October 6, 2020

Installation image of the 2019 Atlanta Biennial (L to R: Alina Perez, Karaoke, 2018Charcoal and pastel on paper50 x 38 inchesfrom the collection of Tey Meadow; Carol John, Smoke, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 37.5 x 49.5 x inches; and Cigarettes and Ribbons, 2018, Acrylic on panel, 50 x 104  inches). Photo by Olga Sidilkovskaya courtesy of Atlanta Contemporary.

Atlanta Contemporary announces artists selected for the 2021 Atlanta Biennial

Georgia Museum of Art

ATLANTA—Atlanta Contemporary has announced the thirty-two artists and collectives selected to participate in the 2021 Atlanta Biennial. Curated by Dr. Jordan Amihirkani, Of Care and Destruction will occupy the museum’s main galleries, and TK Smith will curate presentations in the museum’s project spaces under the title Virtual Remains. In an emailed statement, Dr. Amirkhani wrote, “This exhibition invites the weight of these cultural murmurations to seep and sow against the range of material and conceptual methods of response available to artists in 2020… What is at stake in this exhibition is whether or not representations can provide adequate responses to the fluctuating conditions and complexities of life lived in the United States.”

The exhibition will be on view from Thursday, February 18, 2021 through Sunday, May 30, 2021, with plans for a public opening to be determined.

At the time of their selection for the 2021 Atlanta Biennial, all participating artists lived in the South. However, due to COVID-19, some of these artists have relocated to be with family and loved ones. See a complete list of participating artists below:

Of Care and Destruction
Curated by Dr. Jordan Amirkhani

Regina Agu
Born Houston, TX
Lives Chicago, IL

Lillian Blades
Born Nassau, Bahamas
Lives Lexington, KY

William Downs
Born Greenville, SC
Lives Atlanta, GA

Shanequa Gay
Born Atlanta, GA
Lives College Park, GA

Katie Hargrave
Born Chicago, IL
Lives Chattanooga, TN

Donté K. Hayes
Born Baltimore, MD
Lives Kennesaw, GA / Cliffwood, NJ

Jesse Pratt López
Born Cali, Colombia
Lives Atlanta, GA

Courtney McClellan
Born Greensboro, NC
Lives Atlanta, GA

Eleanor Neal
Born Gary, IN
Lives Atlanta, GA

Michelle Lisa Pollissaint
Born Delray Beach, FL
Lives Miami, FL

Hasani Sahlehe
Born St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
Lives Augusta, GA

Zipporah Camille Thompson
Born Charlotte, NC
Lives Atlanta, GA

Melissa Vandenberg
Born Detroit, MI
Lives Richmond, KY

Christina Renfer Vogel
Born Atlantic City, NJ
Lives Chattanooga, TN

Davion Alston
Born Landstuhl, Germany
Lives Atlanta, GA

Marianne Desmarais
Born Gulfport, MS
Lives New Orleans, LA

Nekisha Durett
Born Washington, DC
Lives Washington, DC

Myra Greene
Born New York, NY
Lives Atlanta, GA

L. Kasimu Harris
Born New Orleans, LA
Lives New Orleans, LA

LeAndra LeSeur
Born Bronx, NY
Lives Jersey City, NJ

Meredith Lynn
Born Boston, MA
Lives Tallahassee, FL

Michi Meko
Born Florence, AL
Lives Atlanta, GA

Yanique Norman
Born Spanish Town, Jamaica
Lives Stonecrest, GA

Lucha Rodríguez
Born Caracas, Venezuela
Lives Atlanta, GA

Saba Taj
Born Raleigh, NC
Lives Durham, NC

Tori Tinsley
Born Atlanta, GA
Lives Atlanta, GA

José Villalobos
Born El Paso, TX
Lives El Paso, TX

What Editions
Founded by Cora Lautze
and Julian Wellisz
New Orleans, LA
Featuring:
Abdi Farah
Dapper Bruce Lafitte
Akasha Rabut
Ashley Teamer

Virtual Remains
Curated by TK Smith

Danielle Deadwyler
Born Atlanta, GA
Lives Atlanta, GA

Adam Forrester
Born Columbus, GA
Lives Atlanta, GA

Shane Dedman
Born Palm Beach, FL
Lives Atlanta, GA

Artemus Jenkins
Born Baltimore, MD
Lives Atlanta, GA


The Robert E. Lee Monument in Richmond, Virginia. The Mellon Foundation has announced plans to create a two hundred and fifty million dollar fund to “reimagine the future of Amerincan monuments.” Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images.

