March 3, 2022

By March 03, 2022
an elderly Black woman dressed in a long white skirt and long-sleeve shirt stands in front of a small room with colorful, framed paintings on the wall
Sister Gertrude Morgan (1900-1980), a self-taught artist, musician, poet and preacher, in New Orleans. Morgan is the only Southern artist included in the Venice Biennale’s 2022 edition, The Milk of Dreams, curated by Cecilia Alemani.

Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami (MOCA) appoints Adeze Wilford as curator

NORTH MIAMI—The Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami (MOCA) announced the appointment of Adeze Wilford as curator. With support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Wilford joins MOCA North Miami’s senior leadership team during an exciting time in the museum’s growth. Wilford most recently served as assistant curator at The Shed, New York where she curated the New York Times acclaimed exhibition “Howardena Pindell: Rope/Fire/Water” in 2020. She assumed her role at the museum on February 14.

“The entire team at MOCA North Miami is thrilled to welcome Adeze Wilford to the museum and to the community. Under Adeze’s curatorial leadership, we look forward to MOCA’s continued growth, and to connecting diverse audiences by providing a welcoming place to encounter new ideas and voices,” said executive director Chana Budgazad Sheldon. “Adeze’s collaborative spirit and experience is an exciting match for our rapidly transforming museum that aspires to become a leader in the growth of North Miami, as well as the art and museum communities.”


Hunter Museum of Art: Enchanted: a History of Fantasy Illustration on view through Sept. 5
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High Museum of Art names scholar Adrienne L. Childs recipient of 2022 David C. Driskell Prize

ATLANTA—The High Museum of Art today announced scholar, art historian and curator Adrienne L. Childs as the 2022 recipient of the David C. Driskell Prize in recognition of her contributions to the field of African American art. Awarded annually by the Museum since 2005, the prize demonstrates the High’s ongoing dedication to furthering artistic innovation and promoting research of African American artists and scholars. 

Throughout her career, Childs has focused her research and curatorial work on the relationship between race and representation in European and American fine and decorative arts as well as the influence and achievements of African American artists in the 20th and 21st centuries. She currently serves as adjunct curator at The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., and is an associate of the W. E. B. Du Bois Research Institute at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. 

“As an art historian and curator, Dr. Childs consistently celebrates and amplifies the work of African American artists and produces thought-provoking scholarship examining Black representation throughout artistic traditions,” said Rand Suffolk, Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr., Director of the High. “We are honored to support her important work and recognize her considerable achievements with this year’s Driskell Prize.” 


Center for Puppetry Arts receives NEA funds for pandemic recovery

ATLANTA—The Center for Puppetry Arts is to receive a portion of $57 million allocated by the American Rescue Plan to help cultural organizations recover from the pandemic. The recommendation by the National Endowment for the Arts allows for an allotment of up to $150,000 in funds for each grantee. “We are honored to be included in the list of arts organizations around the country receiving an NEA grant,” said CPA executive Beth Schiavo. “These funds will be put to immediate use by the Center to bring joy to the hearts of families, artists and puppetry arts lovers everywhere.” 


Valerie Cassel Oliver receives CCS Bard’s $25,000 award for curatorial excellence

RICHMOND; NEW YORK—The Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (CCS Bard) announced that Valerie Cassel Oliver, the Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), has been named as the 2022 recipient of the Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence. For twenty-three years, the Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence has celebrated the achievements of a distinguished curator whose lasting contributions have shaped the way we conceive of exhibition-making today. The award, which is accompanied by a $25,000 prize, reflects CCS Bard’s commitment to recognizing individuals who have defined new thinking, bold vision, and dedicated service to the field of exhibition practice. 

With a curatorial practice spanning over two decades, Cassel Oliver will be honored at CCS Bard’s spring 2022 gala celebration and dinner on Wednesday, April 6. 

“From her most recent survey, The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse at VMFA to major retrospectives and the very redefinition of performance, Valerie Cassel Oliver should be considered one of America’s great ‘thought leaders,’ a curator who constantly surprises, enlightens, and broadens the scope of art,” said Tom Eccles, executive director, CCS Bard. 

“It is deeply humbling to be acknowledged for my work. I feel it is necessary work, created from a space of commitment and passion. And, I have been quite fortunate over the years to bring ideas to the fore and to celebrate amazing artists and their work. It is immensely gratifying to be acknowledged especially by CCS Bard because of its role in sustaining the viability of curatorial practice,” said Cassel Oliver.


Venice Biennale Names 213 Artists for ‘Transhistorical’ 2022 Edition, only Southern artist is the late Sister Gertrude Morgan of New Orleans’s Lower Ninth Ward

VENICE—The Venice Biennale, the world’s biggest art exhibition, has named the 213 artists from 58 countries that will participate in its 2022 edition, which is due to run from April 23 to November 27 in Italy. Of those 213 artists, 180 of them have never before shown at the Venice Biennale.

