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OCAD U grad to lead new Manhattan Zwirner gallery with an all-Black staff

Ebony L. Haynes
Ebony L. Haynes

OCAD University grad Ebony L. Haynes will join David Zwirner as a director of a new stand-alone gallery in Manhattan, expected to open in spring 2021.

A curator, writer and art dealer, Haynes plans to run the gallery with an all-Black staff.

Hayne’s goal is to create a new model for what a commercial gallery can look like: “less exhibitions per year and not your traditional artist representation structure,” said Haynes. “And to provide opportunities for Black people to learn how galleries work and offer some real professional practice.”

Haynes graduated from OCAD University with a MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice in 2011. “There was an internship requirement after the second semester of classes and that’s when I reached out to various museums, publishers and galleries in NYC, and I got an amazing opportunity with Foxy Production,” said Haynes.

“I am very excited for Ms. Haynes’ new directorial appointment and the advancement of her long-standing commitment to promoting Black culture," said Dot Tuer, Professor, Visual and Critical Studies, OCAD University.  "Haynes focused on contemporary Black artists and critical race theory in her graduate curatorial studies at OCAD U, which provided her the foundation to become a significant cultural protagonist in the field. Her achievements are particularly resonant at OCAD U in the context of the recent Black Cluster Hire."

Haynes plans to implement a paid internship program for Black students and hopes to work with institutions to promote these opportunities.

In an interview with The New York Times, world-renowned gallerist, David Zwirner said, “She really presented herself to me in conversation as a thinker and an activist, and not just an art dealer.” He added that “Ms. Haynes will ‘have full autonomy’ in programming exhibitions. She will also be part of the larger gallery operation, sharing in discussions with the other directors about signing and managing artists.” Haynes begins her new role on October 1.