RETROSPECTIVE is a review of the latest news and happenings related to art by and about people of African descent. This week, highlights include plans for a memorial to lynching victims in Montgomery, Ala.; expansion of Alvin Ailey Dance Theater’s New York headquarters; and news that an outdoor installation of whimsically painted abandoned homes in Detroit will be dismantled. Plus, Studio Museum in Harlem curator Lauren Haynes is headed to the Crystal Bridges museum in Arkansas, and Mickalene Thomas juried a photography competition and made a contribution to a new magazine for young girls.


Lynching Memoria organized by Equal Justice Initiative
A rendering of the memorial dedicated to victims of lynching, located in Montgomery, Ala. | MASS Design Group



The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a legal rights organization based in Montgomery, Ala., announced plans for a memorial to the victims of racial lynching in the United States. Described by the New York Times as “one of the first — and certainly the largest” such memorial, it will sit on six acres. Bryan Stevenson, the director of EJI told the New York Times, “Our goal is just to get people to confront the truth of our past with some more courage.” The project will also include a museum called “From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration.”

After 30 years, Detroit artist Tyree Guyton said he plans to dismantle the Heidelberg Project, which the Detroit Free Press described as an “internationally acclaimed outdoor wonderland of wit and whimsy, painted abandoned homes and repurposed urban debris.”

The Alvin Ailey Foundation is funding a $25 million expansion at its Manhattan headquarters, adding more than 10,000 square feet of studio and classroom base to the home of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater. “We’re really bursting at the seams,” Bennett Rink, the foundation’s executive director, told the Wall Street Journal. Without the expansion, he said, “we would have to start turning away students.”

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will feature a foodways exhibition in its cultural galleries. Organized by region, it will explore the oyster industry in the North; collard greens in the agricultural South; and in the Creole South, the cuisine of New Orleans and diaspora Caribbean communities, with an emphasis on red beans and rice.

A painting of legendary Vogue magazine editor Diana Vreeland, by artist Bradley Theodore, was stolen from the Dream Downtown hotel in New York City.


CANDIDA ALVEREZ, “Son So & So,” 2001 (acrylic and graphite), is one of 114 works donated by Chuck Turow to the Depaul Art Museum. | Courtesy DePaul Art Museum



Chuck Thurow, a Chicago art collector who served as director of the Hyde Park Art Center, announced he is donating 114 works, by artists including Dawoud Bey, Candida Alverez, Theaster Gates, to the DePaul University art museum.

More than 100 works of art have been promised to the NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The gift from a private collection built around women and multicultural artists includes works by Wangechi Mutu, Lorna Simpson, Shinique Smith, Mickalene Thomas, Kara Walker, and Carrie Mae Weems.



Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas announced the appointment of Lauren Haynes, a 10-year veteran of the Studio Museum in Harlem, as curator of contemporary art.

The search for the director of the Obama Presidential Center is expected to be underway soon.



Recognized for career achievement, musician Wadada Leo Smith was among the recipients of the Hammer Museum’s 2016 Mohn Awards presented in conjunction with Made in L.A.

Alicia Henry, a professor of art at Fisk University, has been named the national winner of the 1858 Prize for Southern Contemporary Art. The award is administered by Society 1858 of the university’s Gibbes Museum of Art.


This photograph by TRAVIS BROWN won first place in the Baxter Street at CCNY 2016 Annual Juried Photography Competition. | via Baxter Street



Celebrating the 10th anniversary of its collection and waterfront building, ICA Boston has mounted its largest-ever collection show—“First Light: A Decade of Collecting at the ICA”— featuring works by Nick Cave, Ellen Gallagher, Leslie Hewitt, Mickalene Thomas, LaToya Ruby Frazier, and Kara Walker, among others.

Baxter Street at the Camera Club of New York is exhibiting the winning entries of its 2016 Annual Juried Photography Competition (through Sept. 3). Mickalene Thomas served as juror. One of the oldest arts organizations in New York City, the club was founded in 1884 as the Camera Club of New York (CCNY).


Transition Issue 120PUBLICATIONS

The latest edition of Transition magazine is out featuring the work of Sheldon Scott on the cover. Published by the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, the issue “celebrates the artist’s power to capture, convey, and make visible the particularities of marginalized or misrepresented identity,” and also includes the work of Aida Muluneh and Leila Alaoui, among others.

Mickalene Thomas contributed one of her celebrated images of black women, “Din, Une Tres Belle Negresse #1,” to a colorful, glittery paint-by-number project for the inaugural edition of Kazoo, a new quarterly print magazine for girls aged 5 to 10. The publisher says the next edition will feature a photography lesson from Catherine Opie.



MOCA Detroit is seeking applicants for its 2017 Curatorial Fellowship for Diversity in the Arts. The submission deadline is Sept. 30.

Tacoma Art Museum in Washington state is seeking proposals from artists and creatives for education programming related to its “30 Americans” exhibition. The submission deadline is Sept. 24.



In order for books written by writers of color to be successful, NPR’s Code Switch reported that diversity in marketing matters.

The New York Times visited with Nick Cave to learn more about “Until,” his forthcoming immersive installation at MASS MoCA. The exhibition—the most expensive and elaborate the institution has ever mounted, presented in the largest space in which the artist has ever worked—considers the collision of race and gun violence. CT


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