Jayme McLellan has been working in the arts for twenty years, organizing exhibitions, teaching, and working with artists.
She founded Civilian Art Projects in 2006 to serve artists and amplify the voice and vision of the artist in society. Since then, she has curated and organized 94 exhibitions at the gallery, the most recent being Resolution 2015 and Jason Gubbiotti's War Paint.
McLellan has also curated several projects independently, including the recent traveling exhibition HARD ART DC 1979, that has traveled from Civilian in Washington, DC; to the Good Children Gallery in New Orleans, LA; to the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University; and, soon, to Paris.
Other career highlights include starting two non-profit arts organizations, the first being Transformer, an artist-centered art space in Washington, DC that serves as a catalyst and advocate for emergent expression in the visual arts. McLellan and Victoria Reis started Transformer in 2002 to represent the under-represented artists of the region, and to match them with their national and international colleagues in order to build a wider audience and understanding for their art and contemporary ideas. McLellan co-directed Transformer with Reis until 2006, when she left to create Civilian Art Projects.
McLellan also founded Save the Corcoran with many people in the DC art community, with the hope of continuing the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design as an independent entity. After losing a two-year legal struggle, the museum lost its independence and is now run by the National Gallery of Art and the school by George Washington University. More here: savethecorcoran.org. Although programming is still in formation, Save the Corcoran intends to support Corcoran alumni through future exhibitions and opportunities.
McLellan has curated and organized international projects, including the Tandem Project (1999-2000) with Katherine Carl, an independent curator based in New York, who was then working for the DIA Center. The two raised $36,000 to organize a research trip to the countries of the former Yugoslavia shortly after the end of the Balkan War. The project culminated with McLellan and Carl bringing five artists to DC for a residency and exhibition at DC Arts Center and the now defunct Signal 66 art space.
Through a project called DARFUR/DARFUR, McLellan organized exhibitions for the City Museum in Ljubljana, Slovenia; the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Canada; and pop-up spaces in DC and Paris. She also curated a show of artists from New Orleans for the Soap Factory in Minneapolis, and, most recently, helped organize an exhibition on HIV awareness that launched in Miami at the Miami Edition hotel in January 2015. This exhibition will tour the country.
Throughout her career, she has written essays for catalogues; participated in focus groups about the future of artmaking and its presentation; served on panels; juried dozens of exhibitions; and taught classes on curatorial practice, exhibition design, art history, and professional development for visual artists at universities, colleges and museums.