After attending Marlboro College, I continued my focus on photography at School of Visual Arts, where I pursued visual and critical studies.  During these years in New York I was also working for photographers Mary Ellen Mark and Joel Meyerwitz, which provided me with an invaluable education outside the walls of the classroom. 

My work for Doug Aitken began in 2011, as my interest in film and installation grew.  Working first out of 303 Gallery in New York, I assisted book editor Karen Marta with 100 YRS, a retrospective of Aitken's work published by Rizzoli. It was later that year, as we laid the groundwork for the cross-country multimedia event Station to Station, researching and scouting cities, artists, and musicians nationwide, that I began learning how to shoot video, conduct interviews, and employ still and moving image in print and on screen.

As our work on Station to Station continued into 2012, I created and produced photo and video content for the project, and continued to do so through 2013. Finally, in September of that year, the multi-media happenings of Station to Station were staged in 10 different American cities.  Once the train left the station, my focus shifted to helping  coordinate and document each happening in real time, as well as helping to document the cross country train ride itself, which carried the artists, musicians, and performers from venue to venue.  After the project wrapped, I shifted gears toward editorial assistance on the Station to Station film, book and Blind Spot Magazine issue which memorialized and brought a narrative structure to the nomadic happening.

In 2014, I worked at Maccarone Gallery, NY as the liaison to the estate of Pictures Generation artist, Sarah Charlesworth. After studying her archive, I created an oral history of her life and work through a series of interviews with family members and peers including Laurie Simmons and Jay Gorney. After managing the first solo exhibition of her work at the gallery and subsequently, at the New Museum,  my skills in multi-platform communication campaigns were fine-tuned and I absorbed production and coordination tools that would continue to serve as foundational knowledge for exhibitions, events and projects to come.

In 2015, I returned to work with Doug Aitken as he began working on the second iteration of Station to Station. This event was not a moveable feast like the first—although fixed within the Barbican Centre in London, artists and participants collaborated and rotated hour to hour, activating every usable space within the museum. No two days were the same. I worked closely with the Barbican team on curatorial research to develop a roster of international artists, choreographers and musicians for the event. During the month long happening in July of 2015, I created content and managed editorial material for press, web, and social media, with a heightened focus on carving out narratives for all who could not attend in person but who participated in the happening digitally.  

Later that year in Los Angeles,  I curated a show of sound installation works by eighteen artists on the 5th floor of an abandoned bank building at 9800 Sepulveda Blvd. " A Gateway to Tomorrow" was the motto of the utopian Jet Age Terminal Construction Project created by Welton Becket in 1964, and 9800 Sepulveda had once been a jewel in the crown of its futuristic design.  Borrowing that motto in homage to Becket, his signature phrase served as the title of my project, which focused on the visualization and planning phases of the creative process. Writer Sasha Frere-Jones covered the exhibition for the L.A. Times

Throughout 2016, I worked closely with curator Neville Wakefield and executive director Elizabeta Betinski to create the inaugural exhibition of Desert X.  As exhibition manager of a show extending 60 square miles and encompassing nine cities, my role was especially multifaceted, and required every creative and production-oriented skill at my disposal.  Without a blueprint to work from, much of the nascent phase of this project was spent driving around the desert in search of territories where the artists could realize their site-specific works. My research trips to the Coachella Valley yielded locations for several projects, including an abandoned house in Desert Hot Springs for Richard Prince to activate, a distant perch within a modern housing development to mark the spot for Doug Aitken’s Mirage, and a selection of billboards on the Gene Autry Trail for Jennifer Bolande’s Burma-Shave-styled installation.  Our team worked towards establishing a multi-platform visual language to engage artists, partners, donors and future visitors. In collaboration with cultural partners including the Hammer Museum, Palm Springs Art Museum and the Ace Hotel, we staged events, lectures, performances and screenings to drum up awareness and participation.  I managed all editorial content on Desert X’s social media channels, attracting over 22k followers just in the year between pre-production and the exhibition’s opening. Desert X had a big impact: it's estimated that in the 3 months it was up, over 200,000 visitors attended the event. Others visited online, garnering the Desert X website over a million views. 

In 2017 I created an episodic film series for Made to Measure on Apple TV titled Interior/Exterior. The two-pronged interviews investigate varying relationships to our domestic landscape through the objects, signs and symbols we surround ourselves with at home, and reveal how the environments in which we live impact the people we are and are yet to become. Interior/Exterior is an on-going film series:  this year's films are being shot primarily in Los Angeles and New York. Other recent projects include:  Creative consultancy for Sexy Beast and M2M, production on a new film for Vice (coming soon),  production and direction for the first editorial film shoot  of the Rudi Gernreich relaunch. Summer 2018 will be spent focusing on cultural programming for  Cactus Store, NY and DLJ. 

Mara Mckevitt
Lives and works in Los Angeles,and New York