ATLANTA—COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, has dramatically impacted the art world, with major fairs, events, and conferences being postponed or cancelled worldwide. The annual Texas media showcase SXSW was cancelled earlier this week, Art Dubai has been suspended, and nearly all major institutions in Italy—including the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome, which is currently hosting a blockbuster Raphael exhibition—have shuttered. Across the American South, galleries and museums are grappling with inconsistent directives from local authorities and health departments. This weekend’s critics’ symposium in Lexington, Kentucky, has been postponed until further notice, and the following statement was released by UnderMain, the event’s host:
Due to a recommendation from the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, the CDC, and WHO for high risk and other populations, and out of reasonable care and caution regarding the hazards of COVID-19, we are postponing Critical Mass IV: Tastemakers: Collectors, Critics, and Curators until further notice. The annual event was scheduled for Saturday, March 14th at the 21c Museum Hotel in Lexington, Kentucky. UnderMain, The Great Meadows Foundation, and 21c agree that until the virus no longer poses a threat to our community, this is the most prudent decision.”
Culture-goers are advised to double check with galleries, museums, and other cultural institutions for the most up-to-date information about upcoming events and programs. As of the publication of this article on March 11, COVID-19 has officially been designated as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization.
NASHVILLE—After a devastating tornado early last week killed two dozen people and caused billions of dollars of devastation to Nashville, the city’s art community has responded generously. This past Saturday night, Zeitgeist hosted a one-night fundraiser featuring local artists’ works in conjunction with the opening of a new solo exhibition by Karen Seapker, and benefit concerts are planned at venues citywide.
If you are able to donate or support, Hands on Nashville is a great place to start.
ATHENS—This week the Georgia Museum of Art announced a gift of ten works of contemporary art from John and Sara Shlesinger. The gift includes work from Damien Hirst, Daniel Arsham, Shannon Ebner, David Altmjed, and Mike Kelley. In a statement, William U. Eiland, the director of the museum said, “This gift from Sara and John Shlesinger to the Georgia Museum of Art is certainly a quantitative change for our collection, but most important, it is a qualitative one,” said Eiland. “It gives us the means not only to teach and to exhibit the cutting-edge art of the past 25 years, but also allows us to help students and our general audiences to find, to understand and to step beyond that edge. Overnight, due to their generosity, we are able to extend our collection planning and augment our ability to teach in an age when visual-arts education has become more and more necessary.”
LEXINGTON—After receiving an Art Writers Grant from the Warhol Foundation last year, Paul Michael Brown has announced his departure from nonprofit gallery Institute 193. In an Instagram post, Institute 193 announced that Liz Glass and Emma Friedman-Buchanan would be joining the gallery as its new directors, with Glass managing its original location in Lexington and Friedman-Buchanan managing Institute 193 (1B), its satellite location in New York.
Glass received her MA in Museum Studies from Newcastle University in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, and her BA in Art History and Visual Studies from the University of Kentucky. Liz has worked for a number of prominent institutions in the U.S. and U.K., including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England. She most recently completed a contract as a Curatorial Assistant in the Department of Photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California.
Friedman-Buchanan is from Lexington, Kentucky. She received her BA in Art History and Visual Studies and Arts Administration, and Certificate in International Film Studies from the University of Kentucky. Emma has served as a film programmer for the Lexington Film League, guest curator at Institute 193 in Lexington, and curatorial intern in the Department of Film at The Museum of Modern Art.
Brown is a Burnaway contributor and will continue to contribute to the magazine as an independent critic.
NEW ORLEANS—The international contemporary art triennial Prospect New Orleans has announced its artist list for Prospect.5: Yesterday we said tomorrow. (Burnaway previously published a full list of participating artists on the day of the announcement earlier this month.) Curated by Naima J. Keith and Diana Nawi, Prospect.5 will feature the work of fifty-one artists and artist collectives throughout the city of New Orleans. Prospect.5 opens to the public on October 24, 2020 and will remain on view through January 24, 2021. The title Yesterday we said tomorrow is drawn from the title of a 2010 album by New Orleans-born jazz musician Christian Scott, Yesterday You Said Tomorrow. Suggeting a heavy focus on the African diaspora and questions of history, curator Diana Nawi said, “We started with an investigation into how the past informs the present, looking to a diverse and inter-generational group of artists whose work contends with questions of history in a breadth of ways. Yesterday we said tomorrow reflects the many ways contemporary artists are working to understand our moment.”
ATLANTA—In an emailed statement, MINT has announced a new interim director and additions to the organization’s board of directors. The statement reads,
MINT Program Director Jessica Helfrecht has been named interim executive director. Helfrecht, who has led the organization’s programs expansion during her 18-month tenure, succeeds Cory Klose who joined MINT in summer 2018. The MINT board of directors will conduct an executive search process, led by new board chair Nicole Morado, of GreenbergFarrow.
“I am honored to step into this role and look forward to building on the great foundation that [outgoing board chair] Michael Diffenderfer has laid,” said Morado. “We are excited to have new members on our team, bringing fresh perspectives, ideas and enthusiasm that will help amplify our efforts to serve Atlanta’s artists and arts community.”
On Leap Day 2020, MINT celebrated the opening of multiple exhibitions at its expanded space at The MET in Atlanta, as well as the arrival of a dozen artists at the studios its facilities house.