The Contemporary Austin Announces New Head Curator & Senior Director of Programs

by Jessica Fuentes October 29, 2022

The Contemporary Austin has announced the appointments of Alex Klein as Head Curator & Director of Curatorial Affairs and Danny Orendorff as Senior Director of Programs & Engagement.

In a press release announcing the new hires, The Contemporary’s executive director and CEO, sharon maidenberg, stated, “I am thrilled to welcome Alex Klein and Danny Orendorff to The Contemporary Austin. Both bring tremendous experience in the field, and reflect our organizational commitment to centering art AND audiences in our work. Alex and Danny are both creative thinkers who can serve as the next generation of leaders at The Contemporary Austin, and will undoubtedly contribute to the growth and evolution of Austin’s arts community.”

A headshot of Alex Klein.

Alex Klein. Image courtesy of The Contemporary Austin.

For over a decade, Ms. Klein has served as the Dorothy and Stephen R. Weber (CHE ‘60) Senior Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania. During her tenure at the ICA, her curatorial practice has been rooted in creative dialogue and collaboration.  Ms. Klein has developed over 20 exhibitions featuring international contemporary artists, including Michelle Lopez, Nathalie Du Pasquier, Sondra Perry, Alex Da Corte, Trevor Shimizu, Tamara Henderson, Tony Cokes, Suki Seokyeong Kang, Barbara Kasten, Ane Graff, and Linda Goode Bryant. 

Outside of her direct work with artists, Ms. Klein developed partnerships with organizations such as the Heine Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; RAW Material Company, Senegal; Kunsthalle Lissabon, Portugal and Electronic Arts Intermix, New York. Starting in 2016, she also organized the website, podcast, and exhibition partnerships series I is for Institute, which investigates trends in contemporary arts organizations.

Prior to joining ICA, Ms. Klein held positions in the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department, Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Roski School of Fine Arts, University of Southern California; and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 

Ms. Klein expressed her excitement to join the museum and contribute to the institution’s commitment to artists and the community. She remarked, “ I look forward to collaborating with my new colleagues to support underrepresented narratives, disciplines, and communities, understood in their broadest sense. The unique constellation of the exhibition program at the Jones Center and the sculpture garden and art school at Laguna Gloria connects with my own desire for artistic practice to instigate dialogue and to cross-pollinate with multiple contexts. I can’t wait to get started.”

A photograph of Danny Orendorff. He holds a microphone in one hand and looks off into the the distance as he addresses an unseen crowd.

Danny Orendorff. Image courtesy of The Contemporary Austin.

Mr. Orendorff is an arts administrator, curator, writer, and educator who has served as the Executive Director of Vox Populi, an artist-run nonprofit gallery and performance venue in Philadelphia since 2018. In that position, he managed administrative and fundraising initiatives and guided an artist collective in the development and presentation of dozens of exhibitions and public programs each year.

Prior to working at Vox, Mr. Orendorff served as the Curator of Public Programs at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City and as the Director of Programs for Threewalls Gallery in Chicago, where he also managed The Propeller Fund — a Warhol Foundation regional regranting initiative similar to The Idea Fund in Houston.

Mr. Orendorff remarked, “I’m elated to be joining The Contemporary Austin and am very inspired by the enthusiasm and thoughtfulness of the team members I’ve met. The opportunity to connect with Austin audiences while contributing to and developing the museum’s programming is incredibly exciting.”

Both Ms. Klein and Mr. Orendorff will join the museum’s full-time staff in 2023.

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Diane Mazur October 30, 2022 - 13:28



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