RETROSPECTIVE is a review of the latest news and happenings related to visual art by and about people of African descent, with the occasional nod to cultural matters.

OVER THE PAST WEEK, compelling conversations about art, politics, and society, took place across the country. The SCAD Museum of Art hosted a symposium in conjunction with its “Jacob Lawrence: Lines of Influence” exhibition, a gathering dominated by conversations with contemporary artists inspired by Lawrence’s work. A collaboration between the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and the Newseum, part one of In Conversation: Awareness, Action and Dissent was moderated by Nato Thompson, the Creative Time artistic director who recently announced he is joining the forthcoming Philadelphia Contemproary. The second installment of the panel discussion is Dec. 14. The Inspiring Social Change conference at the Brooklyn Museum featured Charles M. Blow, Claudia Rankine, Hank Willis Thomas, reps from the Women’s March on Washington, The Laundromat Project and National Black Theatre, and a discussion of Black Lives Matter. Meanwhile, ArtTable co-presented a panel discussion about Art Partnerships and the Transformation of Cities with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School in New York. And this weekend, Black Art in America is hosting a fine art show in Houston at the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum. The show’s programming includes panel discussions on collecting African American art and institutional representation. A selection of additional news follows:


Ashley Stull Meyers was appointed the Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Director and Curator of the Art Gym and Belluschi Pavilion. | Courtesy Marylhurst University

Ashley Stull Meyers was Named Director and Curator of Art Gym

An important cultural venue in Portland, Ore., the former gym at Marylhurst University was transformed into a contemporary art space in 1980


©Katherine McMahon; from ArtNews: An Old-School Painter Adapts to a New World Order: Jack Whitten's 50-Year Evolution. By Alex Greenberger. posted 19 Jan 2016
Jack Whitten in his studio. | Photo by Katherine McMahon. © Jack Whitten Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

The Met is Presenting a Major Jack Whitten Exhibition in Next September

Artnet News reports the survey is co-organized by the Baltimore Museum of Art where it will debut in April 2018


READ MORE about Jack Whitten on Culture Type


From left, Artists Sonya Clark and El Anatsui, and curator Ruth Fine, were honored with lifetime achievement awards. | Courtesy Brandywine Workshop & Archives

Brandywine Workshop & Archives Honored El Anatsui, Sonya Clark, and Ruth Fine at its Annual Gala

The Philadelphia printmaking institution bestowed the first award in 1976 when photographer James Van Der Zee presented it to Romare Bearden


READ MORE about Sonya Clark on Culture Type

READ MORE about Ruth Fine on Culture Type


“Female and female-identifying visual artists” from Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia gathered for a historic photo. | Photo by Kim Johnson, Courtesy of Kim Schoenstadt, Linn Meyers and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.

Nearly 500 Women Artists Took a Group Photo at the National Museum of Women in the Arts

The image was the fourth orchestrated by “Now Be Here,” the project conceived by Kim Schoenstadt. In Washington, D.C., it was organized by Linn Meyers and photographed by Kim Johnson


Rendering of the underground threshold where the David Adjaye-designed UK Holocaust Memorial gives way to co-located Learning Centre. | Adjaye Associate/UK Holocaust Memorial

David Adjaye Named Lead Designer of London Holocaust Memorial

The architect is collaborating with Ron Arad Architects and Gustafson Porter + Bowman on a national memorial and learning center planned for the park adjacent to British Parliament

David Adjaye Unveiled the Design for SPYSCAPE, an Espionage Museum in New York

Located two blocks from MoMA, the 60,000-square-foot interactive spy museum is scheduled to open soon—in December 2017


A post shared by Steve Weinik (@steveweinik) on

“All Power to All People” by Hank Willis Thomas stands eight-foot-tall. | via Steve Weinik on Instagram

A Huge Afro Pick by Hank Willis Thomas was Installed in a Public Plaza in Opa-locka, Fla.

Commissioned two years ago by the Opa-locka Community Development Corp., “All Power to All People,” an afro pick hair comb with a clenched fist on the handle, was unveiled at the Town Center Apartments

The City of Chicago Unveiled its First Public Art Plan

After designating 2017 the “Year of Public Art,” city’s mayor and department of cultural affairs provide vision for shaping the future of public art support

New York’s Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers Launched an Online Survey Seeking Public Input About Hateful Symbols in City’s Five Boroughs

Formed in the wake the nationwide dialogue about Confederate memorials, the commission is co-chaired by Tom Finkelpearl, the city’s Commissioner of Cultural Affairs, and Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation


READ MORE about the intersection of race and history in public spaces on Culture Type CT


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