Dec 16, 2021
For the sixth annual Lea K. Green Artist Talk, The Studio Museum in Harlem is proud to honor vanessa german, who will be in conversation with curator Ryan N. Dennis.
“How will you live with courage and love today?” This is the question german poses to the audiences of her work and to all those with whom she interacts. Harnessing the redemptive and transformative power of love, german constructs touching, soulful works. Her pieces make us dream of worlds that may not exist (yet), but in the process of dreaming, she grants us the courage to see ourselves as our own greatest fantasies, futures, and saviors.
german and Dennis will discuss how place affects artists, the healing properties of art, the role art plays in communities at large, and what it may truly mean to love.
This program will be streamed on Zoom and will feature live CART captioning and ASL interpretation.
The Lea K. Green Artist Talk brings together exceptional artists and cultural luminaries annually for critical dialogues on art and society. Previous honorees for the Lea K. Green Artist Talk include Carrie Mae Weems (2016), Jordan Casteel (2017), Amy Sherald (2018), Dawoud Bey (2019), and Hank Willis Thomas (2021)
|Artist profile on vanessa german | artnet||Why I Believe in the Healing Power of Art | #ConnectionPGH|
|#BlackGirlMagic Takes Form In Vanessa German’s Sculptures | Artist profile in Hyperallergic||Small Worlds Performance | TEDxPittsburgh|
|There Is Life and Death in the Power of the Tongue | interview with Vanessa German in Bomb||Reckoning: Grief and Light, nothing can separate you from the language you cry in | Colour of Music Festival|
|Tapping into Ancestral Roots | Crystal Bridges|
Create an assemblage that explores the transformational process of intention and power.
Reality Check: To Call Police Use This Phone, 2013
vanessa german is a self-taught citizen artist working across sculpture, performance, communal rituals, immersive installation, and photography in order to repair and reshape disrupted systems, spaces, and connections. The artist’s practice proposes new models for social healing, utilizing creativity and tenderness as vital forces to reckon with the historical and ongoing catastrophes of structural racism, white supremacy, heteropatriarchy, resource extraction, and misogynoir.
german has been awarded the 2015 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant, the 2017 Jacob Lawrence Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the 2018 United States Artist Grant and, most recently, the 2018 Don Tyson Prize from Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
Her work is held in private and public collections including the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the West Virginia University Museum, Everson Museum of Art, Figge Art Museum, Flint Institute of Arts, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, David C. Driskell Center, Snite Museum of Art, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College. german’s fine art work has been exhibited widely, most recently at the Figge Art Museum, The Union for Contemporary Art, The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, Flint Institute of Arts, Mattress Factory, Everson Museum of Art, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Studio Museum, Ringling Museum of Art and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. german lives and works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Ryan N. Dennis is Chief Curator and Artistic Director of the Center for Art & Public Exchange (CAPE) at the Mississippi Museum of Art.
Dennis previously served as the Curator and Programs Director at Project Row Houses where her work focused on African American contemporary art with a particular emphasis on socially-engaged practices, site-specific projects, public interventions and the development of public-facing programs for adults and youth. She is deeply interested in the intersection of art and social justice while creating equitable opportunities for artists to thrive in their work.
Dennis earned her master’s degree in arts and cultural management from Pratt Institute with a focus in curatorial practice. She is also on the board of the Alliance of Artists Communities and advisory committees of Gulf Coast Literary and Fine Arts Journal, University of Houston’s System-Wide Art Acquisition, and Houston Art Alliance’s Civic Art Committee. She is currently a proud fellow of the Center for Curatorial Leadership’s 2019 Fellowship Program. Dennis resides in Jackson, Mississippi.
The annual Lea K. Green Artist Talk is made possible by the Lea K. Green Memorial Fund, established by Lea’s family and friends.