NEW YORK—This week it was announced that Simone Leigh, the Brooklyn-based sculptor best known for works exploring Black femininity, wil be the first Black woman to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale in 2021. Leigh’s vision for the US Pavilion will be brought to life through a partnership with Spelman College, the historically Black women’s college in Atlanta, Georgia. Leigh and curators from ICA Boston will work with students as part of a training program for burgeoning museum professionals. In the New York Times, Jill Medvedow, chief curator at ICA Boston said, “Given the Black female subjectivity of Simone’s topic, the Spelman partnership “elt like a tremendous opportunity and part of this overdue cultural shift about who needs to be represented and how we’re assigning representation in our field.”
MIAMI—Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) has announced plans to reopen to the public on November 7, 2020, following a nearly eight-month closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A member’s preview will take place earlier that week, on November 5 and 6. All first responders and healthcare professionals are welcome during the member’s preview.
ATLANTA—The High has commissioned Sheila Pree Bright, Jim Goldberg and An-My Lê for the Museum’s “Picturing the South” photography series, which will celebrate its twenty-fifth anniversary in 2021. To commemorate the occasion, the museum will present a special exhibition debuting these new works alongside past commissions from the series by artists including Richard Misrach, Sally Mann, Dawoud Bey, Emmet Gowin and Alec Soth.
“Picturing the South” supports established and emerging photographers in creating new bodies of work inspired by the American South for the Museum’s collection. Bright, Goldberg and Lê’s commissioned works will shed light on prevailing themes and movements in the South, including racial and national identity. Bright is the first Atlanta-based artist to be commissioned for the series.
ATLANTA—Atlanta Contemporary has announced six new artists who will join the museums’s Studio Artist Program: Emma Chammah, Sabre Esler, Jane Foley, Carol John, Jeffrey Wilcox Paclipan, and Dianna Settles. The Studio Artist Program supports local working artists by providing subsidized studio space and by fostering a collaborative environment supportive of the creative process. The studios range in size and amenities and have nurtured a wide-range of artists working in all career stages and media – including ceramics, film & video, installation, painting, photography, and sculpture. Both new and current Studio Artists will be available for virtual studio visits via Zoom during Open Studios on Saturday, November 14 and Sunday, November 15.
RICHMOND—The Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University (ICA at VCU) has been selected by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts (FCA) as the recipient of this year’s Ellsworth Kelly Award in support of a two-year collaboration with filmmaker, photographer, and writer dana washington-queen (they/them).
The award will support the ICA and washington-queen as they develop new multimedia work that addresses the labor of the Black body—honing in on sports as a microcosm of that larger issue—which will debut at the ICA in 2022. For the first time, in light of the challenging year museums are facing due to the pandemic, the FCA will also be awarding two additional smaller grants funded by the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation: one to the Cranbook Art Museum for a mid-career survey of the work of Sonya Clark, and the other to the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art for a solo exhibition by Diné (Navajo) photographer and community engagement artist Will Wilson.
ATLANTA—MINT & Atlanta Celebrates Photography are working on a yearlong collaboration to support an emerging Atlanta-based photographer by providing a one-year studio space and solo exhibition at MINT.
ACP will provide mentoring through a series of studio visits and critics during the fellowship. Works from the permanent collection of Dr. Joe Massey have been generously donated for sale to provide funding for this fellowship.
Works for sale include photographs from John McWilliams, Yousef Karsh, Jim Alexander, Lee Anne White, Michael Smith, and Joe Massey.
BENTONVILLE— The Momentary has announced its Winter/Spring 2021 exhibition schedule ,which includes site-responsive installations in Sarah Cain: In Nature, a reimagination of safe destinations for the Black American traveler during the mid-twentieth century in Derrick Adams: Sanctuary, and an exploration of memory, ruin, progress, and globalism in Diana Al-Hadid: Ash in the Trade Winds. The contemporary art space also announced Olalekan Jeyifous as the next artist selected for The Momentary Flag Project.
BENTONVILLE— Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has announced the appointments of Sandy Edwards as senior director and Jill Wagar as deputy director, effective immediately.
Edwards, who previously served as deputy director, will be refining her a nfocus and pursuing significant initiatives to transform the institution into the future. Wagar will assume more institutional leadership, guide the next strategic plan, maintain oversight of development, membership, database operations, audience research teams, and continue her ongoing fundraising efforts.
Crystal Bridges is also making way for a four-acre community playscape called Convergence and a parking deck with programmable space on the southeast side of Crystal Bridges’ campus.
A collaborative project by the Amazeum and Crystal Bridges, Convergence will be for visitors of all ages and abilities, while the parking structure with program and engagement spaces will serve the growing needs in Northwest Arkansas.
NEW ORLEANS— The Joan Mitchell Foundation has announced seven artists selected to join the Artist-in-Residence program at its Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans. The group, which includes local artists Jourdan Barnes, kai barrow, Kara Crowley, Demond Melancon, Anastasia Pelias, Asante Salaam, and José Torres-Tama, will begin residency at the Center on October 19. The artists were nominated by local arts professionals with a particular eye toward those with substantive artistic portfolios and either an expressed need for studio space for specific projects or a loss of opportunity as a result of the ongoing spread of COVID-19. As part of the program, the artists will receive individual studio space for up to four months, a weekly stipend of $150, chef-prepared box lunches throughout the week, and virtual professional development in the form of training, consultations, and group discussions with peers and leaders across the field.
In August, in response to the ongoing pandemic, the Foundation announced that it was shifting its Artist-in-Residence program to focus exclusively on New Orleans-based artists for the remainder of 2020 and through 2021. The decision allows the Foundation to continue its commitment to support artists by offering essential resources, while also stemming the potential health risks of having artists travel to the Center’s campus from across the U.S.