 2008. Her personal art practice often features food as a catalyst for bigger conversations and building deeper relationships. Genevieve has collaborated on multi-sensory projects with Hinge/Works and Alexis Iammarino. She has volunteered with SPACE Gallery since 2013.
PETER MCLAUGHLIN, MUSIC PROGRAMMER
Peter's first ever night in Portland in October 2006 was spent at SPACE, where Wolf Eyes melted his face and destroyed his ears. He remarkably still had enough hearing to join the event staff as a sound engineer in 2010. He joined the staff upstairs in the office as music programmer in 2014. As a drummer, he has played more than 600 shows across North America, Europe, and Asia over the the past decade, with bands such as Woodpainting, Names Divine, Ora Cogan, Lina Tullgren, Yairms, Family Planning, Jacob Augustine, Lisa/Liza, Lady Lamb, The Casco Bay Tummlers, and more. He runs a small record label, Pretty Purgatory. His favorite color is purple.
MARTHA SCHNEE, outreach coordinator
Martha Schnee is an arts educator, maker, and community builder. She's originally from Newton, MA, but moved to Portland in 2015 after graduating from Bates College. She has an honors B.A. in American Cultural Studies, for which she combined a variety of courses in Anthropology, Gender Studies, African-American Studies and Studio Art. She's spent the last two years working at the Portland Museum of Art as the Teen Programs Assistant, at the Art Department as an Artist Mentor, and as a co-coordinator of the Front Street Study Center in the Front Street public housing neighborhood. She is also a trained Direct Support Professional, STEAM educator, artist, and museum educator and combines these skills to create accessible, dynamic arts programming focused on social justice and critical pedagogy. When she’s not working, she loves riding her bike, swimming, taking care of her plants, listening to tons of podcasts, innovating new ways to eat peanut butter, and exploring.
ELIZABETH SPAVENTO, VISUAL ARTS PROGRAMMER
As a curator and human being, Elizabeth Spavento is interested in equity, particularly as it relates to issues of race and gender, the untapped potential of space, altered states of consciousness and unstructured time. Her practice seeks the fringe as a way to push back against hegemony, and her work tends to favor alternative spaces and community-driven practices. She has curated exhibitions for Disjecta Contemporary Art Center in Portland, OR and Open Source Gallery in New York, NY in addition to exhibiting her own work in Buffalo, NY. Spavento's largest project, ALL RISE, was a two-year long series of temporary public artworks punctuated by performance, video and music on a 90,000 sq. ft. gravel lot in downtown Seattle. In 2015, it was recognized as one of 38 outstanding public art projects in the country by Americans for the Arts Public Art Network. She and her partner, Jared Haug run Border Patrol, a contemporary art space that investigates the intersection between contemporary art and corporate aesthetics.
KOREN SULLIVAN, OFFICE MANAGER
A metalsmith and unabashed YA fiction-lover, Koren began her work at SPACE as an intern in 2015. Now she's managing the office-y goings-on... and occasionally baking cookies for starving artists. When not at SPACE, Koren can often be found working in her studio, gardening, listening to her vinyl collection (Green Day, Jim Croce, The Rolling Stones, My Morning Jacket...) or spending time at home with her family and their pet menagerie, which includes two dogs, a lizard, two guinea pigs, and (on occasion) some sea monkeys. You can check out Koren's website here.
JD, LEAD HOUSE MANAGER & Building Manager
our amazing EVENT STAFF:
catherine buxton, Luna Colt, Sierra d'amours, GREG JAMIE, Khalil Lesaldo, nate pronovost
Assistant gallery preparators:
sam butler and luna colt
SUmmer 2018 interns:
jake lichter, luisda molina rueda, cassie farmer, grace morris, AND enrique mendia
Board of Directors:
ANNIE LEAHY» President
SPACE relies on a wide net of volunteers and friends. There are many more people involved with the operations of SPACE, and we regret that we can not list them all.