The Mellon Foundation announces two-hundred-and-fifty-million-dollar project funding new approaches to American monuments

NEW YORK—The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the largest philanthropic organization in the country, has announced a five-year, two-hundred-and-fifty-million-dollar initiative called The Monuments Project. The organization stressed that they would not be in a position to recommend the removal of statues—as has happened around the country during this summer’s protests against police violence and white supremacy—but instead aims to support programs that are working on new ideas on what a monument can or should be. This includes physical sculptures and markers, but also more intangible things such as “storytelling places.” The foundation has supported diverse monument projects in the past, including providing five million dollars for the he National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, which opened in 2018 to honor of victims of lynchings across the South. 


Kerry James Marshall, School of Beauty, School of Culture, 2012. Purchased for the Birmingham Museum of Art with funds provided by Elizabeth (Bibby) Smith, the Collectors Circle for Contemporary Art, Jane Comer, the Sankofa Society, and general acquisition funds, 2012.57. Image © Kerry James Marshall.

Birmingham Museum of Art reopens with new exhibitions, Ways of Seeing and All Things Bright and Beautiful

BIRMINGHAM—After a lengthy shutdown due to COVID-19, Alabama’s Birmingham Museum of Art will re-open on Tuesday, October 6 with two new exhibitions drawing from the museum’s collection. According to the museum, the exhibition Ways of Seeing will focus on “relationships between artists, architects, and the work of many creators who work in those areas.” Originally slated to open in April, the exhibition has taken on a new texture since the events of the past summer. The museum’s statement continues, “These changes happened at the same time as protests asserting the value of Black lives across the country and in Birmingham, spurring the removal of the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument from Birmingham’s centrally located park. These events prompted a revision of the exhibition, which now examines not only the relationship between artists and architects, but also the power and problems with seeing buildings and monuments, both within the BMA and just beyond the museum’s front door.” Another exhibition, All Things Bright and Beautiful—taking its title from that of a painting by Amy Sherald—focuses on works from the permanent collection exploring themes of power and agency.


Wiregrass Museum of Art announces prizewinners from B20: Wiregrass Biennial

DOTHAN, AL—Chosen by Jackie Clay, executive director of the Coleman Center for the Arts in York, Alabama, the Judge’s Prize for B20: Wiregrass Biennial will be given to Lauren O’Connor-Korb (Athens, Georgia) for her sculpture The Soloist, and the Alabama Prize will go to Jasper Lee (Birmingham, Alabama) for his video Land Rearranged. The People’s Choice Award will be presented to Lilian Garcia-Roig (Tallahassee, Florida) for her painting Cumulative Nature: North Florida Palm Brush.

Lauren O’Connor-Korb, The Soloist, 2019.

In a statement, Clay said, “B20: Wiregrass Biennial marks the gathering of really exceptional work during uncommon times. Work that was likely created, completed, or submitted preceding our current uncertainty, uprising, and coming together. And just as our commitments to vacation or belief in systems have shifted, reshaped and shifted again, the works of Jasper Lee and Lauren O’Connor-Korb – beautifully executed and complex in meaning – can also be read as particularly resonate in our mutable now.”


Atlanta-based artist opens new art space in North Florida

HIGH SPRINGS, FL—Artist Jessica Caldas—who divides her time between Atlanta and North Central Florida—has spearheaded the initiative to open Good News Arts, a community arts center in High Springs, Florida, a small town outside Gainesvile. In an emailed statement, Caldas says, “In this first exhibition at Good News Arts, I wanted to show off the incredible talent and work of the many artists I hope to collaborate with during the initial programming for the space. I am a person unafraid of gushing over the people and work I admire and I can say, without a doubt, that putting this show together has been one of the highlights of my year.”

The inaugural exhibition, I’m Looking Forward to Tomorrow, is available for viewing online or in person by appointment with COVID-19 restrictions. Participating artists include In Kyoung Chung, Makeda Jean Lewis, Vivian Liddell, and Parker Thorton, among others.

On the Good News Arts website, the organization claims it will focus on “issue-based artistic practices” and serve as “both a gallery and an education space for arts with justice at its heart.” Caldas, who was among the six Atlanta-based artists featured in Of Origins and Belonging last year at the High Museum of Art, also teaches at Georgia State University as an adjunct professor.