Hesse McGraw is Chief Curator at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, Nebraska. Under McGraw’s leadership, the exhibition program at the Bemis Center functions as a laboratory for artists and currently focuses on site-specific, immersive, cross-disciplinary, and socially-engaged commissions. The Bemis Center’s current and recent projects include artists Michael Jones McKean, Theaster Gates and Leslie Shows. McGraw’s recent awards and grants include an Andy Warhol Foundation Curatorial Research Fellowship, an inaugural Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Artistic Innovation and Collaboration Grant, an NEA Our Town grant, and a Harpo Foundation Grant.
Prior to joining the Bemis Center in 2008, he was associate direc- tor at Max Protetch gallery in New York City. From 2002 through 2005 he served as the founding director and curator of Paragraph, a Charlotte Street Foundation initiative in Kansas City, Missouri. He also served as the senior editor of Review, a Kansas City-based con- temporary art magazine. McGraw holds a BFA from the University of Kansas and completed graduate research at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. He lectures widely and is a frequent visit- ing curator and critic for art and architecture programs throughout the United States. His writing is regularly published internationally in exhibition catalogues and arts and culture publications. In 2011 he was a fellow of the NAMAC Visual Arts Leadership Institute.