The Undefeated Billboard Project selects contemporary artists to create an artwork for a large billboard that sits atop the Undefeated store on Los Angeles’ La Brea Boulevard. Sanford Biggers, one of last season’s Harlem Postcard artists, is the most recent artist to be selected. Past artists include Studio Museum alums Gary Simmons and Kehinde Wiley. I interviewed Sanford about the project and got the inside scoop...
New Thoughts on Performativity, Race and Art at the Driskell Center, University of Maryland, College Park
What happens when we exhibit ourselves? In this moment in history, why is there a particular taste for abstract artwork? What is it about the black body in motion that is so enticing for the American public? These were the questions that presenters tackled at the annual Driskell Center Symposium: Performing Race in African American Visual Culture on Thursday, September 16th. Amongst panelists and audience members were artists, art historians, museum professionals and graduate students from across the country.
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.