The Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize
The Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize, now in its fifth year, is one of the Studio Museum’s most exciting initiatives. The prize, established by jazz impresario, musician, and philanthropist George Wein in memory of his wife Joyce, is an unrestricted $50,000 award to an African-American artist of great innovation and promise. At last month's Gala, the 2010 Wein Prize was awarded to Leslie Hewitt.
Notes and a craft project from MAD
Part of the fun of working at a museum is that sometimes it’s okay to cut out of the office early and do something really fun—like, for instance, visit a museum.
A Guest Blog Post by Dawoud Bey
A writer once wrote that every place is simultaneously the place that it was and the place that it is. It is the combination of the two that constitutes the deeper meaning and experience of a place. And so it is with Harlem.
Endings and Beginnings: Teresa Mora & Xaviera Simmons
October 27 marked the final night of junctures (transmissions to), featuring Xaviera Simmons and her collaborator of the evening, singer, historian and interior designer Teresa Mora. Teresa grew up in Detroit, and consequently, much of the night’s conversation revolved around this city. Topics included: the creative energy Detroit harvests, which has manifested itself particularly in music and visual art; its now-clichéd reputation as a city of ruin and abandonment; and the recent influx of artists there. This “juncture” seemed a fitting end to the five-week exhibition, bringing full circle the show’s focus on themes of place and site, ritual, process and the examination of beginnings within artistic practice.
The Ramblin’ Session of Austin McCutchen & Xaviera Simmons
Wednesday, October 13th introduced singer, songwriter and musician Austin McCutchen into Xaviera Simmons’s studio space down on East Third Street. Austin has been playing in the local music scene for over four years. His work reaches deep into the traditions of authentic bluegrass and country music, immediately channeling Americana, Appalachia and the American South, producing a sound that is distinctly traditional. Austin and Xaviera have known each other for about two years, and this past year Xaviera invited him to collaborate on a song for an exhibition called The Record at the Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University.
“Can I Lead Walking Beside You?”: Stephen Burks, Belinda Becker and Xaviera Simmons
Wednesday evening marked my first visit down to the OFF/SITE space while a “transmission” was in session. As I entered the building, warm light suffused the walls and ceilings, while the amplified voices of that night’s participants, Stephen Burks, industrial designer, artist and traveler, and Belinda Becker, visual artist, DJ, historian and dancer, were emitted from within the giant studio.
Looking Ahead: The Nucleus of Collaboration
Part of my role here at the Museum involves devising interpretative materials and exploring how different technologies or reading materials can expand a visitor’s experience of the artwork on view. There is a fine balance between how much context and information is revealed, and how much is left to visitors to interpret for themselves. This became especially interesting when putting together didactics—including this blog—for Xaviera Simmons: junctures (transmissions to). How do you describe a project that is so much about protecting the element of spontaneity and surprise? How do you maintain this balance while describing what is “behind the scenes” of a project that is, essentially, already about what happens behind the scenes? How do you convey or describe a work or exhibition as your own highly personal experience of it, but also something much larger?