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

Fredrika Newton, widow of Huey P. Newton, with bronze sculpture of the Black Panther co-founder. The bust by Oakland artist Dana King was unveiled Oct. 24, in Oakland, Calif. | Screenshot from AP Video

Public Art

The Black Panther Party marked its 55th anniversary with the unveiling of a new bronze sculpture of Huey P. Newton on Dr. Huey P. Newton Way and Mandela Parkway in Oakland, Calif. The site is near where the Panther co-founder was murdered in 1989. The Oct. 24 event was hosted by the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation. Produced by Oakland artist Dana King, the sculpture is the first permanent public artwork in the city dedicated to the Panthers. | Associated Press

“You Belong Here/We Belong Here,” two neon works by Tavares Strachan are being installed outside Barclays Center in Brooklyn. | Bloomberg CityLab


Children’s book illustrator Jerry Pinkney died Oct. 20. He was 81 and lived in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y. Over his six-decade career, Pinkney worked on more than 100 books for kids and teens focusing on Black characters and themes, sometimes authoring the text, too. Among many accolades, he won a Caldecott Award and multiple Coretta Scott King Awards. | New York Times


CHARISSE PEARLINA WATSON, “I Am Moored Along the Soft Shored Unity of Impatient Ruin,” 2021 (enfolded glass etched with text, 30 × 20 × 10 inches . 76.2 × 50.8 × 25.4 cm). | © Charisse Pearlina Weston. Courtesy the artist

Awards & Honors

Charisse Pearlina Weston won the 2021 Burke Prize from the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) in New York. The $50,000 prize recognizes an artist age 45 or under for work with glass, fiber, clay, metal, or wood. In her artist statement, Houston, Texas-born, Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Weston said: “I utilize glass to conceptually embody both the everyday risk of anti-black violence and the precocity and malleability of blackness in the face of this violence. My formal explorations of glass theorize the delicate enfoldments and layerings of the material as a terrain constitutive of interiors and exteriors which articulate the complexities of black intimacies and their refusal, at times, to be revealed.” Showcasing works by the 16 finalists, the exhibition “Story Makers: Burke Prize 2021” is on view at MAD through March 20, 2022.

The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery announced 42 finalists for the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, including seven shortlisted artists, from which the first place winner will be selected on April 29, 2022. Stuart Robertson made the shortlist. The finalists include Holly Bass, Adama Delphine Fawundu, and Paul Mpagi Sepuya. Works by all of the finalists will be featured in “The Outwin 2022: American Portraiture Today,” a major exhibition at the Washington, D.C., museum, on view from April 30, 2022 to Feb. 26, 2023. | See Full List of Finalists



The DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago appointed Danny Dunson (right) director of curatorial services. An art historian, advisor to artists and collectors, curator, and writer, Dunson is the founder of Legacy Brothers, a residency program offering grants and guidance to upstart artists that originated via connections on Instagram.

Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., announced four new curatorial appointments, including Alisa Swindell, associate curator of photography, and Alexandra M. Thomas, who is serving as the 2021–23 curatorial research associate in African art. Thomas joins Hood from Yale University Art Gallery where she has been working since 2018, while completing a Ph.D., at Yale in African American studies and the history of art. Swindell previously served as curatorial research associate at the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University.

The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark., announced four new appointments, including Ayanna Bledsoe, director of inclusion and belonging. She joins the museum from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., where she served as assistant director of faculty development in the Office of Multicultural Programs. Bledsoe also held student and academic affairs positions at Oregon State University and San Jose State University.


IMAGE: Above right, Danny Dunson welcomes visitors to new exhibitions at Dusable Museum of African American History in Chicago. | via Facebook

Art Fairs

The latest edition of the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London hosted a record number of art galleries based in Africa—20 out of 47. The in-person fair was at Somerset House (Oct. 14-17). The event continues online through Oct. 31. | The Art Newspaper

Tate acquired several new works for its collection through the Frieze Tate Fund, with £150,000 provided by Endeavor. Four works by Nigerian painter Obiora Udechukwu and 15 photographs by London-based Rene Matić, were among the artworks selected from galleries exhibiting at Frieze London.


From left, Paul Mpagi Sepuya self-portrait, Wallpaper magazine, September 2021; Glenn Ligon, The Greats, T: The New York Times Style Magazine (Oct. 17, 2021 print edition). | Photo by Mickalene Thomas and Racquel Chevremont


New York artist Glenn Ligon is among The Greats of 2021. T: The New York Times Style Magazine recognized the artist, along with playwright Lynn Nottage, fashion designer Anna Sui, and actress Juliette Binoche, as figures who “have helped make and change the culture.” Ligon’s cover portrait was made by fellow artists Mickalene Thomas and Racquel Chevremont. | T Magazine

A self portrait of Paul Mpagi Sepuya graces the cover of the September 2021 edition of Wallpaper magazine. The limited-edition cover went to subscribers and was accompanied by a feature in which the Los Angeles-based artist “presents a portfolio of intimate portraits that elevates studio staples—tripods and backdrops—into objects of intrigue, and speaks to writer Aindrea Emelife about the mechanics of photography, Blackness, and the processes of representation.”


At New York University, the Tisch School of the Arts, Department of Drama is seeking applications for an assistant professor in theater studies, a tenure-track position, specializing in African American theater, for the 2022-23 academic year. Application deadline is Oct. 31, 2021. | More Info

The Department of Art and Art History at the University of California Davis invites applications for two teaching artists-in-residence in The California Studio. The Manetti Shrem Artist Residencies are for fall 2022 or spring 2023 appointments. Applications due Nov. 5, 2021. | More Info

The Opportunity Agenda announced an open call for a new 2022 Culture and Narrative Fellowship, a six-month opportunity for five artists or cultural strategists “to reimagine economic status quo conversations while also helping to advance a visionary economic justice narrative.” Each fellow receives $15,000 to assist with the project, along with expert support and professional connections. Application deadline is Nov. 10, 2021. | More Info


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