These artists will participate in the main exhibition of the Biennale, which this year is curated by Cecilia Alemani, director and chief curator of High Line Art in New York. Her show is titled The Milk of Dreams. Alemani has said the show will focus on three distinct areas of inquiry: “the representation of bodies and their metamorphoses; the relationship between individuals and technologies; the connection between bodies and the Earth.” The show will include more than 1,000 works.

Out of the 213 names, no living Southern artists were included in the 2022 Edition. The only Southern-born or based artist is the late Sister Gertrude Morgan (b. 1900), a self-taught artist from La Fayette, Alabama who relocated to New Orleans, where she worked until her death in 1980.


Frost Museum of Art: Disrupting Anti-Blackness on view through June 19
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Jorge Zamanillo named first director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Jorge Zamanillo, executive director and CEO of HistoryMiami Museum, has been named founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino. The new museum was established by Congress in December 2020. His appointment is effective May 2.

Zamanillo began working at the HistoryMiami Museum in Miami in 2000 as the curator of object collections and, over time, organized several key exhibitions and programs, including renovating the museum’s permanent exhibition, “Tropical Dreams: A People’s History of Southern Florida” and curating “Operation Pedro Pan: The Cuban Children’s Exodus” in 2015. Before he was promoted to executive director and CEO, he served in several leadership positions at HistoryMiami — including deputy director, vice president of expansion projects, and senior curator.

“Jorge’s accomplishments at HistoryMiami Museum highlight his commitment to exploring the full sweep of the American story by bringing to life the complex and profound narratives of Latinos in the United States,” said Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary of the Smithsonian. “His transformational leadership will be invaluable as we build this necessary museum from the ground up, helping us create a robust, dynamic, responsive museum that exemplifies what a 21st-century cultural institution should be.”


Harn Museum of Art Appoints New Curator of Contemporary Art

GAINESVILLE—The Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida announced the appointment of Jade Powers as Curator of Contemporary Art following a nation-wide search. Powers will assume her new position on April 1, 2022. She joins the Harn from the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri where she curated more than ten permanent collection and special exhibitions since being appointed as Assistant Curator in 2018. Exhibition highlights include Dyani White Hawk: Speaking to Relatives (2021), Well-Read: Artists Inspired by Literature (2021), Dawoud Bey: Selections from Night Coming Tenderly, Black (2020), and Deconstructing Marcus Jansen (2018). In her role, Powers implemented acquisitions of contemporary art, co-authored and managed the Dyani White Hawk exhibition catalog, and was instrumental in the launch of the Kemper’s new “Young Friends” collector group.

Before joining the Kemper Museum, Powers was the 2017-2018 Romare Bearden Graduate Museum Fellow at the Saint Louis Art Museum. There, she created the first museum-wide gallery guide to comprehensively highlight works by artists of African descent and began research for the exhibition Shape of Abstraction (2019), showcasing a gift of more than 80 abstract works by African American artists. Powers implemented public programs including the panel If It Wasn’t for the Women: Science, Shape, and Self, as well as presented gallery talks, guided tours and created a teacher workshop to help educators add information about abstract art by African American artists to their curriculum.


Georgia Museum of Art: Graphic Eloquence: American Modernism on Paper on view through September 4
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2023 Tennessee Triennial for Contemporary Art

KNOXVILLE—Tri-Star Arts announced the launch of the inaugural Tennessee Triennial for Contemporary Art, slated to open January 27, 2023 and run through May 7, 2023. The recent changes and movements in the world have led to a renewed vision, new dates, and a galvanizing spirit that centers on the rich history of the arts in Tennessee as a means to engage excellence in contemporary art.

Dr. María Magdalena Campos-Pons will serve as inaugural Consulting Curator to exhibitions across the state with an advisory curatorial body. Campos-Pons is an artist and the Cornelius Vanderbilt Endowed Chair Professor of Fine Arts at Vanderbilt University. She is the founder for the Engine for Art, Democracy and Justice (EADJ), GASP Gallery in Brookline, MA and she is the founder for Intermittent Rivers, a biennial project in Matanzas, Cuba.

The 2023 theme and core concept authored by Campos-Pons for the inaugural Tennessee Triennial is RE-PAIR; a collective set of cultural and social healing gestures, paths that suture, and recompose fractures in society and the imagination.

Tri-Star Arts expressed gratitude to past Tennessee Triennial team members Lauren Haynes (former Co-Curator), Teka Selman (former Co-Curator), and Andrea Zieher (former Director) for their work in the evolution of this project.


Muscogee (Creek) Nation, conservationists seeking to establish first national park and preserve in Georgia

MACON—Designating a national park adjacent to downtown Macon is a goal for Middle Georgia conservationists and Oklahoma’s Muscogee (Creek) Nation, whose citizens were forcibly removed from these ancestral lands in the early 1800s.

The effort is being led by Seth Clark, Macon’s mayor pro tem, who is directing the Ocmulgee National Park and Preserve Initiative, a coalition of Middle Georgia conservation and civic leaders. Last month, tribal lawyer Tracie Revis, a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, joined the ONPPI’s staff.

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