Joy L. Armstrong, Ph.D. (she/they), is the new director of the UCCS Galleries of Contemporary Art (GOCA). She will begin her tenure on November 1.
“Joy has an unmatched track record curating relevant and exciting exhibitions in our community,” said David Siegel, executive director of the Ent Center for the Arts. “She has an uncanny ability to engage new audiences in meaningful ways, and her extensive network of artists will ensure that GOCA continues to provide internationally significant contemporary art experiences for Southern Colorado on the UCCS campus.”
Armstrong comes to GOCA from Inside Out Youth Services, where she built access, equity and power with LGBTQIA2+ young people and an extraordinary team for four years.
Prior to and alongside this meaningful work, Armstrong has spent nearly 20 years in the museum, gallery and public art realm, most recently as an award-winning curator of modern and contemporary art at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College (FAC). During her decade at the FAC, she became known for immersive and interactive exhibitions.
“It is a tremendous honor to join the Ent Center for the Arts team in this exciting role,” Armstrong said. “GOCA has been instrumental in my professional development, deepening community relationships through advisory board service and ongoing collaboration with former director Daisy McGowan, from my first years as a contemporary curator at the Fine Arts Center through our recent partnership on Martha Russo’s caesura. I am eager to connect with doers and dreamers through the interdisciplinary lens inherent to an institution such as UCCS, and to engage with humility and in service to our dynamic community.”
Armstrong holds a B.A. in studio art and communications from the University of Denver, an M.A. in contemporary art history and criticism from Kent State University, and completed her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership, Research, and Policy from UCCS in 2021.
Her dissertation “History and Belonging: A Phenomenological Study of Participatory Public Art Murals in Colorado” investigated the ways in which creative engagement with public art can build community, celebrate identity, and address systemic social inequities to advance a more just tomorrow.
In addition to her academic pursuits, she is both personally and professionally a committed proponent of authentic, collaborative, community engagement in the arts as a powerful tool to improve individual and societal health.
About the UCCS Galleries of Contemporary Art (GOCA)
GOCA is a regional hub of contemporary art, culture, and conversation. Independently producing exhibitions and programs through a collaborative approach with artists of national, international and regional significance, GOCA engages UCCS and the greater community in dialogue around contemporary culture. GOCA is a contemporary arts organization with two galleries – the flagship Marie Walsh Sharpe Gallery at the Ent Center for the Arts, a satellite location opened in 2010 in the Plaza of the Rockies building in the heart of downtown Colorado Springs, and the Art WithOut Limits Public Sculpture Program on the grounds of the Ent Center and adjacent Pulpit Rock Open Space. For more information, visit entcenterforthearts.org/goca and gocadigital.org.
About the Ent Center for the Arts
The Galleries of Contemporary Art (GOCA) is a regional hub of contemporary art, culture, and conversation at the Ent Center for the Arts at UCCS. GOCA produces exhibitions and programs through a collaborative approach with artists of national, international, and regional significance. The Galleries strive to engage UCCS and the greater community in dialogue around contemporary culture. GOCA programs two galleries within the Ent Center for the Arts– the flagship Marie Walsh Sharpe Gallery and the Kang Lee Sheppard Project Space, as well as the Art Without Limits Public Sculpture Program on the grounds of the Ent Center. For more information, visit entcenterforthearts.org/goca and gocadigital.org.