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Gala 2017 Honors Sir David Adjaye OBE


Simone Leigh Receives Twelfth Annual Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize

NEW YORK, NY, October 31, 2017—On Monday, October 30, The Studio Museum in Harlem welcomed close to 800 artists, cultural leaders, civic leaders, business leaders and philanthropists to its annual Gala, which this year honored Sir David Adjaye OBE, the lead designer of the Museum’s new home, which is scheduled to break ground in late Fall 2018.

Co-chaired by Studio Museum Trustees Jacqueline L. Bradley, Kathryn C. Chenault, Carol Sutton Lewis, and Dr. Amelia Ogunlesi, the evening began with a cocktail hour at the Museum of American Finance. The evening’s formal program at Cipriani Wall Street opened with remarks by the co-chairs and Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator, and included the presentation of the twelfth annual Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize to Simone Leigh, a 2010–11 participant in the Museum’s signature Artist-in-Residence program.

Honoree Sir David Adjaye OBE, Principal, Adjaye Associates, spoke about being inspired by J. Max Bond Jr., the architect of the Studio Museum’s 1982 renovation, and said: “The Studio Museum in Harlem is very special to me: it was the very first US institution to host an exhibition of my work, ten years ago. Their early support is emblematic of the way they routinely welcome and provide groundbreaking opportunities to so many. And in the decade since, Thelma Golden and the Studio Museum team have continued to inspire me with their commitment to artists and community. I’m so grateful to be honored tonight and to be part of the Studio Museum family.”

Raymond J. McGuire, Chairman of the Board, closed the program with moving remarks about the Museum’s history and bright future before guests took to the dance floor!

The event raised over $2.3 million in support of the Museum’s annual operating costs, including inHarlem, a set of innovative and collaborative programs throughout the neighborhood that will ramp up in 2018 to create a “museum without walls” during the construction period.

Mark Falcone, Adam Flatto, Richard Levy and Lorraine Gallard, Linda Johnson Rice, Craig Robins, and Dasha Zhukova served as the event’s Benefit Committee, and the Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize was once again supported by George Wein. The event’s Patron supporters included Katherine Farley and Jerry Speyer, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee, and Amelia and Bayo Ogunlesi.

Patron Supporters included Jacqueline Bradley and Clarence Otis Jr., Kathryn C. and Kenneth I. Chenault, Mitzi and Warren Eisenberg, Mr. and Mrs. John B. Hess, Global Infrastructure Partners, Dr. Lisa and Mr. David J. Grain, Carol Sutton Lewis and William M. Lewis Jr., Nancy and Howard Marks, Rodney M. Miller Sr., Keisha Smith-Jeremie / News Corp, José L. Tavarez and Holly L. Phillips, M.D. / Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

About David Adjaye

Sir David Adjaye OBE is recognized as a leading architect of his generation. Born in Tanzania to Ghanaian parents, his broadly ranging influences, ingenious use of materials, and sculptural ability have established him as an architect with an artist’s sensibility and vision. He founded Adjaye Associates in 2000, and immediately won several prestigious commissions including the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo (2005) and the Idea Stores in London (2005), which were credited with pioneering a new approach to the provision of information services. His largest project to date, the Smithsonian Institute National Museum of African American History and Culture, opened on the National Mall in Washington, DC in fall of 2016 and was named Cultural Event of the Year by the New York Times.

The Studio Museum in Harlem is honored to recognize David Adjaye’s tremendous contributions to the world of architecture and culture. His unwavering commitment to beauty, rigor, and humanity is evident in all of his projects—public and private, large and small—and foregrounds his longstanding and deep relationships with artists central to the Studio Museum’s mission and values.

About Simone Leigh

Simone Leigh (b. 1967) creates sculpture, video, and installation informed by her examination of contemporary ethnography, feminism, and performance. Her objects often employ materials and forms traditionally associated with African art; her performance-influenced installations create spaces where historical precedent and self-determination comingle. The Studio Museum in Harlem first exhibited her work in 2009, and she participated in the Artist-in-Residence program from 2010–11. The Studio Museum has also shown Leigh’s work in the exhibitions The Bearden Project (2011), Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art (2013–14), Palatable: Food and Contemporary Art (2016), and Regarding the Figure (2017). In 2016, Leigh was selected to be part of the Museum’s inaugural inHarlem program, inserting three structures reminiscent of imba yokubikira (kitchen houses) from Shona-speaking rural areas of Zimbabwe into the landscape of Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park. Her work has also been shown nationally and internationally at institutions including Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas; Pulitzer Arts Foundation, St. Louis, Missouri; Tate Exchange, Tate Modern, London; The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and the New Museum, New York. Among her previous awards were an Anonymous Was a Woman Award and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, both in 2016.

About The Studio Museum in Harlem

Founded in 1968 by a diverse group of artists, community activists, and philanthropists, The Studio Museum in Harlem is internationally known for its catalytic role in promoting the work of outstanding artists of African descent. Now approaching its 50th anniversary, the Studio Museum is preparing to construct a new home at its current location on Manhattan’s West 125th Street, designed by internationally renowned architect Sir David Adjaye with Cooper Robertson as the first building created expressly for the institution’s program. The new building will enable the Studio Museum to better serve a growing and diverse audience, provide additional educational opportunities for people of all ages, expand its program of world-renowned exhibitions, effectively display its singular collection, and strengthen its trailblazing Artist-in-Residence program.

Full Press Release

Gala 2017 Honors Sir David Adjaye OBE