Tag: writing

South of Pico by Kellie Jones

In South of Pico Kellie Jones explores how the artists in Los Angeles's black communities during the 1960s and 1970s created a vibrant, productive, and engaged activist arts scene in the face of structural racism. Emphasizing the importance of African American migration, as well as L.A.'s housing and employment politics, Jones shows how the work of black Angeleno artists such as Betye Saar, Charles White, Noah Purifoy, and Senga Nengudi spoke to the dislocation of migration, L.A.'s urban renewal, and restrictions on black mobility.

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“Glory” inspires Quiet Pride: The Elizabeth Catlett Project

Elizabeth Catlett's "Glory" inspires music. The sculptures of the late African-American artist and civil rights activist Elizabeth Catlett are the inspiration for a new jazz composition. Rufus Reid, a bass musician who's been playing jazz for half a century, uses Catlett's artwork to explore the intersection between music and the visual arts. In his new project, called "Quiet Pride," Reid tries to convey Catlett's sculptures in sound. [1]

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“Madonna” by Elizabeth Catlett

From an early age I've always been fascinated by the Madonna and child imagery. "Madonna, in Christian art, depiction of the Virgin Mary; the term is usually restricted to those representations that are devotional rather than narrative and that show her in a nonhistorical context and emphasize later doctrinal or sentimental significance. The Madonna is accompanied most often by the infant Christ, [but she can be depicted alone.]" [1]

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Carrie Mae Weems – Artist

Considered one of the most influential contemporary American artists, Carrie Mae Weems has investigated family relationships, cultural identity, sexism, class, political systems, and the consequences of power. Determined as ever to enter the picture—both literally and metaphorically—Weems has sustained an on-going dialogue within contemporary discourse for over thirty years. During this time, Carrie Mae Weems has developed a complex body of art employing photographs, text, fabric, audio, digital images, installation, and video.[1]

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Clementine Hunter – Folk Artist

Clementine Hunter is celebrated for her use of bold colors and shapes to narrate plantation life in 19th and 20th century Louisiana as an African American. Clementine Hunter is Louisiana’s most famous female artist, and she is one of the most important folk artists of all time.
Her work can be seen in the Smithsonian Institute, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Museum of American Folk Art in New York, the High Museum of Atlanta, the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, the New York Historical Association, the Oprah Winfrey Collection in Chicago and many other museums and private collections across the country.[1]

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Dr. Selma Burke – Sculptor

Some of Burke’s most notable sculptures include Temptation (1938),  Despair (1951),  Fallen Angel(1958), Mother and Child (1968), and Together (1975).  A nine-foot statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. she completed while in her eighties is on display in Marshall Park in Charlotte, North Carolina.  She received numerous awards and honors which included three honorary doctorate degrees.  In 1979 Burke was recognized by President Jimmy Carter for her contribution to African American art history.[4]

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Augusta Savage – Sculptor

In the 1920s Augusta Savage received commissions to create portrait busts of W.E.B. Du Bois and black nationalist Marcus Garvey; both pieces were hailed for their power and dynamism. On the strength of these works and especially the poignant Gamin (1929)—a portrait bust of a streetwise boy and one of Savage’s few extant pieces—she received a Julius Rosenwald Fellowship that enabled her finally to study in Paris in 1929–31.**

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Elizabeth Catlett – Artist & Advocate for Social Change

In a career spanning more than 70 years, Elizabeth Catlett has created sculptures that celebrate the heroic strength and endurance of African-American and Mexican working-class women. With simple, clear shapes she evokes both the physical and spiritual essence of her subjects. Her hardy laborers and nurturing mothers radiate both power and a timeless dignity and calm. Whether working in wood, stone, bronze, or clay, Catlett reveals an extraordinary technical virtuosity, a natural ability to meld her curving female forms with the grain, whorls, color, or luster of her chosen medium. The beauty of her subjects is matched by the beauty she reveals in her sculptural materials.**

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Dr. Leslie King-Hammond: Artist, Art Historian and Curator

“I always made sure that all those people who thought they weren’t part of the opportunity to participate in the arts could find a way to become part of that experience,” said Leslie King Hammond, PhD, graduate dean emerita and founding director of the Center for Race and Culture at MICA. Her words are realized with the creation of the Leslie King Hammond Graduate Award. *

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Dr. Kellie Jones – Curator & Art Historian

In 2011, Dr. Kellie Jones and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles curated an exhibition that chronicled the historic art scene in Los Angeles between 1960-1980s. The exhibition Now Dig This! was presented as part of Pacific Standard Time, a collaboration of more than sixty cultural institutions across Southern California, coming together to tell the story of the birth of the Los Angeles art scene and how it became a new force in the art world. Read more here.

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Artist Spotlight: Angela Hennessy

Her current project, The School of the Dead, is a program for the decolonization of death and grief through the radical inquiry of aesthetic and social practices that mediate the boundary between the living and the dead.

 She leads workshops and lectures nationally. Recent bay area talks and performances include The School of the Dead at CTRL+SHIFT Artists Collective; You’re Going to Die’s When They Died; IDEO’s Reimagine End of Life; Disclose Silence: We See Violence; Dead Black at Nook Gallery.

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Spoken Art: Audacious IAM

Her art is exhibited through words on the page, performance and film in the attempt to transform, dissect and explore the intersection of blackness, queer identity, fragility and being a woman in America and beyond. As a queer black female artist, she has given and hopes to continue to provide her community with a platform for dialogue, social change and transformation through artistic creation.

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