UMMA Curator Ozi Uduma ‘Brings Fresh Voice to the Art of Curation’ - Hear Her Latest Podcast Interview Here

UMMA Curator Ozi Uduma ‘Brings Fresh Voice to the Art of Curation’ - Hear Her Latest Podcast Interview Here

A recent episode of The Art of Curation podcast, a show that dives deep into how influential curators make the impactful decisions that lead to engaging stories through art, features UMMA’s Ozi Uduma, assistant curator of global contemporary art. 

The show’s host Mia Quagliarello said she did not hesitate to reach out to Uduma, as big names in the art world have tagged her as “one to watch,” and Uduma has gained a reputation for “bring[ing] a fresh voice to the art of curation.”

You can listen to their fascinating, wide ranging discussion below. We’ve summarized a few main points below. 

In conversation about curation and its connection to the act of cultural stewardship, Uduma explains how she likes to think beyond the aesthetic value of pieces. “Part of my work is to look at how artists are using their craft to speak to the times we're living in—everything from climate change to immigration to the everyday human experience,” she explains. “My role is to look at what our museum has historically focused on and, in some regards, attempt to fill in the gaps or expand the conversation.”

The role of art historians, curators, and artists has evolved for Uduma’s generation, she argues. “Some of us are looking to see the end of how the art world has been run–[we’re] reflecting on what has happened in the last couple of decades and how [the field] has not supported curators of color, how they have been pushed out of these spaces,” she says. 

Uduma advocates for a new perspective among curators her age, with a focus on caring for the community and the public’s engagement with the arts. It’s an approach Uduma says can help avoid creating and uplifting a central, powerful voice that gets to say “this is legitimate art” and “this isn’t.” It’s up to the curators of her generation to make meaningful changes that can impact the lives of visitors and impact the future of museums. “Do we want a seat at the table, or do we want to break the table?” Uduma asks.  

Uduma’s exhibition at UMMA, Unsettling Histories: Legacies of Slavery and Colonialism, is open now.  

To listen to Flipboard’s podcast The Art of Curation, visit New episodes are being released weekly.

Explore the Exhibition 

Unsettling Histories
Legacies of Slavery and Colonialism

View Exhibition
Portrait of a white man with a powered hairstyle close to his ears and gathered back at the nape of his neck. He wears a dark coat and and is placed in front of a pick background. At the level of the man's face, the canvas is shredded into long, loosely hanging strips.

Titus Kaphar
Flay (James Madison)
oil on canvas with nails
Museum purchase made possible by Joseph and Annette Allen