Nicole J. Caruth is a curator, writer, and arts administrator whose work examines place and identity, often focusing on the necessities of life such as food, shelter, and health. She works with contemporary artists in gallery contexts and public spaces. Her exhibitions include The Grace Jones Project, Burning Down the House: Building a Feminist Art Collection, Fallen Fruit: Power of People, Power of Place, Derrick Adams: Crossroad—A Social Sculpture, and, most recently, Build Better Tables, a temporary public-art exhibition commissioned by Metro Arts: Nashville Office of Arts and Culture.
Currently, Nicole serves as consulting artistic director at The Union for Contemporary Art, leading program strategy and visioning new initiatives. As The Union’s former Director of Pedagogy + Public Practice, she established the annual Wanda D. Ewing Commission to support the production and presentation of new work by Black women artists living in the United States. Previously, Nicole was the artistic director at McColl Center for Art + Innovation. She has also held positions at Art21 and the Brooklyn Museum, where she worked at the intersection of education, curation, and digital technology.
Nicole has written for ARTnews, C Magazine, Gastronomica, Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, Public Art Review, two Phaidon Press volumes, and catalogues from, among others, Joan Mitchell Foundation and The Studio Museum in Harlem. She is founding editor of the Art21 Magazine (est. 2013). 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 launched With Food in Mind, a platform for art-based approaches to childhood obesity and nutrition disparities in low resource communities. In recent years, she has concentrated her research on neighborliness, exploring how art institutions can be better neighbors and work with artists to influence people to act on behalf of each other to improve living conditions for all.
Born and raised in the California Bay Area, she earned her bachelor's degree in art history at San Francisco State University, and her master's degree at the Bard College Center for Curatorial Studies. She is a 2017-18 Diversity + Leadership Fellow with the Alliance of Artists Communities.