August 25, 2021

By August 25, 2021
a large portrait of a young Black woman consisting of the repeated phrase “Black as the most exquisite color” rendered in rubber stamped lettering.
Kenturah Davis, BLACK AS THE MOST EXQUISITE COLOR, 2019; oil applied with rubber stamp letters on embossed and debossed Igarashi kozo paper, 39 by 58 inches, two parts. Courtesy the artist and Pippy Houldsworth Gallery.
High Museum: Nellie Mae Rowe
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2021 VIA | Wagner Incubator Grant Fund recipients announced, Stove Works (Chattanooga, TN) among grantees

CHATTANOOGA—VIA Art Fund and Wagner Foundation have announced the third cohort of VIA | Wagner Incubator grantees, totaling $200,000 to five U.S.-based visual arts organizations. The 2021 grantees are: MOCA Tucson (Tucson, AZ), Santa Fe Art Institute (Santa Fe, NM), Stove Works (Chattanooga, TN), The Union for Contemporary Art (Omaha, NE), and Wave Pool (Cincinnati, OH).

Stove Works (Chattanooga, TN) is an alternative art space whose mission is to serve the Chattanooga community through the production, exhibition, and education of contemporary art. Its robust artist in residence program, which hosts over seventy artists each year generates meaningful exchange and reflection, providing opportunities to learn from the experiences of others and to give voice.  Founder and Executive Director Charlotte Caldwell commented: “We moved into our permanent home in October of last year, in the middle of the pandemic. When we were notified that we were among the recipients of the VIA | Wagner Incubator Grant, we were a week out from opening the first exhibition on-site that we could share, without restraint, with our communities. We experienced an immediate wave of energy and affirmation.”


Curators for Georgia ‘Women to Watch’ exhibition named

ATLANTA—The Georgia Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts has tapped Savannah-based curator Melissa Messina as guest curator and Atlanta-based Sierra King as assistant curator for the Georgia Women to Watch exhibition titled New Worlds scheduled for January 27 – May 7, 2023 in Atlanta. Mesina and King will select five Georgia artists to be featured in the show. One artist will be chosen from the Georgia exhibition to be included in a show at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC slated for spring 2024.

Women to Watch is an exhibition program that features historically excluded and emerging women artists. Past curators have included the High Museum of Art’s Wieland family curator of modern and contemporary art and others.


Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) announces new acquisitions by thirteen artists for permanent collection

MIAMI—Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) announced new acquisitions of works for the museum’s permanent collection, including artists of Cuban and Brazilian origin as well as eleven women artists. Several of the artists are entering the museum’s collection for the first time, including Karon Davis, Kenturah Davis, Bisa Butler, and Christine Sun Kim.

Among the new acquisitions are Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica’s Penetrável Macaléia (Malaceia Penetrable) from 1978—purchased with funds from Jorge M. Pérez—a walk-in installation inspired by the favela communities of Rio de Janeiro; Coco Fusco’s The Undiscovered Amerindians Tour, a series of photographs purchased by PAMM’s International Women’s Committee Endowment; and Karon Davis’ Bobby Seale and The People’s Free Food Program, a major installation purchased with funds from PAMM’s Collectors Council and various patrons that features a life-size sculpture of Bobby Seale, co-founder of the Black Panther Party. 


Boca Raton Center for Arts & Innovation receives first capital donation of $5 million

BOCA RATON—The Boca Raton Arts District Exploratory Corporation (BRADEC) is proud to announce its first seven-figure capital pledge of $5 million. The donation comes from The Edith & Martin Stein Family Foundation, for the new Boca Raton Center for Arts & Innovation proposed at the north end of Mizner Park in Downtown Boca Raton.

In May, BRADEC won unanimous support from the Boca Raton City Council — meeting as the Community Redevelopment Agency — to negotiate a lease for the Mizner Park Amphitheater site, and an adjacent, 1.8-acre land parcel. 

