WASHINGTON, D.C.—The organization For Freedoms, co-founded by artists Hank Willis Thomas, Eric Gottesman, and Michelle Woo in 2016 as “the first artist-run Super PAC,” has released Infinite Playbook, a digital publication intended as a call-to-action for its readers to vote in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, as part of its project 2020 Awakening. “Now, we invite you to awaken with us,” For Freedoms writes. “This fall presents us with imminent possibility, a chance to commit to a world of healing, listening, and justice. The first step is to participate in political processes now, to count yourself in the census, and to vote or to help someone to vote.”
The nonprofit voter advocacy organization Vote.org has launched Plan Your Vote, a bi-partisan initiative to get out the vote, supported by a national alliance of artists, museums, arts organizations and institutional nonprofits. Born out of Vote.org’s need for a strong visual vocabulary, Plan Your Vote seeks to encourage voter participation by developing a free library of voting advocacy images created by artists, registered through and housed on PlanYourVote.org. The impressive list of artists participating in the program includes Derrick Adams, American Artist, Katherine Bernhardt, Sanford Biggers, Guerilla Girls, Jenny Holzer, Sally Mann, Julie Mehretu, Em Rooney, Michael Stipe, Christine Sun Kim, and Stewart Uoo, among others.
NEW ORLEANS—A Studio in the Woods, a program of Tulane University’s ByWater Institute, has announced the 2020-2021 participants for its Rising: Climate in Crisis residency. This residency invites artists to examine the severity of the climate crisis and act as agents of change to guide collective understanding of and response to it. In light of COVID-19, this class of residents will be scheduled over the next eighteen months to allow for a single-occupancy resident space. Residents include Claire Alexandre, Sidike Conde, Lisa E. Harris, LaChaun Moore, Lydia Y. Nichols, J.M. Nimocks, and Adrina Turenne, who will pursue projects such as an agriculturally-based installation by Moore utilizing heirloom plants to foster conversation about the historical context of the natural environment, and Nichols’s Don’t Look Away, a speculative, dark comedy stage play set at the turn of the 22nd century in a post-reparations Gulf South following a climate event that results in the disappearance of New Orleans.
ATLANTA—Artbound, the public art program attached to MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority), has announced artist Michael Jones as the winner of its commission for a new mural at the MARTA station at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Jones, a Dallas native, graduated from the Atlanta College of Art in 1998. In addition to maintaining a studio practice, he has previously completed multiple murals in Atlanta’s Westview and West End neighborhoods and inside the offices of artist development organization C4 Atlanta. Other finalists for the airport station mural were Ashley Anderson, Benjamin Britton, Eugene Byrd, Yehimi Cambrón, In Kyoung Chun, Shanequa Gay, Douglas Pereia, and Dianna Settles.
NEW ORLEANS—The Ogden Museum of Southern Art has announced the winners of the 2020 edition of Louisiana Contemporary, the museum’s annual juried exhibition, which features works by fifty-six Louisiana artists. The 2020 guest juror, René Morales, Director of Curatorial Affairs and Chief Curator at Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), announced Wendo Brunoir’s Appropriation of a Masterpiece as Best in Show, Nic Brierre Aziz’s Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy (White Barbies) in First Place, Luis Cruz Azaceta’s CRISIS 3 in Second Place, and Ann Perich’s determination or distrust in Third Place.
HARLEM—Established in 1968, the legendary studio program from which the Studio Museum in Harlem takes its name will take place remotely this year. Historically aimed at incubating emerging artists of African and Latinx descent, this year the residency will, for the first time, include mid-career artist, Jacolby Satterwhite, who will serve in a mentorship capacity to the three other residents: photographers Widline Cadet and Texas Isaiah and painter Genesis Jerez.
NEW YORK—For the first time in its century-and-a-half-long history, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has hired a full-time Native American art curator, Patricia Marroquin Norby. As the museum’s inaugural associate curator of Native American art, Norby will aim to enact lasting systemic change and representation by facilitating relationships between Indigenous communities and the museum.
Norby has previously served as senior executive and assistant director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian-New York and as the director of the D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies at the Newberry, a research library in Chicago.
MINNEAPOLIS—The Walker Art Center has announced the elimination its celebrated digital publication, the Walker Reader, in a tweet from its editor-in-chief, Paul Schmelzer. “It was an honor to be the voice of the Walker for 18 yrs,” he wrote on Twitter earlier this month. In an article published by the New York Times earlier this year, critic Jason Farago described the Walker Reader one of “the most aggressive and accessible websites of any American museum.”
The loss of the Reader comes as part of a larger restructuring of museum staff, including the elimination of five positions and creation of nine new ones. This follows the layoff of thirty-three part-time employees in June. In a release, the museum said the latest reorganization was intended to “center audience engagement and the impact of its programs on the communities it serves.”