Photo by Andrea Rampone Photography

Alana J. Coates is an Art Historian and Curator. Her undergraduate degrees are from the University of Rhode Island in both Art and Art History. After working in Providence, Rhode Island as the Assistant Director of Gallery Z and working for the nonprofit organization, Gallery Night Providence, she successfully completed graduate coursework in Museum Studies at Harvard Extension School. Coates then moved to Texas to obtain a master’s degree in Art History and a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Administration and Leadership at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She spent a decade in Texas working at reputable organizations including the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, San Antonio Museum of Art, Ruiz-Healy Art, and the McNay Art Museum. She has most recently been appointed Director of Exhibitions at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design.



Curriculum Vitae


Master of Art History and Criticism

Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Administration and Leadership

The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas

August 2009 – December 2012

Master of Liberal Arts in Museum Studies

Introduction to Museum Studies, Preservation and Conservation of Museum Collections

Harvard University Extension School, Cambridge, Massachusetts

September 2008- May 2009

Bachelor of Arts & Bachelor of Art History, May 2005

The University of Rhode Island, Kingstown, Rhode Island

Fine Art concentrations in photography and printmaking

Relevant Experience


Director of Exhibitions, Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, September 2019 

In charge of shaping, leading, directing and implementing the College’s comprehensive and innovative exhibitions and gallery program. Working to present and engage the campus and the greater Lancaster area with both formal and informal exhibitions, installations and performances, while also supporting exhibition work embedded within the community.

East Topics Curatorial Residency Budapest, Hungary. April 8-19, 2019

  • Selected as one of twelve curators from around the world to participate in a two-week curatorial intensive focusing on contemporary art, curatorial conditions, and institutional protocols in Budapest

Curator of Collections and Exhibitions of Albright College’s Freedman Gallery September 2018 – October 2019

  • Responsible for shaping and overseeing three rotating exhibition spaces and in charge of realizing previously selected programming to fruition
  • Assess and care for a collection of 2,000 artworks. PastPerfect Museum Software
  • Revived the Foyer Gallery, a video exhibition space previously left inactive
  • Lead tours for the College’s classes, and plan along with education partnership coordinator to lead tours for K-12 visiting classes from the public school district
  • Restored the Gallery’s social media previously inactive for five years and increased the Facebook following by 90%
  • Procure national press including major publications and obtain consistent local coverage
  • Research and write essays for publication, as well as, oversee catalogue production and working with guest scholars
  • Act as community liaison building partnerships and facilitating city-wide projects
  • Work extensively with student workers. Built an educational training program and accompanying handbook for the Gallery Attendants
  • Reinvigorated a twenty-person Visual Arts Committee and updated the bylaws
  • Lead the College in collection acquisition
  • Initiated the digitalization of the institution’s long history of publications and extensively working to improve the website page for the Gallery and including archives accessibility for researchers and the general public
  • Designed a digital submission process to update and streamline the antiquated student show submission process

Interim Communications and Marketing Manager at The McNay Art Museum, Summer 2018

  • Traditional and digital press and promotions and museum publications
  • Designed effective email marketing campaigns and social media strategies
  • Coordinated television features
  • Oversaw Second Thursday – a community outreach event that draws up to over a thousand people each month

Associate Director at Ruiz-Healy Art, September 2013 – July 2018

  • Assisted the Director in all aspects of operating a fine art gallery
  • Oversaw press, promotions, and social media
  • Implemented the gallery database and managed it.  Achieved data conversion from an Excel spreadsheet to a full-spectrum professional gallery database program
  • Developed and managed all legal documents for the gallery including exhibition, consignment, loan, and staff contractual agreements
  • Assisted with artist/client relations and sales. Acted as an ambassador for the gallery in the community
  • Implemented a paid Internship program and created an internship handbook with operational procedures
  • Hired, trained, and oversaw the gallery staff, interns, and contract help
  • Ensured smooth day-to-day operations and special events of the gallery
  • Oversaw national art fair participation and coordinated museum collaborations
  • Assisted the Director in all exhibition planning and spearhead correlating programming
  • Gave private and museum patron group tours contextualizing exhibitions