“On behalf of BRADEC, I’m thrilled to announce this landmark pledge to our capital campaign,” remarked BRADEC President of the Board, Andrea Virgin. “The exceptional generosity and commitment to improving the civic and cultural life of Boca Raton demonstrated by Edith and her late husband, Martin, have put us on a path to realizing our extraordinary vision for the Center, and establishing Boca Raton as an epicenter for the arts, technological innovation, and education along the Gold Coast.”


Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art: Namsa Leuba
CROSSED LOOKS through December 11
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Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) recipient of major American arts endowment

RICHMOND—On August 10, The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts announced the establishment of an endowment that will provide significant ongoing funding for a new position at the museum — the Bev Perdue Jennings Assistant Curator of American Art. 

Dr. Christopher C. Oliver, currently VMFA’s Assistant Curator of American Art, will take on the newly titled position. Dr. Oliver arrived at VMFA in 2013 and has organized several exhibitions including the recent exhibition Virginia Arcadia: The Natural Bridge in American Art and the upcoming exhibition Ansel Adams: Compositions in Nature, which opens September 25, 2021.

“I am incredibly grateful to Mrs. Perdue Jennings for this endowment and honored to accept this new title,” said Dr. Oliver. “This endowment demonstrates her profound support of VMFA and its collection — and her commitment to the future of art in Virginia.”


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shares creative approaches to COVID-19 vaccination to unite the arts and sciences

ATLANTA—The CDC recently published field guides and resources that public health professionals, health communicators, teachers, and community organizations can use in their work to assist in increasing COVID-19 vaccination confidence and demand through the arts.

The Vaccine Confidence Arts Response Repository was developed by the University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine. This resource is an open-access collection of recent or current projects, organizations and professionals using arts and culture-based approaches to promote COVID-19 vaccine confidence and uptake. Director of the University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine Dr. Jill Sonke advised the CDC’s Vaccine Confidence and Demand Team as a subject matter expert and served as lead author of the guides. 


National trust grant will help preserve 1943 Charles White mural at Hampton University

HAMPTON—One of Charles White’s earliest public art commissions, The Contribution of the Negro to Democracy in America, is installed in Wainwright Auditorium on Hampton University’s campus in Virginia. At the time, the building housed the campus YMCA, a hub of activity where the mural was highly visible.

A $75,000 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund will support the installation of an HVAC system in the more than century-old building, helping to create and maintain a temperate environment conducive to the mural’s preservation. Hampton University is one of 40 Black history sites receiving grants. The Action Fund is distributing more than $3 Million in grants to preserve buildings and support organizations across the United States.


The American Folk Art Museum (AFAM) announces significant gift, including works by Sister Gertrude Morgan, Horace Pippin, and Bill Traylor

NEW YORK—The American Folk Art Museum announced a gift of works from the collection of Museum Trustee Laura Parsons and her husband, Richard Parsons. The Parsons’ gift has been made in honor of the Museum’s sixtieth anniversary.

“This magnanimous gift is the most recent contribution that Laura and Richard have made to the American Folk Art Museum,” said Jason T. Busch, Director and CEO of AFAM. “The paintings and sculpture included in the gift are transformational additions to the Museum’s collection and enhance our commitment to presenting an inclusive, nuanced, and meaningful story of folk and self-taught art across time and place.”


Shaka Myrick and Delyn Stephenson named Romare Bearden fellows at the Saint Louis Art Museum

ST. LOUIS—The Saint Louis Art Museum has expanded the thirty-year-old Romare Bearden Graduate Museum Fellowship from a one-year paid fellowship to a two-year paid fellowship. Named for African-American artist Romare Bearden, the opportunity is designed to prepare graduate students of color seeking careers as art historians and museum professionals. 

Because of the change, the Museum this summer welcomed two new fellows—Shaka Myrick as the inaugural two-year fellow for 2021-2023 and Delyn Stephenson as a one-year fellow for 2021-2022. A new fellow will begin work each year, which will allow first-year fellows to work closely with those completing their second year of the program.

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