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

VERONICA RYAN, “Custard Apple (Annonaceae), Breadfruit (Moraceae), and Soursop (Annonaceae),” 2021. | Courtesy the artist, Photo by Andy Keate

Public Art

Huge Caribbean fruits by British sculptor Veronica Ryan now grace Narrow Way Square in Hackney in East London. The marble and bronze works are the first permanent public sculptures in the UK to recognize the Windrush Generation. British sculptor Thomas J. Price was also commissioned by the Hackney Council to create a public work honoring the legacy and contributions of Caribbean immigrants who arrived in the UK between 1948 and 1971. His work will be unveiled in June 2022. | The Art Newspaper

Bronze painted busts of the late George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) were unveiled at Union Square in New York City on Friday and by Sunday morning, Floyd’s sculpture had been vandalized with gray paint. (The Floyd bust was previously on view in Brooklyn where it was also defaced.) With the approval of each subject’s family, the 3-D models were created by artist Chris Carnabuci using Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining. The plywood sculptures are part of a special exhibition presented by Confront Art. “Seeinjustice,” is on view from Oct. 1-Oct. 31. | Artnet News


The Washington, D.C.-based Association of African American Museums (AAAM) received a $1 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Distributed over four years, the grant supports AAAM’s administrative capacity and programming.

Led by Allan Edmunds, the Brandwine Workshop and Archives (BWA) in Philadelphia received a $500,000 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant, distributed over two years, to support a new deputy director of programming position and Artura (, a recently launched online database of culturally diverse contemporary art. BWA is further developing the free educational resource in collaboration with the Arts Administration & Museum Leadership graduate program at Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design.


Addis Fine Art is opening its new London gallery with a solo exhibition of Israeli-Ethiopian painter Nirit Takele, shown in her studio. “The Space Between Us” will be on view Oct. 8-31. | Courtesy Addis Fine Art


Addis Fine Art, the Black-owned gallery co-founded by Rakeb Sile and Mesai Haileleul in Addis Ababa, is expanding with a new location in London, after experimenting with a project space in the British capital. Inaugurating the permanent space, a solo exhibition of Israeli-Ethiopian painter Nirit Takele opens Oct. 8 and coincides with the gallery’s participation in 1-54 London, the contemporary African art fair, and debut participation in Frieze London.

Los Angeles-based David Kordansky Gallery announced it is opening a second location in New York. The gallery’s roster includes artists Fred Eversley, Derek Fordjour, Sam Gilliam, Lauren Halsey, Rashid Johnson, Deana Lawson, and Adam Pendleton.


In New York, the family of Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) is organizing an exhibition of the artist, featuring more than 200 works, most never seen publicly. David Adjaye has been commissioned to lead the exhibition design for “Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure,” which will open on April, 9, 2022, at the Starrett-Lehigh Building in Chelsea.

The Society of Architectural Historians and Places Journal are launching a new SAH/Places Prize on Race and the Built Environment. Intended for a senior scholar interested in pursuing public scholarship, the award includes a $7,500 honorarium to produce a significant work of scholarship for publication in Places and presentation at a public lecture hosted by SAH. The prize was envisioned by Charles L. Davis II, associate professor of architectural history and criticism at the University at Buffalo, SUNY and co-chair of the SAH Race + Architectural History Affiliate Group. A call for applications will be announced later this year.

Awards & Honors

The Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) Foundation selected 10 junior curators to participate in its 2021-22 Mentorship Program, including Aminat Lawal Agoro, Felicia Mings, Alinta Sara, and Ilona Smiling. The international group will engage in a series of virtual and in-person professional development and leadership growth opportunities. | See full list

On Oct. 7, Pratt Institute is hosting its Legends 2021 benefit. The virtual event will raise funds for student scholarships that support diversity and honor architect David Adjaye and artist, author and educator Deborah Willis.


The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass., named its 2021-22 Research and Academic Program (RAP) Fellows over the summer and is welcoming the new class this academic year. The group includes inaugural recipients of two new fellowships. Keisha Oliver, assistant professor of design and head of Visual Arts and Design Department at the University of The Bahamas is a fall 2021 fellow. Oliver is the first recipient of Caribbean Art and Its Diasporas Fellowship, which “supports art historians, artists, critics, and writers who are engaging with the complexity of critical Caribbean scholarship, art, and visual practices.” Vashti DuBois, founder of The Colored Girls Museum in Philadelphia, Pa., is the spring 2022 Critical Race Theory and Visual Culture Fellow.


More News

Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts named its Fine Arts building for artist Murry DePillars (1938-2008), who served as the school’s first African American dean (1976-1995). A painter, he was a member of the collective AfriCOBRA. Over his 19-year tenure at VCU Arts, DePillars transformed the institution. He “nearly doubled the school’s enrollment to 2,400. He grew its endowment and its performing arts facilities. He propelled the school’s national prominence…” | Richmond Times-Dispatch

IMAGE: Murry DePillars, former dean, VCU School of the Arts. | Courtesy VCU School of the Arts


Black Rock Senegal, is seeking its third cycle of artist-in-residence. The residency program founded by Kehinde Wiley, provides a modest stipend and 1-3 month stays with apartment and studio accommodations at a waterfront compound in Dakar, Senegal. Application deadline for the 2022 cycle is Oct. 15, 2021. | More Info

The Light Work Artist-in-Residence Program provides recipients an unrestricted stipend $5,000 and an invitation to spend one month in Syracuse, N.Y., where a furnished apartment and technical and professional resources and 24-hour facilities are provided to support a creative project. Application deadline for 2023 cycle is July 1, 2022. | More Info


Gallery co-founders Rakeb Sile and Mesai Haileleul discuss establishing Addis Fine Art in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, providing exhibition opportunities and international exposure for local artists. On Oct. 6, the gallery is opening a second location in London. | Video by Addis Fine Art


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