Shake It Up: An Evening with Martha Wilson & Q/A with Amy Sadao
Katya Grokhovsky Curatorial Fellowship
Sunday, May 10th



Grokhovksy presented “Transformations, Invasions and Pushing Boundaries” a lecture by Martha Wilson with a Q/A with Amy Sadao Daniel W. Dietrich, II Director, Institute of Contemporary Art / University of Pennsylvania.

Artist Statements

Wilson chronicled the interwoven stages of her creative contributions within the context of early feminist and socially engaged studio practice as well as her dissemination of the work of like-minded individuals through the auspices of Franklin Furnace. Central to the discussion is her presence as an agent of transformative change, initially in her artwork and then her facilitation of cultural change through her Directorial presence at Franklin Furnace.

Martha Wilson Lecture Video Documentation

Martha Wilson Q & A Video Documentation


Martha Wilson is a pioneering feminist artist and gallery director, who over the past four decades created innovative photographic and video works that explore her female subjectivity. She has been described by New York Times critic Holland Cotter as one of “the half-dozen most important people for art in downtown Manhattan in the 1970s.” In 1976 she founded Franklin Furnace, an artist-run space that champions the exploration, promotion and preservation of artist books, temporary installation, performance art, as well as online works. She is represented by P.P.O.W Gallery in New York; and has received fellowships for performance art from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts; Bessie and Obie awards for commitment to artists’ freedom of expression; a Yoko Ono Lennon Courage Award for the Arts; a Richard Massey Foundation-White Box Arts and Humanities Award; and in 2013 received an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University.

Appointed as ICA Director in September 2012, Amy Sadao has increased ICA’s staffing and attendance, forged connections with institutions across the city, overseen ICA’s ambitious 50th Anniversary Season, and shepherded the launch of a totally reconceived website. She actively represents ICA as a juror and lecturer, most recently at CAM St. Louis, Moore College of Art, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Leeway Foundation, and the Cambridge Art Association. Sadao advocates for art and culture’s essential role in civil society, and has been featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Pennsylvania Gazette, and on the BBC,, Channel 4, CBC, NY1, and WXPN.

Before assuming the directorship of ICA, Sadao served for ten years as Executive Director of Visual AIDS in New York City. She greatly expanded that organization’s resources and public awareness of its mission utilizing contemporary art to provoke dialogue about HIV/AIDS and supporting HIV-positive artists. She eliminated the organization’s deficit and established a cash reserve, quadrupled the budget, initiated the 23-year-old organization’s first strategic plan, and produced exhibitions, events, and arts commissions with a rotating array of writers, visual artists, performers, and curators. Under her tenure, Visual AIDS established an annual exhibition program in collaboration with La MaMa La Galleria; commissioned over 40 artist editions focused on HIV; produced “AIDS/Art/Work,” a conference combining international activists, academics, and artists; and distributed over $140,000 in grants to HIV-positive artists. She has published catalogues and exhibition brochures including: Undetectable, curated by Nathan Lee with Rachel Cook (2012); ReMixed Messages, curated by John Chaich (2012); Mixed Messages, curated by John Chaich (2011); The Sword of Damocles, curated by Patrick O’Connell (2011); Untitled Resource Guide (2011); To Believe, curated by Jeffrey Walkowiak (2010);Tainted Love, curated by Steven Lam and Virginia Solomon (2009); You Make Me Feel [Mighty Real]: The Work of Robert Blanchon, curated by Sasha Archibald, Tania Duvergne, and Bethany Martin-Breen (2009); SIDE X SIDE, curated by Dean Daderko (2008); and Share Your Vision (2003). She is the co-editor of Robert Blanchon (2006), and arts editor forOakazine, V. 4 (2009).

Sadao has been the recipient of several awards for her work notably the 2014 ArtTable New Leadership Award, named a Women in the Arts Leader by Christine Quinn, Speaker of the New York City Council, and knighted by the Imperial Court of New York, the city’s oldest drag house for her work as an AIDS and art activist. She serves on the board of directors of Denniston Hill, an artist residency program and is a Director Emeritus of Visual AIDS.??Sadao began her arts career as a curatorial intern at the Whitney Museum of American Art and then as gallery coordinator for the Downtown Arts Festival. She earned an MA in comparative ethnic studies from the University of California, Berkeley and a BFA from the Cooper Union School of Art.