JACKSON—The Mississippi Museum of Art’s Center for Art and Public Exchange (CAPE) today announced Shani Peters as its 2021 national artist-in-residence. Starting in early spring 2021, Peters—a multidisciplinary artist and educator based in Harlem—will embark on a multi-part project, Collective Care for Black Mothers and Caretakers.
Incorporating aspects of her multi-faceted community-based practice, Peters’ public, project-based, collaborative work considers painful truths and creates opportunities for collective momentum toward learning, wisdom sharing, and community exchange. Her process is informed by her lived experience and in-depth research as she examines the politics of shared society to reveal individual and community approaches to managing the weights on and demands of Black mothers and caretakers.
During her yearlong residency, Peters will build relationships with the local Jackson community and establish a platform of self-care and community care. As a collaborative endeavor, the goal is to demonstrate the essential importance of caring for each other. To start, Peters reviewed data from the Pew Research Center and other sources. Her research revealed that the Black population in the U.S. ranks among the lowest across indicators of well-being including health, wealth, and numerous other categories. Mississippi’s Black population consistently ranks among the most vulnerable and underserved in the nation. COVID-19, the resultant economic crisis, and the Black Lives Matter movement have further exposed these disparities to the country and the world.
Mississippi Museum of Art Chief Curator and CAPE Artistic Director Ryan Dennis said, “Shani Peters’ residency project will consider hard realities in our community through an investigation of the challenges mothers and caretakers encounter 24/7. Her practice is perfectly suited for this process-driven endeavor because her work intersects histories of activism and inequity, community-building, and the creation of accessible experiences for viewers of and participants in her work. We are delighted to welcome her to Jackson and look forward to a rewarding collaboration with our community.”
CHARLESTON—Atlanta-based artist Stephen L. Hayes has received the latest 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art from the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston. Established in 2007, the Prize awards $10,000 to a living artist whose work contributes to a new understanding of the arts in the South. Now entering its twelfth year, this prize has awarded over $120,000 to artists and implemented a new initiative to display one work by the prizewinner in the Mary Jackson Modern and Contemporary Art Galleries within the Gibbes for one year. Hayes received a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta. His thesis exhibition, Cash Crop, has been traveling and exhibiting for nearly a decade. Frequently in his work, Hayes uses three symbols: a pawn, corn and a horse to explore America’s use (or misuse) of Black bodies, Black minds, and Black labor. The museum will host an hourlong virtual forum celebrating Hayes at 6 pm EST on Thursday, February 4.
ATLANTA—The Emory Libraries and the entire Emory community lost a true champion and a dear friend when Dr. Pellom McDaniels III, curator of African American collections at Emory University’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, passed away suddenly on Sunday, April 19, 2020. “The depth of our sorrow and grief at Pellom’s passing is matched only by our boundless appreciation and admiration for the tremendous gifts and contributions Pellom brought to his life’s work to elevate and celebrate African American history,” says Rose Library director Jennifer Gunter King.
Pellom McDaniels earned both his master of arts and PhD in American Studies from Emory’s Institute of Liberal Arts, after a career as a National Football League defensive lineman for the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons. He served as an assistant professor in the Department of African American Studies in Emory College and the associate curator of African American collections for the Rose Library before becoming the full-time curator in 2018.
The Emory Libraries have established the Pellom McDaniels III Research Award Endowment in African American Collections to support awards for Emory students, faculty and staff, and visiting scholars to conduct research and undertake creative projects utilizing the Rose Library’s collections documenting African American history and culture. The work that results from these awards will continue Pellom’s efforts to document and celebrate African American lives, history and expression.
On Sunday, February 7 at 3 pm EST, Emory Libraries is partnering with BronzeLens Film Festival to screen the film Flash Here and There Like Falling Stars: The Life and Work of Dr. Pellom McDaniels III, followed by a conversation with guests who knew the late Rose Library curator well.
NEW ORLEANS—Ogden Museum of Southern Art has announced the acquisition of 143 works by forty-six artists in 2020, including works by Enrique Alférez, William Christenberry, Alexa Kleinbard, Clarence John Laughlin, Sheldon Scott, among many others. Included in this total is an individual collection donation of eighty-three works from donor John Shubin. In 2021, Ogden Museum will present many of its 2020 acquisitions in exhibitions, offering a glimpse into the Museum’s impressive permanent collection of over 4,000 works representative of the art of the American South.
“We are excited to welcome these works into our growing collection, and look forward to sharing many of these acquisitions in our 2021 exhibitions,” said William Pittman Andrews, Executive Director of Ogden Museum. “Nearing [the museum’s] twentieth anniversary, we have more than tripled the original projections for acquisitions, and we are incredibly grateful to the artists and collectors who entrust us with their treasures. Exhibiting these contributions to the collection is the best way we can thank the donors and share with our audience.”