Announcing Our Partnership with Art21

By October 02, 2023

Burnaway is thrilled to announce a new partnership with Art21. Art21 produces award-winning documentary films about the world’s most groundbreaking contemporary artists. Together, Burnaway and Art21 share a vision of expanding access to contemporary art.


Beginning on October 6th, Burnaway’s 15th Anniversary, the website will host a series of Art21 films and related editorial content that feature contemporary artists with Southern ties over the next year. The Partnership intends to deepen an understanding of visual art that hails from the South today.

“We’re excited to enter this partnership with the team at Art21. As we enter our 15th year, our mission of sharing the power of Southern and Caribbean artists only grows stronger,” says Brandon Sheats, Burnaway’s Executive Director. “Through this joint effort, we not only engage our audiences in new and accessible ways, we further Burnaway’s mission of connecting and serving as a living archive of consequential work by artists from the region. This furthers our long-standing assertion that Southern art and culture is global art and culture.”

“Art21 is excited to team up with Burnaway in our shared missions to expand access to contemporary art through a partnership celebrating artists from the American South and the Caribbean,” says Tina Kukielski, Art21 Susan Sollins Executive Director and Chief Curator. “Such a collaboration gives voice to the significant contributions and cultural impact of Southern artists on the contemporary art canon.”

Production still from the “Art in the Twenty-First Century” Season 11 episode, “Everyday Icons,” 2023. © Art21, Inc. 2023.

On Friday, October 6, the series will begin with an Art21 film about internationally acclaimed artist Amy Sherald. Sherald, who was born in Columbus, GA, and attended Clark Atlanta University, is an American realist painter. She paints compelling scenes of Black subjects at rest and play. In 2018, Sherald was the first Black woman selected to paint a Presidential Portrait. The now iconic work created by Sherald of Former First Lady Michelle Obama has traveled the world.


Sherald addresses her background, motivations, and creative process in the film. Much of the documentary is set in her hometown of Columbus, GA. Of her practice, Sherald said, “I really have this deep belief that images can change the world. It’s not that I started making work with that belief, but it is what I have come to know.”

Be on the lookout for content collaborations from Burnaway featuring Art21 films online and on social media in the coming year.

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