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

From left, Elvira Dyangani Ose will head the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona and Oluremi C. Onabanjo is joining the Museum of Modern Art in New York as associate curator of photography in October. | Photos by Hendrik Zeitler and Naima Green


The Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona (MACBA) announced Elvira Dyangani Ose will be its next director, serving under a five-year contract. Dyangani Ose is currently director and chief curator of the Showroom in London. She is also a lecturer on visual cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London and a member of the Thought Council the Prada Foundation. Educated in Spain at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and Polytechnic University of Catalonia, she brings extensive international experience to MACBA, including curatorial roles at the Tate Modern in London, Creative Time in New York, and the Rencontres Picha – Lubumbashi Biennial in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Dyangani Ose will be the first woman and first Black person to lead the museum.

A curator and scholar of photography and the arts of Africa, Oluremi C. Onabanjo was appointed associate curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. The former director of exhibitions and collections for The Walther Collection starts at MoMA Oct. 18.

Kreshaun McKinney is joining the Kemper Museum of Contemprary Art in Kansas City, Mo., as director of learning and engagement. She brings 16 years of experience in the education department of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, also in Kansas City, most recently serving as manager of audience engagement. McKinney officially starts at the Kemper Museum in September.


Awards & Honors

Artist Kandis Williams received the Hammer Museum’s $100,000 Mohn Award, presented in conjunction with the biennial exhibition, “Made in L.A. 2020: a version.” Williams is a co-founder of Cassandra Press and serves as a visiting faculty member at the California Institute of the Arts. Two additional prizes were awarded, including the $25,000 Public Recognition Award, which went to painter Fulton Leroy Washington, a.k.a. Mr. Wash. | Los Angeles Times

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture‘s Scholars-in-Residence program announced its 2021-22 fellows, including academics, visual artists, writers, and independent scholars. The research topics range from a series of poems influenced by Beauford Delaney paintings (Arlene Keizer) to an apartheid-era underground publishing network in South Africa (Stéphane Robolin), “Rumba: A Philosophy of Motion” (Petra Richterová), and “Building Black Manhattan: Architecture, Art, and the Politics of Respectability, 1857-1914” (Jessica Larson).


IMAGE: Above left, Kandis Williams won the Hammer Museum’s 2020 Mohn Award, recognizing artistic excellence. | Photo © Ezra Petronio


Security officers will serve as guest curators of the forthcoming exhibition “Guarding the Art” at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Art historian and curator Lowery Stokes Sims helped develop the show scheduled to open in March 2022. “The security officers are guarding the art, interacting with the public and seeing reactions from visitors that most museum staff don’t have access to from our offices,” Stokes Sims said. “I was struck and moved by the extraordinarily personal, cogent arguments that each officer made for their selection, which was so different from the intellectual and filtered approach that a trained curator would take.” | The Art Newspaper

The Getty Foundation is providing $1.55 million to support prints and drawing projects at various institutions. 2021 recipients include the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Va., for “West Africa. Black Orpheus: Jacob Lawrence & the Mbari Club,” which will be the first museum exhibition of Jacob Lawrence‘s Nigeria series ($100,000) and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston for “Betye Saar: Travel, Respond, Assemble,” the first exhibition to explore the influence of Betye Saar‘s global travels on her creative process ($25,000).


April Freely (1982-2021). | Photo by Felli Maynard for Queer|Art Community Portrait Project


April Freely, director of the Fire Island Artist Residency (FIAR), died unexpectedly. FIAR is dedicated to emerging LGBTQ-identifying visual artists and poets. The organization announced Freely’s death on July 9. On its website, FIAR wrote: “Although only with FIAR since October 2020, she had a tremendous impact on the organization. Her warmth, openness and drive helped forge new relationships on Fire Island, while also ushering in our first cohort of artists and poets post COVID.” A poet and essayist, Freely lived in Harlem. | ARTnews

Public Art

In California, murals by Los Angeles-based artist June Edmonds pay tribute to trailblazing landowners. Maria Valdez is the first Afro-Latina woman to own property in Beverly Hills and Henrietta VanHorn-DeBose and Carrie Coleman were among the first Black women to own property in La Jolla. | La Jolla Light

A new sculpture dedicated to David C. Drskell will be created by his friend, artist Melvin Edwards. Funded with a $790,000 grant form the Mellon Foundation, the work will be installed in front of the Driskell Center at the University of Maryland, College Park. | Maryland Today


ByalaSearch is conducting executive searches for a number of arts and culture institutions. Positions include executive directors for the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling in Harlem, The Drawing Center in New York, Independent Curators International in New York, and five opportunities at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.

The Brooklyn Museum in New York is hiring for about a dozen positions, including president and COO and curators for African art and modern and contemporary art.


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