Episode 00

Welcome to Contemporary Black Canvas. I am your host, Dr. Pia Deas. This week we had the pleasure of speaking with Meg Onli, the current Assistant  Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. Please join us for this two-part series. In this episode, we speak to Meg Onli about her life and work as a curator. In part two, we speak to Meg Onli and a guest artist about Onli’s latest exhibition, Colored People Time, an exhibit in three chapters that opens in February 2019 and closes in December of this year. Please see our shownotes for the link to this exhibition. In this episode,  I talk to Meg Onli about her move to Chicago in 2005 to pursue graduate school and a career as a conceptual artist and how she realized that she was better suited to be a curator. Before she joined the ICA as an Assistant Curator, Onli was the Program Coordinator at the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. She was also the recipient of the Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant and the creator of the website The Black Visual Archive. Meg Onli’s first exhibition Speech/Acts at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia (2017) focused on Black poetry in order to explore how the  social constructs of language have shaped  the black American experience. To find out more about the current exhibit please visit www.icaphila.org.  

For more information & exhibition dates and times  visit

Institute of Contemporary Art

For more on Meg Onli’s new exhibit (February 2019) visit :

Colored People Time: Mundane Futures

Artists Meg Onli mentioned on this episode:

Carolyn Lazard

Aria Dean

Matthew Angelo Harrison

Otobongnkanga

Claudia Rankine

           Dr. Kellie Jones

Harryette MullenM

Tony Lewis

Brooke O’Hara

Sharon Hayes

Julia Bloch

Simone White

Up and coming artists: Carolyn Lazard, Cameron Rollin, Aria Dean Matthew Angelo Harrison

Resource she relies on: Other artists

Words you live by: To find happiness in my own labor

Where can we find your work: Institute of Contemporary Art

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