Nicole J. Caruth is a curator and writer with abiding interests in socially-engaged art and community wellness. This is demonstrated by her portfolio of projects addressing food justice, education access, housing security, and other issues that touch on the necessities of life. Recently, her research has focused on neighborliness, exploring how artists influence people to act on behalf of each other to improve living conditions for all.
Nicole has held positions at nonprofits across the United States, including Art21 and the Brooklyn Museum where she worked at the intersection of interpretation, education, and digital technologies. As the artistic director at McColl Center for Art + Innovation, she supervised the artist residency program, provided curatorial oversight for exhibitions and public engagement, and contributed to the Center's visioning process. At Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, she organized exhibitions and public programs, working with artists such as Derrick Adams and Fallen Fruit. Currently, Nicole is the artistic director at The Union for Contemporary Art where, in addition to shaping the artistic vision, she is strategist and steward of the organization's commitment to social justice, ensuring its reflection in new and existing programs.
As an independent curator, Nicole organizes exhibitions for a range of venues, including, most recently, The Grace Jones Project at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, CA. Her upcoming public art exhibition for the Nashville Office of Arts & Culture will address the effects of urban development and gentrification on community nourishment. She is also organizing a solo exhibition of new work by the Baltimore-based artist Zoë Charlton.
Nicole's writing has appeared in ARTnews, C Magazine, Gastronomica, Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, Public Art Review, the Phaidon Press volumes Vitamin Green and Vitamin D2, and catalogues from Joan Mitchell Foundation and The Studio Museum in Harlem. She is founding editor of the Art21 Magazine (est. 2013), an online contemporary art publication. Nicole has written extensively on the intersection of food and contemporary art, earning her recognition as a leading voice on the subject. In 2012, she founded With Food in Mind, a nonprofit platform for art-based approaches to childhood obesity and nutrition disparities in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color.
Born in the California Bay Area, Nicole earned her bachelor's degree in Art History at San Francisco State University, and her master's degree in Curatorial Studies at Bard College. She is a 2017–18 Diversity + Leadership Fellow with the Alliance of Artists Communities.