News:

August 5, 2020

Trenity Thomas, Teenage Summer, one of the works to be included in the 2020 Louisiana Contemporary exhibition at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in Louisiana. Image courtesy of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans.

Ogden Museum of Southern Art announces artists for 2020 Louisiana Contemporary

SCAD - Derrick Adams

NEW ORLEANS—The Ogden Museum of Southern Art has announced the fifty-six artists selected for the 2020 edition of Louisiana Contemporary, the museum’s annual juried exhibition featuring work by contemporary artists from across the state. This year’s guest juror is René Morales, Director of Curatorial Affairs and Chief Curator at Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM). Louisiana Contemporary will be on view at Ogden Museum September 5 through February 7, 2021.

“I felt immeasurably honored to have been invited to jury the prestigious Louisiana Contemporary in this year of years,” says Morales. “Beyond purely aesthetic criteria, many of the selected works seem to have deeply absorbed the power and intensity of the current moment, while providing insight into Louisiana’s incredibly rich, multifaceted culture. Through this combination, a lucid picture emerges of how this exceedingly unique context has experienced the tragedies and turmoil that have accompanied the pandemic, and how profoundly and passionately it has internalized the struggle for justice and reform. As a whole, the works embody art’s unique ability to help us understand and process realities that we might otherwise be unable to grasp, much less express and discuss in a constructive manner.”

Find the full list of all fifty-six artists participating in the 2020 edition of Louisiana Contemporary here.


(Un)Known Project plans for public art project memorializing the unacknowledged lives of the enslaved

Perennial Properties

LOUISVILLE—IDEAS xLab, an artist-run nonprofit in Louisville, has announced plans for a work of public art memorializing the unacknowledged lives and deaths of enslaved Black laborers in Kentucky. Called The (Un)Known Project, the memorial seeks to highlight the millions of enslaved people of whom there exists virtually no record.

Poet Hannah Drake, the chief creative officer of IDEAS xLab, told NPR the project was partially inspired by a trip to Alabama’s National Memorial for Peace and Justice. “On these pillars, they also stamp the word unknown,” Drake said. “So there are people that were lynched, that they just don’t know the names of them. … It just broke my heart, like, how could someone be here and be unknown? Somebody knew them.”

According to the report, “The memorial will start as a path of cast or carved footprints. That will lead people from nearby history museums to the river, where there will be limestone benches. Then there will be more footprints leading to the river’s edge.”

“We wanted people to come here and sit and just acknowledge some things,” Drake told NPR. “If you sit on the bench for five minutes, or you sit on the bench for five hours, I think seeing it will stir up something.”


Museums in COVID hot spots reconsider plans to reopen

MIAMI—Following the spread of COVID-19 this spring, Pérez Art Museum Miami announced that it would remain closed until September 1—at the time, the longest planned closure of any institution in the United States. More recently, however, Florida has announced the highest single-day record for number of positive tests in any state—confirming 15,300 new COVID-19 cases on July 12 alone.

“I’m still hopeful—we’re more or less six weeks away,” museum director Franklin Sirmans told Artnet News.

Some Florida museums reopened at a reduced capacity when the state’s stay-at-home order expired on May 4. The state closed bars again on June 26, but museums are technically still permitted to welcome visitors.

Located next to PAMM, the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, which is in large part open-air, reopened on June 15, and Miami’s Rubell Museum reopened on July 1. Other institutions, such as ICA Miami and the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, have yet to announce plans to reopen.


South Carolina Arts Commission grants $4.1 million to support arts and cultural work

COLUMBIA—The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) has announced grants totaling $4.1 million, awarded in at least forty-one of the state’s counties to support arts and culture work in the new fiscal year.

SCAC’s latest community initiative, The Art of Community: Rural SC is being supported with grants totaling $85,400, distributed to the 15 counties where the project addresses local issues with arts and culture. This includes a grant that funds SCAC’s folklife partnership with University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum.