Alana J. Coates is an adjunct instructor in art history and the Director of Exhibitions at Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, leading the College’s comprehensive and innovative exhibitions programming while advising the student-run gallery space, CORE Gallery. Coates holds degrees, certificates, and credentials in Studio Art, Art History, Museum Studies, and Nonprofit Administration & Leadership from the University of Rhode Island, Harvard Extension School, and the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Coates lived in south Texas for ten years and after studying Chicano art directly under Malaquías Montoya, one of the founders of the Chicano Art Movement in California during the 60s and 70s, she decided to devote her art-historical work to documenting Latinx and Latin American artists. During graduate school, she dedicated her free time to the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center and worked as an assistant for Rolando Briseño on a large-scale public art project in the Houston metropolitan transit corridors. After earning a master’s degree in art history from UTSA, Ruiz-Healy Art appointed Coates as Associate Director. In this position, she worked directly with world-renown artists such as Pedro Friedeberg, Graciela Iturbide, Jesse Amado, César A. Martínez, Cecilia Paredes, and managed projects for the estates of Chuck Ramirez and Mel Casas. In 2018, Coates served on the curatorial committee for Public Art in San Antonio and Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival, and in 2019, Coates was one of twelve curators selected internationally to participate in East Topics curatorial intensive in Budapest, Hungary.
As an educator, Coates earned a Certificate in College Teaching with Distinction from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2011 and worked in Prehistory to 1350 and Survey of Modern Art at the university. She also taught Prehistory to the Early Renaissance at the Art Institute of San Antonio in 2014 – 2015 and was an adjunct instructor at Northwest Vista College from 2013 – 2016. Working as a practicing art historian in the field and as a gallerist has made Coates hyper-aware of the biases in the market, institutions, and traditional curriculum. When teaching about art, Coates attempts to rupture the concentration within the discipline on the traditional western canon and places emphasis on gaining greater awareness about artists and movements from the Americas.
University of Texas at San Antonio - Master of Art History and Criticism
University of Rhode Island - Bachelor of Arts
University of Rhode Island - Bachelor of Art History