Excitement Surrounds Burns’ Role as Juror for CIA 2021 Alumni Exhibition

The 2019 Alumni Exhibition at CIA’s Reinberger Gallery.

Emily Carol Burns is driven by curiosity.

An inquisitive spirit is what inspired her to pursue fine arts degrees in both painting and graphic design. It’s also what piqued her interest in serving as juror for the Cleveland Institute of Art’s 2021 Alumni Exhibition, which will be on view from June 4 to August 13 in the Reinberger Gallery.

“The work I’ve seen in past CIA exhibitions has been incredibly strong,” Burns says. “I’m particularly excited to be part of the conversation of this group of artists who are making really impressive and important work.”

Burns is the founding editor of Maake Magazine, an independent artist-run publication, and is an assistant professor at The Pennsylvania State University. She has experience curating a range of visual art from emerging artists. She’s also a multidisciplinary artist, which will inform her perspective as Alumni Exhibition juror.

“Because Emily has such a well-rounded practice, she’s able to look at a wide breadth of bodies of work and make this an interesting show that has a lot of diversity,” says Nikki Woods, director of CIA’s Reinberger Gallery.

The Alumni Exhibition was born out of a desire to engage more thoughtfully with CIA grads and allow them to showcase their artwork.

“The show serves as a way to provide alumni with a real exhibition opportunity,” Woods says. “They can get their work shown at the institution where they initially learned about their practices. It also provides a professional opportunity with jurors of real clout.”

The Alumni Exhibition is a much-anticipated show throughout Greater Cleveland, says Lauralee Hutson, CIA Alumni Council president. Seeing it offers an opportunity to learn more about the college and its influence on the artistic vocabulary of the region.

Hutson looks forward to Burns’ involvement in this year’s show.

“I’m excited about the perspective Emily brings to jurying from her own background as a maker and designer,” Hutson says. “Her breadth of experience is certain to produce a well-informed selection of work to present in a dynamic exhibit of contemporary art created by CIA alumni.”

Burns predicts there will be “some really stunning pieces” in the exhibition. As an artist, she’s drawn to work that begs her to look deeper.

Previous Burns-curated exhibitions have centered on visual art. With submissions from both artists and designers for the CIA show, she is excited to mix a variety of media in an exhibition format.

“Many of these artists will likely be new to me, so I haven’t seen their work before. That to me is exciting—breaking out of your circle and getting to experience something you haven’t before,” Burns says.



Visit cia.edu/exhibitions for the most current CIA/Reinberger Gallery visitor policy and for updates regarding a potential opening reception or related public programming.