This is the first edition of BA’s new biweekly digest of Southern contemporary art news-in-brief. Submissions for items to be included in future editions may be sent to the editor.
ATLANTA —Selected out of nearly two hundred applicants, artists Krista Clark and William Downs are recipients of this year’s Atlanta Artadia Awards. Each artist will be awarded $10,000 in unrestricted funds as well as access to the ongoing benefits of the Artadia Awards program. Since 1999, Artadia has awarded over $3 million to more than 300 artists in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. The Atlanta awards, now in their sixth year, were open to any visual artist living in the Greater Atlanta area. Applicants were evaluated by Wassan Al-Khudhairi, Chief Curator, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis; Nathaniel Hitchcock, Independent Curator, Chicago, and Jonathan Odden, former Curatorial Assistant, High Museum of Art, Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, Ph.D, Director, Spelman College Museum of Art, and Sarah Higgins, Curator, Zuckerman Museum of Art, Kennesaw State University.
NEW YORK —Earlier this week, the Creative Capital and Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program announced the recipients of its 2018 grants. Twenty-one writers working in four categories—articles, blogs, books, and short-form writing—will each receive an award ranging from $15,000 to $50,000, with a total of $725,000 in funds awarded. These funds will support projects ranging from scholarly studies to critical reviews and self-published blogs. This year’s grantees include Chicago-based critic Susan Snodgrass, who served as a visiting mentor in the most recent cycle of BA’s Art Writers Mentorship Program, as well as law professor and writer Yxta Murray, whose grant will fund her work on property rights in post-Katrina New Orleans. Other grantees include writer and performer Malik Gaines, poet, novelist, and critic Lucy Ives, and writer and curator Wendy Vogel. Find a complete list of grant recipients and their projects here.
ATLANTA — Atlanta-based arts nonprofit MINT has announced the five Georgia artists chosen to participate in its 2019 Leap Year Residency program: Caleb Jamel Brown, Danielle Deadwyler, Ellie Dent, Michelle Laxalt, and Amanda Grae Platner. The Leap Year program includes six months of access to studio space, a two-week residency at the Hambidge Center, mentorship from an established Atlanta-based artist, and a solo exhibition at MINT. 2018 Leap Year artist Crystal Desai’s exhibition “small enough to hold” opens this Saturday, December 8, and Hasani Sahlehe will present the final 2018 Leap Year Residency exhibition in February 2019.
Disclosure: BA Editor Logan Lockner served as a judge on the selection panel for the 2019 Leap Year Residency.
ATLANTA — The 2018-20 class of Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellows is comprised of twelve students who will participate in specialized training at some of the nation’s top museum institutions: the Art Institute of Chicago, the High Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Fellows Kayleigh Doyen, Raphael Espinoza, Kayla Gaskin, Taylor Roberts, Jabrea Patterson-West, Danielle Pesqueira, Courtney Khim, Avani Sastry, Anella Fernández, James Grau, Yadierys (Yadi) Angeles-Figueroa, and Srujana (Suji) Kanneganti will each have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a museum setting, assisting curators and staff on exhibitions, collections, and programs. Their fellowship will span two years and include a curatorial mentor, regular academic year engagement, as well as full-time summer participation. This year’s fellowships are awarded through a five-year grant of $3.25 million dedicated to training historically underrepresented groups in the curatorial field.
At Atlanta’s High Museum, Emory University student Kayla Gaskin will be mentored by modern and contemporary art curator Michael Rooks, and Oglethorpe University student Taylor Roberts will work with Claudia Einecke, the museum’s curator of European art.
JACKSON — The city of Jackson, Mississippi, has been named the Bloomberg Philanthropies 2018 Public Art Challenge winner. Jackson will receive up to $1 million for its project “Fertile Ground: Inspiring Dialogue About Food Access,” which aims to inform policy related to nutrition by using art as a medium to communicate the complexities of the issue in the city and state.