Adjunct Instructor at Northwest Vista College, September 2013 – December 2016 

  • Lead three sections of Art Appreciation per semester at a growing Hispanic serving institution of over 18,000 students
  • Taught an average of 85 students a term incorporating lessons in both Art History and Studio Art by using lectures, hands-on activities, cooperative learning, and site visits

Instructor of Art History at The Art Institute of San Antonio, October 2014 – July 2015

  • Art History I, a survey of Art from Prehistory to Medieval /Early Renaissance
  • Major periods, styles, artists, theories, and techniques discussed

Contributor, Art Magazine San Antonio, January 2013 – June 2013

  • “Lady Base Gallery: Defining the Platform.” February 4, 2013
  • “Finding Bubbling Provocations and Dark Humor: Q & A with Bill Arning.” March 2013
  • “Sex, Transubstantiation and Punk Angst: A Review of bite like a kitty” March 25, 2013
  • “The Art Expert’s Guide for Touring Texas.”  May 1, 2013

Development Administrative Assistant at the San Antonio Museum of Art, August 2012 – Sept 2013

  • Directly involved with the annual destination themed fundraising event and assisted with the gala fundraiser, the formation of a young patron’s group and membership special events
  • Provided high-level administrative support to the Director of Development, the Membership Manager, and the Lead Development Associate
  • Recorded meeting-minutes for the Legacy, Membership, and Capital Development Boards
  • Assisted with direct-mail membership campaigns and annual fund appeals
  • Managed museum membership donations
  • Researched and identified corporate and foundation funding opportunities
  • Oversaw database conversion process from Results Plus to Raiser’s Edge
  • ResearchPoint and LexisNexis utilized
  • Conducted benchmark research on national membership programs

Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Assistant at the University of Texas at San Antonio, Summer 2012

  • Assisted the Campus Director of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance in the recruitment of members, and project timelines for the student association
  • Aided the Director of the Center for Policy Studies in creating student evaluation surveys

Graduate Grader Assistant at the University of Texas at San Antonio, Spring 2010 – Spring 2012 

  • Maintained records of up to one hundred and fifteen students in a class
  • Graded all assignments, exams, and extra-credit projects
  • Experienced in Art History Survey classes: Pre-History to 1350 to the Survey of Modern Art
  • Earned a Certificate in College Teaching with Distinction from The University of Texas at San Antonio, Fall 2011

Membership and Development Intern at The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, Spring – Summer 2012

  • Shadowed the Executive Director and participated in the Tejano Conjunto Festival, the Cine Festival, La Gran Tamalada, and numerous dance and theater performances
  • Developed a grant proposal for an archive program for the center
  • Researched membership programs at a national level; designed and proposed a new system
  • Researched corporate sponsorship opportunities to correlate with the center’s film festival

Project Assistant for Artist Rolando Briseño, June 2010 – November 2010

  • Researched, organized and obtained image-use rights for a large-scale permanent public art project constructed in the Houston Metropolitan Transit corridors
  • This project required statewide archival research to obtain historical photographs that commemorate the civil rights contributions of Mexican-Americans in Texas

Membership & Sponsorship Coordinator, Gallery Night Providence, RI, October 2007 – August 2009

  • Solicited Galleries throughout the city to encourage membership with Gallery Night
  • Requested and obtained funding from local businesses and individuals in the community
  • Gained valuable knowledge of 501(c)(3) organizations and of citywide collaborative projects
  • Sold advertising space to local businesses to aid in funding the organization

Assistant Director, Gallery Z, Providence, RI, January 2005-August 2009

  • Assisted the Director in all aspects of operating a fine art gallery.  Including but not limited to financial management, artist and client relations, marketing and promotions, exhibitions, training and management of interns, and community program development
  • Directly oversaw a fast-paced and frequent rotation of artwork and maintained accurate documentation and up-to-date contracts for exhibition and consignment agreements, and off-site artwork loans and rentals
  • Oversaw over 50 exhibitions at Gallery Z


“Experience, Repeat, Recall: Memory as an Artform” in the exhibition catalogue In Search of Meaning: Memory Becomes Us, Patricia Moss-Vreeland (Philadelphia: Esther Klein Gallery, Science Center), 2019.

