Announcing the Distinguished Critics for the 2024 MFA Thesis Exhibition

Posted on March 28, 2024

The School of Art is pleased to announce a group of influential curators, writers, and cultural producers as Distinguished Critics for the 2024 MFA thesis exhibition. Wassan Al-Khudhairi, Danny Bracken, Aruna D’Souza, and Jordan Martin will join the full faculty in an all-day critique of Second Degree Vision on April 5.

About the Distinguished Critics

Wassan Al-Khudhairi is an independent curator and was appointed curator for the 2025 Hawaii Triennial. Most recently, Al-Khudhairi held the position of Ferring Foundation Chief Curator at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. Al-Khudhairi was co-curator for the 6th Asian Art Biennial in Taiwan in 2017 and co- Artistic Director for 9th Gwangju Biennial in South Korea in 2012. She served as the Hugh Kaul Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art where she organized the first large-scale exhibition of the museum’s contemporary collection. Serving as the Founding Director of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Qatar, Al-Khudhairi oversaw the opening of the Museum in 2010.

Danny Bracken is an artist, musician, and creative producer, currently working as Director of Exhibitions at Mattress Factory. Since 2020, he has worked with over 30 artists to develop new projects. As a working artist and musician, he has performed extensively throughout the world, composed music for Sundance Film Festival projects, and exhibited in galleries and museums throughout Europe and the US. Recently, his work has shifted into the curatorial field, with a focus on site-specific installation, multidisciplinary practices, and artistic exchange. In 2024, he will be curator in residence with Fire Station Artists’ Studios in Dublin, Ireland.

Aruna D’Souza is a writer and critic based in New York. Her work focuses on artists of the global majority and on art whose intersecting aesthetic and political possibilities allow us to imagine new, more just, more kind forms of life. Her new book, on solidarity beyond empathy, will be published this summer with Floating Opera Press. Her writing appears regularly in 4Columns and The New York Times.

Jordan Martin is the current Curatorial Production Manager at Washington Project for the Arts (WPA), a DC-based arts non-profit that supports artist-driven projects, dialogue, and advocacy. She is also the Project Manager for Art Department Inc., a creative studio that focuses on community-focused public art and art consultation, and the co-founder and contributing editor of DIRT, an independent platform for accessible critical arts discourse within the DC, Maryland, Virginia (DMV) region.

Image (l to r): Aruna D’Souza, Danny Bracken, Jordan Martin and Wassan Al-Khudhairi