CAN! Conversations: Contextualizing the Decision-making Model in Contemporary Art Conservation

CAN! Conversations is a new discussion series on the quandaries of conserving contemporary art. Topics are proposed by CAN! members for CAN! Members and will be held seasonally over Zoom.  Do you have a topic to propose for a future CAN! Conversation? Please send ideas to Martha Singer

Joy Bloser

Assistant Objects Conservator

The Menil Collection

Objects conservator specializing in modern and contemporary art with a particular interest in plastics.

Julia Betancor

Head Conservation

Julia Betancor Fine Art Conservation

Julia Betancor is the founder of Julia Betancor Fine Art Conservation, Madrid. She is also Head of Conservation at Head Conservation at Colección SOLO. She studied easel painting conservation at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She is currently a conservator in private practice with over 20 years broad experience in all aspects of conservation. She has also had the pleasure of working as a fine art assessor and appraiser for insurance companies and the courts. She is the founder at ARTY and Co, a fine art consultation service. 

From 1996 to 2008, she was Senior Curator of Paintings at Hamish Dewar LTD. She was a painting conservator at the Royal Palace of Madrid from 2002-2004. She was a fellow in paintings at the Museo de Arte Reina Sofia (Madrid) from 1995-96. She studied Materials for Conservation at the University of London in 1996 and conservation at the Conservazione e Restauro dei Beni Culturali (Palazzo Spinelli) in 1990.

She is a long-time member of ICOM, RSA, AIC, and IIC.

Miroslaw Wachowiak

Associate Professor/Conservator

Nicolaus Copernicus University/Centre of Contemporary Art, Toruń

Miroslaw Wachowiak since 2012 works as associate professor at the Department of Conservation and Restoration of Modern and Contemporary Art of Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun and since 2008 as conservator at the Centre of Contemporary Art. He was researching Polish 19th c. paintings. At the moment his main interested is focused on modern and contemporary art materials and techniques as well as ethics in conservation, especially considering interaction with artist also of conceptual and performative attitude. He is coauthor of book: Issues of Conservation and Restoration of Modern and Contemporary Art and author of just published in Poland: Intervention of Conservator Into the works of the Lliving Artists. Ethical and Conservation Issues. Since 2016 he is the Deputy Dean of Fine Art Faculty NCU in Torun.

Mareike Opeña

Associate Conservator

Contemporary Conservation Ltd

Mareike Opeña graduated from the Cologne Institute of Conservation Sciences, Germany in 2009 with a Diplom thesis on physical properties of polymeric films, and a Master thesis on ethics and multiculturalism in conservation of contemporary art in 2017. 

Mareike joined Contemporary Conservation in 2010, where she has specialized in materials such as intestines, rose petals, leafing pigments, and matte spray-painted or monochrome surfaces. She is co-founding member of AIC’s Contemporary Art Network (CAN!) and served as Program Chair and Assistant Program Chair for AIC’s Annual Meetings in 2019 and 2020. 

Since 2019 she is researching contemporary art conservation in private practice as an external PhD candidate under supervision of  Dr. Vivian van Saaze, at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University, NL.


Spring CAN! Conversation: Contextualizing the decision-making model in contemporary art conservation
04/09/2021 at 12:00 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 11/30/2021
04/09/2021 at 12:00 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 11/30/2021 Decision-making models in conservation are predominantly designed for practice within the museum. Conservation, however, occurs in many non-museum contexts. How does decision-making shift to accommodate these distinct contexts beyond the museum? Conservation of contemporary art recognizes special categories of stakeholders, like the artist, their assistants, and/or estates - but how do other stakeholders such as galleries, auction houses, and collectors influence our practice? How can we broaden decision-making models to accurately represent and embrace these other factors? Each panelist represents a unique context in contemporary art conservation, including working for a private collection, kunsthalle, academia, private practice, and a museum.