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Işın Önol has been working as an independent curator predominantly in Austria and Turkey since 2009. Before that, she lead the Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art as its director and curator in Istanbul for three years (2006-2009). She is an enthusiast producer of exhibition projects, talks, and other art-related events as well as being an academic working in the field of contemporary art and cultural studies. In 2014-15 Önol worked as a guest lecturer at the Department of Digital Art at University of Applied Arts and as a guest curator at the Schauraum-Angewandte, Quartier21, MuseumsQuartier, Vienna.

She currently works as a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Social Difference at Columbia University, and as a visiting curator at the Social Design – Art as Urban Innovation at University of Applied Arts, Vienna.

Since 2010, she has been taking part in the organizational and curatorial team of Sinopale, the International Sinop Biennale in Sinop, Turkey. In 2014 she took part at the curatorial residency program at Residency Unlimited, New York. She is a member of AICA-TR and IKT, among other cultural organizations and associations. She is the founder and program coordinator of Nesin Art Village, Şirince, Turkey.

Önol is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Cultural Studies, University of Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria. She completed her Master of Advance Studies on Curating at ZHdK, Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, Zürich, Switzerland (2009-2011). She participated in the École du Magasin International Curatorial Training Programme, Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Grenoble, France, and Gwangju Biennale International Curator Course, Gwangju, South Korea (2009). She received her MFA in Visual Arts and Visual Communication Design from Sabancı University (2003), and her BA in Art Education from Marmara University (2000), Istanbul, Turkey.