Latest News in Black Art features news updates and developments in the world of art and related culture

SAMSON KAMBALU, “Antelope,” 2021. The artist’s work won the Fourth Plinth Commission and will be installed in London’s Trafalgar Square in 2022. | Photo: James Jenkins, Courtesy Goodman Gallery

Awards & Honors

Oxford-based artist and writer Samson Kambalu won the Mayor of London’s Fourth Plinth Commission in Trafalgar Square. Titled “Antelope,” his proposal re-stages a 1914 photograph of John Chilembwe (1871-1915), a pan-Africanist and Baptist preacher, and his friend John Chorley, a white European missionary. The photo was taken at the opening of Chilembwe’s new church in Nyasaland (now Malawi). Both are wearing hats at a time when colonial rule prohibited Africans from wearing hats in the company of white people. A year later, Chilembwe led an uprising against colonial rule. He was killed and colonial police destroyed his church. To further highlight the act of defiance and foreground Chilembwe’s story, the artist depicts him larger-than-life, while Chorley is portrayed life sized. Kambalu’s sculpture will be installed in 2022. | The Times of London


LUDOVIC NKOTH, In Search of Reparations, 2020. Acrylic on Belgium linen, 60 x 120 inches (152.5 x 305 cm). | © Ludovic Nkoth


François Ghebaly Gallery in Los Angeles announced its representation of artist Ludovic Nkoth. Born in Cameroon, Nkoth grew up in South Carolina from the age of 13. Now based in New York, his first-ever major solo exhibition, “Don’t Take This Too,” was presented at François Ghebaly in January.

Cassi Namoda has joined Mendes Wood DM. Namoda, who divides her time between Los Angeles and New York had her first solo show at Mendes Wood DM (“You’ll be old too one day. Life isn’t always young and sweet,”) last fall in São Paulo. She will continue to be represented by François Ghebaly Gallery and Goodman Gallery of Johannesburg, Cape Town, and London.


New 2021-22 members of The Center: From left, Lowery Stokes Sims. | Photo © Emily Johnston for Artsy; Huey Copeland. | Photo © Bonnie Robinson for The Graduate School, 2017; Aruna D’Souza. | Photo © Dana Hoey; Richard J. Powell. Photo © Chester Higgins


The Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (The Center) at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., announced its 2021–2022 academic year appointments, including Lowery Stokes Sims, Huey Copeland, Aruna D’Souza, and Richard J. Powell. Nearly 40 additional fellows were named in a number of categories, several studying Black artistic practices and communities, Lisa Gail Collins, Nicole L. Woods, Sarah Battle, Ellen Tani, and Delphine Sims, among them.

ArtTable, the professional organization dedicated to the advancement of women in the visual arts, announced six new incoming board members: Makeba Clay, Haili Francis, Danyelle Means, Bahia Ramos, Suhaly Bautista-Carolina, and Patricia Marroquin-Norby. Existing members are also taking on new officer appointments, including Valerie Cassel Oliver, who will serve as vice president of membership; Sheila McDaniel, vice president of impact initiatives; and Laura Bardier, vice president of of governance.

The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston expanded its board of trustees, adding three new members, including former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Emmett G. Price III, an expert on the music of the African diaspora and Christian worship and founding executive director of the Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience in South Hamilton, Mass.

Kristina D. Palmer has been promoted to chief development officer at the Columbia Museum of Art (CMA) in Columbia, S.C. She previously served as senior development officer at the museum. Palmer joined CMA in November 2020 from EducationWorks in Philadelphia, where she was chief advancement officer. Previously, she was director of development at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore. Palmer has also held fundraising roles at the Apollo Theater in Harlem and the African American Museum in Philadelphia.


Before and After: DARIO CALMESE x Adobe Lightroom Presets.| Medium Skin Tone Edited Using Adobe Premium Presets, Courtesy of Dario Calmese

More News

Two Black photographers—portrait and fashion photographer Dario Calmese and documentary photographer Laylah Amatullah Barrayn—collaborated with Adobe to introduce a new package of Premium Presets that will help photographers and editors calibrate their images to more naturally depict the way light reflects and is absorbed by all complexions, particularly darker skin tones. Along with lifestyle photographer Summer Murdock, Calmese, and Barrayn designed three presets for portraits: Deep Skin, Medium Skin, and Light Skin. The updates were made available in Adobe’s June release for Creative Cloud.


The Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco is hiring. Openings include chief development officer and director of marketing. The museum also announced a new chief of curatorial affairs and public programs position, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with a $350,000 award over two years. Stay tuned. A committee is being convened to conduct the search. The inaugural appointment is expected to be made in fall 2021.

Presented by Aperture and Google Creative Labs, the new Creator Labs Photo Fund is open for free submissions from any photographer or lens-based artist living in the United States. The fund provides financial support for artists in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Awards of $5,000 each will be distributed to 20 selected artists. Application deadline is July 16, 2021 extended to July 18, 2021. | More Info


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