It’s Tuesday at The Studio Museum in Harlem. A bustling and vibrant group meets in the Atrium Café, the usual meeting place, filling the air and the moment with smiles. Familiar faces mingle, discuss, and observe before the start of yet another exciting Arts & Minds program. Twice a month, this diverse group of people come together to join in on a conversation—an experience—around a selected piece of artwork in the Museum.
I should also mention that this diverse group is composed of adults suffering with memory disorders and their caregivers—add in a couple of volunteers, staff and a teaching artist and you get Arts & Minds! Arts & Minds is an organization that brings adults with memory disorders and their caregivers together in new experiences of art. Through gallery discussions and hands-on art activities, Arts & Minds opens a window to creativity and well-being.
In Conversation at the Brooklyn Museum
On Thursday, February 16th, I attended an installment of the In Conversation Series hosted by MAD Free at the Brooklyn Museum. It featured an in-depth discussion and forum with Melissa Harris-Perry, professor and MSNBC commentator, and with writer and activist Michaela Angela Davis. The dialogue took cues from Harris-Perry’s new book Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America, which comments on the persistence of stereotypes and misrecognition that afflict black women. Furthermore, these images aid in creating very material consequences that affect black women’s political and social standing in America.
The following is an excerpt from Ishmael Houston-Jones’s curatorial statement, which appears in the catalogue for PLATFORM 2012: Parallels. Join us on February 2 for our public program The Artist's Voice: Ishmael Houston-Jones in Conversation with Wangechi Mutu and Thomas J. Lax, where you can purchase a copy of the catalogue. More info about Parallels programming, here.
The latest issue of Studio magazine has arrived and we couldn't be more thrilled! In honor of the Bearden Centennial, this issue has four different covers featuring artworks by Leonardo Drew, Glenn Ligon, Julie Mehretu and Brenna Youngblood that are currently on view in The Bearden Project.
The Evolution of Museum Missions
“How do we keep museums relevant and essential to our cultural landscape and life?” This was the fundamental question driving the Art Basel Conversation “The Evolution of Museum Mission” between four contemporary art museum directors on Friday December 2nd in Miami. Author and Arts Consultant András Szántó moderated the four female directors (including Studio Museum Director Thelma Golden), stating that there has been more change in the art world and museum institutions in the past 10 years than in the past 100 years. This notion is especially applicable for contemporary art museums: given their topical focus, they encompass perhaps the most sizable and accelerated evolutions in terms of not only art representation, but also mission.
Against the Tides of Globalization
Acclaimed British filmmaker and installation artist Isaac Julien turns primarily to visually elaborate and technologically sophisticated installations of the moving image to express his urgent fascination with global human movement. Columbia University’s recent World Leaders Forum teamed up with the Mellon Visiting Artist & Thinkers Program to host a talk by Isaac Julien with Carol Becker, Dean of Faculty of the School of the Arts. Dean Becker highlighted this unique choice of featuring an artist for the World Leaders Forum – proclaiming that geopolitically-minded and creative innovators, such as Julien, are particularly significant cultural leaders today.
Thelma Golden in Conversation with Rico Gatson at Exit Art
Rico Gatson sees the potential for art in everything: he allows his everyday experiences to inspire his work. Recently at Exit Art, Gatson and Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem, treated an audience to an engaging conversation about Gatson, his artwork, and his influences. Three Trips Around the Block, now on view at Exit Art, is a survey of 15 years of Gatson’s work.
Where Style Meets Substance
Who, What, Wear: Selections from the Permanent Collection, opening this Thursday at the Studio Museum in Harlem, frames style as substance. This exhibition aims to question how what one wears ultimately fashions the body as a symbolic vessel of meaning. Whether this meaning be social, cultural, or political, the clothing we put on our bodies speaks loudly – and if desired, proudly.
Dr. Robert Farris Thompson in conversation with Dr. Lowery Stokes Sims
“If you don’t know by now, don’t mess with it,” Dr. Robert Farris Thompson stated at the start of his program at the Studio Museum two weeks ago –followed quickly by a spirited promise that he was, indeed, going to “mess with it.”
“It” being, of course, the topic of the evening: Afro-Atlantic art. Last Thursday the Studio Museum galleries were filled to the brim with guests, eager to hear from two of the most prestigious art historians of our time. On the occasion of the release of Dr. Thompson's Aesthetic of the Cool: Afro-Atlantic Art and Music, the author sat down with Dr. Lowery Stokes Sims, Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, and former Studio Museum President, to discuss his concept of the “cool” in Afro-Atlantic culture.