Meg Onli, an associate curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia who has produced a series of critically acclaimed exhibitions, has joined the Underground Museum in Los Angeles as its director and curator. She is set to lead the Underground Museum alongside Cristina Pacheco, who currently serves as the institution’s COO.
The Underground Museum was founded in 2012 by the artist couple Noah and Karon Davis. Its aim has been to bring art—in particular work by Black artists—to L.A’s under-represented communities, and has been seen as a force within the city’s institutional scene.
Since joining the ICA in 2016, Onli has received praise for ambitious shows such as “Colored People Time,” a three-part exhibition initiated in 2019 that considered the relationship between the subjugation of Black people in the U.S. across the centuries and their community’s conception of its present and future. This month, she opened a retrospective for Ulysses Jenkins, a filmmaker who has often focused on representations of Black people in the media. (That show was organized with Erin Christovale, of the Hammer Museum in L.A., where the exhibition will travel in early 2022.)
Pacheco helped transition the Underground Museum to being a nonprofit following the death of Noah Davis in 2015 from a rare cancer. She went on to join the museum’s board and, in 2020, became its interim director.
“Meg and Cristina bring the vision, collaboration, and efficacy to bring The Underground Museum to the next level,” Karon Davis said in a statement. “With this new powerhouse team, our bigger dreams will be realized.”