Monica Valenzuela
 
Monica Valenzuela is a curator, arts administrator, and freelance photographer who specializes in storytelling, community-based project management, and lifestyle portraiture. As the Deputy Director at Staten Island Arts, she works closely with the diverse cultural ecosystem of Staten Island and values neighborhood-based cultural activities. She enjoys identifying alternative spaces for art and working with artists to develop sustainable projects that bring art in the public sphere. Notable projects include Staten Island Arts’ LUMEN festival, a cutting-edge video and art festival on Staten Island’s waterfront.
 
Monica’s past curatorial projects include, “MEXICANation” (presented at Snug Harbor Cultural Center in 2010), an exhibit featuring twenty-four prints that are part of a long-term photo essay by Irma Bohórquez-Geisler; “Sacred Spaces in Profane Buildings” (presented at Open Art Surgery, as part of 2012), Matilde Cassani’s comprehensive archive of sites of worship in the five boroughs located in otherwise “non-religious” buildings; “Passenger & Vessel” (presented at SI Arts Culture Lounge, 2014), featuring interactive video art by The Sperm Whale Collective; and “Great Richmond” (presented at SI Arts Culture Lounge, 2015), a crowd-sourced public sculpture/interactive diagram that is a collaboration between cartographer and urban theorist Neil Greenberg and sculptor Will Corwin. Recent projects includes “Great White,” featuring artist Victoria Munro investigating ideas relating to the physical gallery space of Culture Lounge, its proximity to its harbor setting, and the broader community need for exhibition space. Great White is currently on view at Staten Island Arts’ Culture Lounge Gallery. Monica currently serves as a member of the Times Square Alliance Curatorial Committee, Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts of New York, DOT Art Committee, and the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals Group Leadership Committee.