Contemporary Conversations

Margaret Graham ’09 helps foster critical discussions in art conservation
by Brooke Thames
Margaret Graham ’09 stumbled upon her love of fine art while in the dark. She remembers watching with growing fascination as images of classic paintings flickered by on a projector screen during her Art in the Dark class at Bucknell.

“What drew me in was the idea of longevity — that this art had withstood the test of time and was still relevant now,” says Graham, who double majored in art history and creative writing. “The courses I took and the brilliant people I studied with really fueled my desire to continue tumbling down the rabbit hole.”

Margaret Graham Headshot
Photo: Courtesy of Margaret Graham ’09
Margaret Graham ’09 has found the perfect outlet for her twin interests — writing and art.
After earning a master’s in art writing, Graham joined the staff at Voices in Contemporary Art (VoCA), a New York City-based nonprofit that generates critical dialogue around contemporary art stewardship. As program and communications manager, Graham oversees the planning, coordination and execution of the organization’s artist interview workshops, public talks and educational programming — in addition to editing VoCA’s digital journal and blog.

It’s a hefty job that interweaves two of Graham’s biggest loves: art preservation and community building.

“The art of today isn’t simply paper, paint and clay — it’s bubble- gum, plastic and digital software too. These materials pose difficult questions in the realm of conservation,” she says. “A lot of those questions don’t have clear answers, which is why creating spaces for artists, curators and conservators to engage deeply in conversation is so useful.

“I especially love working directly with artists,” Graham adds. “It’s great to raise up the voices of those who are using their boundless creativity to influence future generations and create a more complete picture of who we are as humans and what we’re capable of.”