Juror Profile: Cecilia Stucker
Cecelia Lucas Stucker, the juror for the Anderson Arts Center’s 2021 Juried Show, has roamed far from her roots in Columbia, South Carolina.
When she studied studio art (painting) and art history at the University of South Carolina, her goal was a career in restoration. But she was unable to secure an apprenticeship, which was her pathway to a job in this field. Instead, following a professor’s advice, she pursued an MBA at Sotheby’s in New York and then landed a job with an art advisor who built private collections and curated for galleries. “Having organized group shows of my fellow students, I realized being a curator is a job,” she said.
She ultimately opened her own company, CC: Curating & Collections, and today helps shape private collections as well as curate socially minded exhibitions for galleries and museums around the world, including Europe, the U. S., Thailand, and Nigeria. Early exhibitions include Ruination/Restoration at The Old School in New York (about how rituals and iconography will fade into memory) and Human Interface at London's Hus Gallery (exploring how platforms of mass production, consumption and global connectivity assimilate visual information, impact how iconography manifests, and shape art historical and cultural canon). One of her site-specific exhibitions, Route to Resettlement, is being done in collaboration with black community leaders around South Carolina and first opened at the Mann-Simons Site in Columbia featuring works by acclaimed artists Rashid Johnson and Henry Taylor, alongside up-and-coming artists Michi Meko, Victorian-Idongesit Udondian, and Fletcher Williams III.
As a juror, she said, “I don’t have a particular medium that is my favorite. It’s more if I’m scanning a room, what is the image or object that stands out? I look for things where the artist has an understanding of art history, of the canon they belong to, but they’ve taken the style or subject or commentary and added their own perspective, their own take. Even artists with no formal training who create outside the traditional paradigms in the art world—they may not know Picasso, but their visual expression is authentic.”
She said she gravitates toward works with social significance. “Art is a powerful tool to make the world a better place,” she said. Yet she also appreciates objects for their aesthetic beauty. “My favorite artist is Monet,” she said. “Water Lilies, structurally, is very complex, but at the end of the day it’s beautiful.”