The Blog

Meet Logan Cryer, Program Manager for “Barbara Earl Thomas: The Illuminated Body”

March 8, 2024

Last month Logan Cryer joined the Arthur Ross Gallery staff as the Program Manager for Barbara Earl Thomas: the Illuminated Body. In their role, Logan will be involved with production for the upcoming performance of Seth Parker Woods’ Difficult Grace, will support the Arthur Ross Gallery’s first ever Community Advisory Group and logistics for the Community Celebration on Saturday, May 11, 2024. Read on to learn about Logan and their curatorial practice!

How did you first become interested in curating?
I started getting interested in curating while I was studying at Moore College of Art & Design. I was a Fine Arts major and saw artists in Philadelphia also working as curators in DIY contexts. They were able to create opportunities for other artists and that felt meaningful to me. My personal curatorial journey started when I wanted a platform for my classmates and I to share performance work, which was a little harder to present successfully in a classroom setting. Nowadays I don’t frequently exhibit my own artwork, but I still consider my curatorial work to be a part of my creative practice. Ultimately, it’s all about earnestly sharing.

Your curatorial work spans the performing arts and the visual arts. How did you start working between these two disciplines?
Growing up I was definitely a theater kid, so the performing arts have always been very special to me. I started to learn about Performance Art in college and that was eye opening. It wasn’t until I was introduced to Headlong Performance Institute that I got immersed into the worlds of experimental dance, theater, and performance in Philadelphia. HPI is a great program that gathers artists and creators from various backgrounds and offers lessons in presentness, iteration and play. That community introduced me to many creators, some of whom are now my close friends. I enjoy occupying both of these worlds and applying different critical skills to each. It’s incredible how different forms of art inspire different forms of thought.

Are there projects that you feel particularly proud of?
I’ve recently completed the second iteration of dream pit, which is a concert series held at Icebox Project Space. I’m the Co-Curator at Icebox, along with Tim Belknap, and one of my goals is to introduce more musical performances into the space. dream pit consists of experimental, ambient, noise and genreless musicians performing under an 8-foot disco ball that we install in the gallery. Yes, it’s that big. To make the shows happen, I work with Kevin P. Keenan, who is an incredible, local sound engineer, and with Tim, who runs lights and builds out the stage. It’s an ambitious project because I want to give local and DIY musicians a chance to work in an ambitious context. There’s so much I learn from the whole process and I’m always thinking about how to run the program better, make the artists happier and, as every organizer knows, get more people out to experience the shows!

Any lessons for emerging curators that you’d like to share?
I can only offer this advice: just start doing things. Curating can happen in so many contexts and at so many scales. Hosting a DIY show, proposing an exhibition at a local gallery, rotating the artwork in your kitchen, organizing a happening in a park. The two things that you practice when you do those things are trusting your own vision and communicating with artists. If you start small, you will have so much more confidence and skill when you start to scale up. And if you never scale up, that’s cool too. Curators and organizers keep our creative communities running, especially when working in a DIY context. I would love to see more funding go towards their efforts so that they can work more sustainably!