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Meg Onli. Photo: Marcus Maddox.

Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art Promotes Meg Onli to Associate Curator

The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at the University of Pennsylvania announced today that Meg Onli has been promoted to associate curator, a position endowed by alumna Andrea Berry Laporte, effective immediately. Onli joined the ICA in 2016 as assistant curator. During her tenure at the museum, she curated the exhibition “Speech/Acts” (2017), which explored how black American experiences have been shaped by the social and cultural constructs of language, and an exhibition currently on view, “Banal Presents,” which marks the final chapter of “Colored People Time,” the ICA’s three-part, yearlong presentation exploring race, history, and time.

“Meg has been an invaluable member of the ICA curatorial team since 2016 and this appointment is a well-deserved recognition of her talent and achievements,” said ICA interim director John McInerney. “Her work examining the intricacies of race, language, and power has brought an important and exciting voice into the institution.” According to chief curator Anthony Elms, Onli “genuinely loves welcoming people into conversations. Conversations we all should be having. Her engagement with pressing issues in art and society are richly rewarding and distinctly textured. I appreciate everything she offers to the ICA and to Philadelphia.”

Prior to her work at ICA, Onli served as program coordinator at the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, where she worked on the exhibitions “Architecture of Independence: African Modernism” (2016) and “Barbara Kasten: Stages” (2015–16). In 2010, she created the website Black Visual Archive, and in 2014, she was the recipient of a research grant from the Graham Foundation for the collaborative project “Remaking the Black Metropolis: Contemporary Art, Urbanity, and Blackness in America” with curator Jamilee Polson Lacy.

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