Monday, April 4, 2022
Pilar Tompkins Rivas

Pilar Tompkins Rivas, curator and alumna of the Department of Art and Art History, will address graduates of the UT College of Fine Arts Class of 2022. The ceremony takes place Friday, May 20 at 3 p.m. in Bass Concert Hall on the UT campus.

Tompkins Rivas (B.F.A., Studio Art; B.A., Latin American Studies, 1997) is the chief curator and deputy director of curatorial and collections at the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, a new museum dedicated to the art of storytelling that is under construction in Los Angeles. In her role at the Lucas Museum, Tompkins Rivas provides leadership, strategic direction and managerial oversight for curatorial, exhibitions, acquisitions, collections management, conservation and archives. 

Previously, she was the director of the Vincent Price Art Museum (VPAM) at East Los Angeles College, where she served as director and chief curator since 2016. At VPAM, Tompkins Rivas spearheaded partnerships between the museum and the Smithsonian; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); and the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens; and she launched diversity pipeline programs including a museum studies certificate program. Prior to her tenure at VPAM, she served as coordinator of curatorial initiatives at LACMA, co-directing the institution’s UCLA-LACMA Art History Practicum Initiative and the Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program in addition to co-curating exhibitions in partnership with the Getty's Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative.

Tompkins Rivas has also served as curator and director of artist-in-residence programs at 18th Street Arts Center, arts project coordinator at the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center and curator of the Claremont Museum of Art. She is completing a Ph.D. in cultural studies and holds an M.A. in cultural studies from Claremont Graduate University.

Image: Photo of Pilar Tompkins Rivas by Monica Orozco

Back to top