CAN! Conversations: Conservation Approaches within Artists’ Estates and Foundations
CAN! Conversations is a series of discussions on the quandaries of conserving contemporary art. Topics are proposed by CAN! members for CAN! members and the events will be held seasonally over Zoom. Do you have a topic to propose for a future CAN! Conversation? Send your ideas to Martha Singer at email@example.com.
Head of Conservation
Museum Resources Division (MRD), New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs (NMDCA)
Brad Epley joined the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs in July of 2022 as the Head of Conservation for the Museum Resources Division, and oversees the conservation activities across the state museums and historic sites. Prior to assuming his current position, he was at the Menil Collection in Houston for twenty three years, serving as its Chief Conservator from 2006. At the Menil Brad co-directed the Artists Documentation Program, a collaborative interview program with the Whitney Museum of American Art to recorded conversations between conservators and contemporary artists documenting the material and conceptual needs of artworks to create a ‘living will’ for their conservation.
Head of Programme
Ellie Porter is a Cultural Programmer specialising in artists' archives and contemporary art. As Head of Programme at Art360 Foundation she has delivered 46 tailored archival projects for artists and estates including Claire Barclay, Vanley Burke, Rose English, the Alexis Hunter Estate, Hayley Newman, the Donald Rodney Estate, Franklyn Rodgers, the Tim Stead Estate and the Maud Sulter Estate: see art360foundation.org.uk for more. She co-runs the Expanded Archives Network with Hauser & Wirth Institute, connecting freelance and institution-based archivists, curators and memory workers globally through a program of workshops and events. She also co-leads the British Art Network Research Group 'Art, Memory and Place', exploring artists' legacies through the lens of geography. Ellie's previous roles include Art Fund, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and independent consultancy on archival management and preservation for artists, museums, and other non-profits and charities. In 2019 she collaboratively produced the first free mobile app for artists' archives.
Mike Kelly Foundation
Mark Lightcap is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, and Collection Manager for the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. Mark came to work for the Mike Kelley Studio as lead fabricator and project manager in 2006, eventually taking over as shop manager and head of fabrication in 2010. Following the artist’s death in 2012, he took on the role of Collections Manager, overseeing all artworks and related materials in the MKFA collection, loans, conservation/preservation, and advising on installations. Prior to his time with The Kelley Studio, Mark worked as an itinerant carpenter, art fabricator, preparatory and owner/operator of an illicit transcontinental art trucking company. As a musician and recording artist he is a founding member of the bands Acetone, Dick Slessig, and The Ecstasy of Gold. Over the years he has worked with Malmos, Hope Sandoval, Spiritualized, The Soft Pink Truth, Tom Chasteen, Mamadou Kelly, Led Kaapana, The Kronos Quartet, and Marshall Allen, among others. He received his BFA in Music Performance and Composition from CalArts in 1989.
Martha Singer (Moderator)
Material Whisperer/Art Conservation Services
Martha Singer is the Director of Material Whisperer Consultation and Conservation Services, based in the New York City area. She specializes in modern and contemporary sculpture and objects. She has been working in conservation since 1991. Understanding materials, their working and aging properties as well as helping people is what Martha is most passionate about. She especially enjoys working with artists and their representatives or galleries to help them achieve their goals.
Joy Bloser (Moderator)
Assistant Objects Conservator
The Menil Collection
Objects conservator specializing in modern and contemporary art with a particular interest in plastics.