Ben Crothers (The Naughton Gallery, Queen’s University Belfast)
Ben Crothers is a Belfast-based curator who has been working in the role of Curator / Collections Manager at The Naughton Gallery at Queen’s University Belfast since 2015. He received a BA (Hons) in American Studies and Film Studies from the University of Essex in 2008 – through which he also studied at the University of Miami, Florida – and remained at the University of Essex to complete his MA in Art History and Film Theory in 2009.
Ben’s curatorial practice has seen him deliver projects at a number of renowned venues including The Naughton Gallery at Queen’s (Belfast), Golden Thread Gallery (Belfast), Ex Elettrofonica (Rome), and SOHO20 (New York), working with artists including Marina Abramović; Laura Callaghan; Adham Faramawy; Simon Fujiwara; Penelope Gazin; Sanja Iveković; Aidan Koch; Sarah Maple; Cindy Sherman; Tom of Finland; Bianca Xunise; and Harumi Yamaguchi.
Ben’s American Studies background has led to a great deal of curatorial work and research in the United States, particularly in Brooklyn, NY, where he visits often. In 2014, Ben was the recipient of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s ACES Award for Curatorial Practice, working in collaboration with NURTUREart (Brooklyn), and developing projects for Comic Arts Brooklyn and Spectacle Theater. In May 2015 he carried out extensive research in Chicago, and in June 2016 he completed a curatorial residency at Ohio State University’s Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum in Columbus, Ohio.
In addition, Ben founded SCREEN/PRINT, an art and film project facilitated by The Naughton Gallery in collaboration with UsFolk illustration agency; programmes Art in the A.M., a series of artist talks in Belfast-based coffee shops; runs The Book Club and ISSUES magazine reading group at Queen’s University Belfast; writes on a freelance basis for the Visual Artists’ News Sheet; has worked at both London Art Fair and SCOPE Art Show, New York; sits on the Steering Group of the Belfast Visual Arts Forum; and previously sat on the Board of Directors of the Northern Ireland Museums Council (2016-18).
Curator’s Areas of Interest:
Thematically, Ben’s curatorial research is centred around comics, sport, race, gender politics, and the LGBTQ+ community. He is particularly passionate about the consideration of comics, artists’ books, and illustration within a gallery environment, and would be keen to meet with cartoonists and illustrators. He also has a keen interest in practices centred around film and video, photography, sculpture, and performance. Projects which link to areas of study/research within Queen’s University Belfast are also of interest.