Photo by Ebtihal Shedid
Kathy Zarur is a curator and educator based in San Francisco. She has curated exhibitions for the San Francisco Arts Commission, Center for Asian American Media Film Festival, Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center, Kearny Street Workshop, SOMArts, San Francisco State University Fine Arts Gallery, and Museum of the African Diaspora (all in San Francisco). In 2011, she was assistant curator of the Sharjah Biennial. She co-produced artist Wael Shawky’s live installation Dictums 10:120 for the subsequent Sharjah Biennial in 2013. She has worked with Al Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art in Jerusalem and was a researcher for a cultural center project in Ghana. Her most recent exhibition, Preoccupations: Palestinian Landscapes, premiered at Minnesota Street Project in San Francisco in 2019 and traveled to Holding House in Detroit, MI in 2020, thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign.
Zarur has also organized numerous conferences. She was artistic director of "Chinese Painting Here, Then & Now: Creating Community" (San Francisco State University and Asian Art Museum, 2020). In 2017, she was artistic director of “Teaching Art of the Middle East and Islamic World” (San Francisco State University and the de Young Museum). She co-organized “Zones of Representation,” a symposium and exhibition hosted by SF Camerawork.
Zarur has published articles for Art in America and Broadsheet, and she has written numerous curatorial and conference essays. Her exhibitions have been reviewed by KQED and SF Weekly, and she has been featured in the SF Examiner.
Zarur earned her PhD in art history from the University of Michigan, where she also obtained a certificate in Museum Studies. Her research focuses on contemporary art and the museum industry in Southwest Asia (aka the Middle East) and its diasporas. She teaches art history at California College of the Arts, San Francisco State University, and Mills College.
zarurk [at] gmail [dot] com