Images of Power exhibition catalogue (San Antonio: Freight Gallery) 2018. [ISBN 978-0-1234657-8-8]

“Homage to the Worker” in the exhibition catalogue for Raul Gonzalez: Doing Work (Austin: grayDUCK Gallery) 2017.

YLA 22: ¡ Ahora !  (Now!) exhibition catalogue (Austin: Mexic-Arte Museum) 2017.

“The Hot Colors of Rebellion” in the exhibition catalogue “Daydreams and Other Monsters” (San Antonio: The University of Texas at San Antonio Art Gallery) 2017. [ISBN 978-1-38-990608-4]

“Margarita Cabrera, César Martínez, Fernando Andrade, and Michael Menchaca” in the exhibition catalogue Perennial Boundaries (San Antonio: Ruiz-Healy Art) 2016. [ISBN: 978-1366898661]

“Johanna Calle” foreword in the catalogue Johanna Calle Ruiz-Healy Art, IFPDA Print Fair (San Antonio: Ruiz-Healy Art) 2016. [ISBN: 978-1-36-715982-2]

“Unbearably Human” in the exhibition catalogue Megan Solis: Christina is a Coward (San Antonio: Hello Studios) 2016. [ISBN: 978-1-36-754704-9]

“Judith Baca” and “Yolanda Lopez” in Encyclopedia of Latino Artists (Artists of the American Mosaic)  (Santa Barbara: Greenwood) 2017. Forthcoming by Rachel G. Mohl. [ISBN-13:978-1440801075]

“The Harmonious Horizons of Abelardo López” in the exhibition catalogue Infinite Horizons: Abelardo López and Leigh Anne Lester (San Antonio: Ruiz-Healy Art) 2015 co-authored with David Rubin. [ISBN: 9781320670043]

“An Amusing Display of Death: La calavera de cupido” in the exhibition catalogue Posada’s Broadsheets: of Love and Betrayal (San Antonio: The University of Texas at San Antonio Art Gallery) 2012.  Exhibition Curated by Dr. Teresa Eckmann. [ISBN: 978-0-0831130-4-1]

“Nahum B. Zenil” in the exhibition catalogue Neo-Mexicanism: A New Figuration: Mexican Art of the 1980’s (San Antonio: Instituto Cultural de México) 2010. Exhibition Curated by and catalogue designed by Dr. Teresa Eckmann.[ISBN: 978-0-9831130-0-3]

Master’s Thesis

“Casta Paintings Revisited: The Case for Single-Panel Analysis and Artist Agency” ProQuest: UMI Publishing, 2012. Committee: Dr. Teresa Eckmann, Chair; Dr. Elizabeth Olton, Dr. Judith Sobre

Professional Presentations

Guest Lecture, Albright College, Reading, Pennsylvania.”Digital Content Marketing for Visual Arts” February 18, 2019.

New Arts Alive interview by Ron Schira on BCTV, November 7, 2018. “The Freedman Gallery”

Guest Lecture, Albright College, Reading, Pennsylvania. “From Development to Marketing, and Curation” November 19, 2018.

Fiber Artists of San Antonio Keynote Speaker, San Antonio Garden Center, San Antonio, Texas. September 10, 2018. “Fraying the Canon.”

Lift Fund Women’s Business Center, Art Tank: Business Training for Creatives, Central Library, San Antonio, Texas. June 25, 2018.  “Pricing Artwork: Practical Advice For Artists.”

Raul Gonzalez: Doing Work, Panel Moderator, Freight Gallery, San Antonio, Texas. January 13, 2018.

Daydreams and Other Monsters, The University of Texas at San Antonio, Main Campus Art Gallery, San Antonio, Texas.  July 17, 2017. Artist Talk with Louie Chavez and Megan Solis.

¡ Ahora ! Young Latino Artists | YLA 22 Mexic-Arte Museum. Austin, Texas.  July 15, 2017. “Latinx Artists Now: contextualizing the art of ¡ Ahora !”

