Life is filled with promise for this young curator taking the art world by storm in the city by the Bay.
by Donna Parker
It's a long way from Marfa, Texas to the Mission District of San Francisco, but Amanda Mayo is relishing the opportunity to work with emerging and established artists in this vibrant arts community. Amanda received a degree in art from Trinity in 2008.
Amanda first worked for Marfa public radio before reconnecting with Matt Johns '08, whom she met as an intern at ArtPace in San Antonio. He asked her to do an on-air interview with the curator of an exhibition on view at ArtPace. Excited for the opportunity to interview the curator, she didn't expect it to result in the insistence that Amanda move to San Francisco. Jens Hoffmann is an adjunct professor and the Director of the CCA (California College of the Arts) Wattis Institute for Creative Arts where Amanda went on to earn her master's in curatorial practice.
"I applied to the program and everything just fell into place. It took a little getting used to - going from such a small town to this large city, but I'm in an amazing neighborhood and happily work out of my Victorian one-bedroom apartment," says Amanda who also takes advantage of a nearby coffee shop as an alternate workplace.
Her latest exhibition, Corner of the World, features the work of young artists and explores how imagination and memory shape the content of interior and intimate spaces.
"We're fortunate to have received a lot of positive press on this show including the San Francisco Chronicle which profiled our event as ‘the one to go to.'"
Amanda says art is her life but music is a strong passion, and she spends much of her free time either attending concerts with friends or getting involved in intense discussions with them on music and art. She also writes and continually seeks out new exhibition ideas, developing her own method of preparing for shows.
"I like to have all of the work in the space first and then see how it fits together. That is always such an ‘aha' moment. It's important that the placement makes sense and that people feel the installation without even knowing it. It's an exciting and exhilarating process!"
"I learned how to think things through and think for myself as a Trinity student. My adviser, Kate Ritson, department of art and art history, was very influential in my process. She was supportive and nurturing, but had a critical way about her that was invaluable because it taught me how to navigate."
"I'm still close to Liz Ward, whom I had for art theory, and Kate Green, both from the department of art and art history. The latter really gave me the grounding to understand contemporary art history. Finally, Jennifer Mathews, department of sociology and anthropology, taught me impeccable research skills which are now some of my biggest assets."
"San Francisco has proven to be a wonderful place to start my emerging career as a curator and I'm excited to see where it will take me next."
You may contact Amanda at Amayo810 [at] gmail.com.