To execute the project, the city will bring together an interdisciplinary team of local and national artists, landscape architects, filmmakers, farmers, chefs, nutritionists, and community members to create city-wide installations, performances, and programming. Sites will include public streets, community gardens, a local elementary school, a vacant building that will be converted into exhibition space, and a food lab with pop-up kitchen space that will act as an experimental food incubator.
Jackson mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said, “The city is overjoyed to have been selected in this process. This was a highly competitive grant where over 200 cities around the world applied to be a part of this Public Art Challenge. And so, to be able to aid in the aesthetic appeal of the city while delivering a message of healthy eating for the citizens of Jackson is a truly remarkable opportunity, and we are ecstatic and look forward to seeing this project come into fruition.”
Partners and participants in the project include New York-based artist Kara Walker, New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman, and LA-based artist and urban gardening activist Ron Finley, along with local Jackson artist Adrienne Domnick and local filmmaker Roderick Red.
Disclosure: Alongside a cohort of forty-five other Atlanta-based organizations, BA is currently participating in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Arts Innovation and Management program.
ATLANTA — The High Museum of Art has announced a new partnership with Atlanta-based screening series Film Love. Founded by curator Andy Ditzler, Film Love creates unique and accessible cinema programming, showing rare and unusual films at public screening and events. From January through May 2019, the museum will host a monthly retrospective screening series curated by Ditzler. The series kicks off on December 13 with “Behind the Lens: Kusama Films,” presented in conjunction with the High’s exhibition “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” and featuring short films capturing several of the artist’s iconic 1960s performances as well as more recent short films of Kusama singing, performing and reciting poems.
HOUSTON — Glasstire founder Rainey Knudson has announced she will be stepping down as a publisher of the Texas-based online arts publication in mid-to-late 2019. She will remain in her current role as the company searches for a new publisher and will continue serving on the board of directors after her tenure ends.
Knudson purchased the magazine’s domain with $35 during the summer of 2000—naming it in homage to an artwork by Robert Rauschenberg—and built the original site herself, launching in January 2001. During the early years, Knudson was the sole employee of Glasstire, serving as editor, publisher, salesperson, and administrator. Since then, it has grown into an organization with an overall annual budget of half a million dollars and seven-person staff, having published articles by over 400 writers and built a worldwide readership through arts writing, podcasts, and videos.
Knudson, who has previously served as a mentor in BA’s Art Writers Mentorship Program, said, “After eighteen years, I’ve decided it’s time for me to move on to the next chapter. It’s hard to overstate what Glasstire has meant to me, but the time is right to hand over the reins to a new leader… I feel lucky to have been there at the beginning of Internet journalism. It has been a joy to travel throughout Texas through the years, working with gifted writers who tell the stories of the people in our statewide art scene… I don’t know what the next chapter holds for me, but it will involve the things I love: Texas, art, and innovative projects.”
NEW ORLEANS — As was previously reported, New Orleans-based art nonprofit Pelican Bomb has ceased regular operations as of the end of November 2018. The organization’s website, which includes its Art Review, will be archived using Webrecorder, a tool created by Rhizome for preserving webpages and their functionality. In its final month, the Art Review featured contributions exploring “the ideas and methods that have been important to Pelican Bomb’s genesis, growth, and sunset,” including essays on the value of arts publications outside of major metropolitan centers and recent changes in the New Orleans art world.
ATLANTA — In the spring, the High Museum will present “Way Out There: The Art of Southern Backroads,” an exhibition that celebrates the region’s self-taught artists and their convergence with contemporary American photography and literature. The exhibition is inspired by an unpublished manuscript for a guidebook of Southern self-taught artists by late poet and publisher Jonathan Williams (1929–2008), who had road-tripped around the South with photographers Guy Mendes and Roger Manley in the 1980s and ’90s.
On view March 2 through May 19, 2019, the exhibition strives to capture the spirit of the book through more than fifty sculptures, paintings, and approximately one hundred of Mendes’s and Manley’s photographs. The show will also feature work from Eddie Owens Martin (“St. EOM”), Sam Doyle, Mose Tolliver, Thornton Dial, Edgar Tolson, Georgia Blizzard, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Howard Finster and many others.