Lift Fund Women’s Business Center, Art Tank: Business Training for Creatives, Central Library, San Antonio, Texas. June 26, 2017. “Putting a Monetary Value on your Artistic Practice”

Artist Lab Discussion Panel. Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, San Antonio, Texas. January 28, 2017.  Moderator for Artist Lab Fellows: Lisette Chavez, Sarah Fox, Raul Gonzalez, Kristel Puente, Andrei Renteria, Jose Villalobos.

Obra Gráfica: Panel Discussion, Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin, Texas.  April 17, 2016. “The Prints of Manuel Manilla and José Guadalupe Posada in Mexic-Arte Museum’s Collection”

Lift Fund Women’s Business Center & The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center’s Art Lab, Cafè Commerce, San Antonio, Texas. April 4, 2016. “Pricing Artwork” 

Leading Art Series, The University of Texas at San Antonio Art History Association, Hosted at Ruiz-Healy Art, San Antonio, Texas. March 26, 2016.  “Becoming a Gallerist/Art Historian and the Art Business Track”

College of Liberal and Fine Arts Research Conference, The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas. March 22, 2012. “Nueva, Otra, o lo Mismo: The Paintings and Literature of Luis Felipe Noé.”

Post- Independence Latin American Art Symposium, The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas. February 17, 2012. “Una Calavera Chusca: Mexican Visual Identity from Castas to Calaveras.”

College of Liberal and Fine Arts Research Conference, The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas.  March 24, 2011. “An Amusing Display of Death, La Calavera de Cupido by José Guadalupe Posada”

Selected Exhibitions (Curated)

Thread (March 9 –March 31, 2018) Clamp Light Gallery, San Antonio, Texas. The featured artists include Bianca Alvarez, Linda Arredondo, Sara Barnes, Sarah Castillo, Martha Elena Flores, Sarah Fox, Abby Hinojosa, Sol Kesseler, Justin Korver, Michael Martinez, Nicole Tovar, and Jose Villalobos| Awarded Contemporary Art Month San Antonio CAMMIE Award for Curation of Thread by Artpace San Antonio. (catalogue)

Images of Power (February 10 – 24, 2018) Freight Gallery, San Antonio, Texas. Co-curated by Alana Coates and Mark Anthony Martinez.  Featured artists include: Abel Ortiz Acosta, Albert Alvarez, Veronica (Nica) Aquino, Amanda Benavides, Sarah Castillo, Jose Cosme, Joe De La Cruz, Manuel Diz, André Filipek, Mario Garza, Xavier Gilmore, Marcelia Gonzales, Raul Gonzalez, Suzy Gonzalez, Rafael Fernando Gutierrez, Jr., Alejandro Macias, Jesús María, Mark Anthony Martinez, Maximiliano, Patrick McGrath Muñiz, Ashley Mireles, Juan de Dios Mora, Kristel A. Orta-Puente, Andrei Rentería, Alán Serna, Justin Sterling, Jon Tyson, Juan Vallejo, Christopher Velasco, and Jose Villalobos. (catalogue)

Temporal Forms Pop-Up Exhibition (October 19, 2017) at Cellars at the Pearl, San Antonio, Texas. Co-curated with Deliasofia Zacarias. Featured artists include Jesse Amado, Cecilia Biagini, Andrés Ferrandis, Leigh Anne Lester, Nicolás Leiva, Cecilia Paredes, Chuck Ramirez, Constance Lowe, Ethel Shipton, Nate Cassie, and Richard Armendariz.

¡ Ahora ! Young Latino Artists | YLA 22 (July 14 – August 28, 2017) Mexic-Arte Museum. Austin, Texas.  Artists Featured: Nansi Guevara, Daniela Madrigal, Mark Anthony Martinez, Michael Martinez, Paloma Mayorga, Andrei Rentería, Ashley Mireles, and José Villalobos. (catalogue)

Daydreams and other Monsters (June 7-July 13, 2017) The University of Texas at San Antonio, Main Campus Gallery, San Antonio Texas.  Artists Featured: Peter Saul, John Hernandez, Louie Chavez, and Megan Solis. (catalogue)

Megan Solis: Christina is a Coward (June 30 – August 15, 2016) Hello Studios, Bluestar Arts Complex, San Antonio, Texas. (catalogue)

Living in Memory/Viviendo en Memoria: Paintings & Drawings by Nilton Cardenas (June 3- July 5, 2008) Gallery Z, Providence, Rhode Island.

Latino Artists of Rhode Island (October 16 – November 10, 2007) Gallery Z, Providence, Rhode Island. Artists Featured: Idania Abreu, Nilton Cardenas, Jaime Carrera, Luis Cepeda, Evans Molina, Carlos Ochoa, Arides Pichardo, and Sidney Tillett.

Juror and Curatorial Experience 

Juror Fiber Artists of San Antonio (FASA) 44th Annual Juried Fiber Exhibition

Public Art Committee, San Antonio Arts Commission, Curatorial Committee 2018

Luminaria 2018, Curatorial Committee

Juror for Eyes Got it!, Artpace, San Antonio, Texas 2017

Juror for Eyes Got it!, Southwest School of Art, San Antonio Texas 2016

Artist Selection Panel Participant, Public Art San Antonio (PASA) 2013 | Pearsall Park District 4

Fellowships & Awards

CAMMIE Award for curating the exhibition Thread at Clamp Light Artist Studios and Gallery, granted by Artpace, Contemporary Art Month San Antonio 2018

American Alliance of Museums Development and Membership Network Fellow, 2013

HEB Americans for the Arts Emerging Leaders Scholarship, 2012

Next Generation Nonprofit Leaders Program, W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Internship Stipend, 2012

The Samuel A. and Pamela R. Kirkpatrick Endowed Presidential Scholarship, 2012 Spring term

The Malu and Carlos Alvarez Graduate Research Fellowship in the College of Liberal and Fine Arts

The Carlos and Malu Alvarez Fellowship in Art & Art History, 2011-2012 academic year

The Jacinto Quirarte Endowed Scholarship in Art History, 2010-2011 academic year

Graduate Coursework in Art History Highlights

Art History & Criticism of Chicano Art

  • Studied under Malaquias Montoya, one of the founders of the Chicano movement and visiting professor from The University of California at Davis.

Ancient Maya Burials

  • Applied the theories of phenomenology and semiotics to tomb structures of the ancient Maya.
  • Researched “tomb B19” within the super-structure of Caana at the site of Caracol in Belize.

Gender Issues in Art History

  • Reanalyzed canonical works of art using the philosophies of Michel Foucault, Linda Nochlin, Laura Mulvey, and feminist theories.

Latin American Exhibition History and Collecting Practices

  • Created exhibition labels for an exhibit at Instituto Cultural De México in San Antonio, Texas.
  • Presented critical analysis of an exhibition The Bleeding Heart/El corazón sangrante from The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.

Holocaust and Genocide in Film

  • Viewed and analyzed over thirty films on the topic of holocaust and genocide.
  • Researched and presented in depth examination of Obchod na korze by Ján Kadár and La vita è bella by Roberto Benigni.

Latin American & Chicano Graphics

  • Studied Chicano art including contemporary artists working within Texas and California.
  • Researched, interviewed, and presented on Ana de la Garza and her “Border Brides” series.

Graduate Coursework in Nonprofit Leadership

  • Grant Development and Proposals
  • Introduction to Nonprofit Organizations
  • Fiscal Resource Development
  • Management in Nonprofit Organizations
  • Public Budgeting and Finance

Graduate Coursework in Museum Studies

Introduction to Museum Studies

  • Researched the history of museums and discussed the challenges, responsibilities, and best practices for institutions. Conducted exhibition reviews and site-visit analyses

Preservation and Conservation of Museum Collections

  • Behind the scenes experience in collections care, documentation, and best practices.

Volunteer Work Highlights

  • Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, Campus Secretary, Spring 2012.
  • San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Library and Archives, Summer 2011.
  • The Rhode Island School of Design Museum in collaboration with VSA (Vision, Strength, Access Arts of Rhode Island) Art classes for Adults with developmental disabilities, 2003.

Additional Coursework

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, San Antonio, Texas | Spanish I – III

Professional Memberships

Association for Latin American Art

American Alliance of Museums