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

President Barack Obama and Chicago sculptor Richard Hunt discuss the artist’s practice and “Book Bird,” the commissioned work by Hunt that will be on view in the Library Reading Garden outside the new Chicago Public Library branch on the campus of the Obama Presidential Center. | Video by Obama Foundation


The Obama Presidential Center in Chicago commissioned Richard Hunt to create a new sculpture. Chicago-based Hunt already has a number of public artworks on display around the city. At the Obama Center, “Book Bird” will be the latest addition to his expansive portfolio. Adapted from a work Hunt made as an award for the United Negro College Fund, the sculpture depicts a bird taking flight from a book, symbolizing the freedom, progress, and transporting experiences that come from reading, studying, and learning. After years of planning, President Barack Obama held a groundbreaking ceremony for the center last fall. Construction is expected to take four years. | More

Awards & Honors

Sculptor Richard Hunt is also being honored with the Art Institute of Chicago’s 2022 Legends and Legacy Award. The Chicago-based artist’s work was recently on view at the museum in “Richard Hunt: Scholar’s Rock or Stone of Hope or Love of Bronze.” Hunt will receive the award and give a lecture at the museum on June 9. The award “celebrates living African American artists who, through their lifelong accomplishments and exceptional career in the visual arts, have influenced the next generation of artists.” | More

Toni L. Griffin (left) is receiving the 2022 Edmund N. Bacon Urban Design Award from the Center for Architecture and Design in Philadelphia. Griffin is a professor of urban planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the founder urbanAC LLC, based in New York, a planning and design management practice. The award includes a March 24 ceremony and talk (online and in person). | More


Now represented by Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago, Arvie Smith is the focus of a solo exhibition at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University in Salem, Ore. “Arvie Smith: Scarecrow” is on view through March 26. | Photo Courtesy Monique Meloche Gallery


Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago announced its representation of artist Arvie Smith, who lives and works in Portland, Ore. The gallery will present Smith’s work in its EXPO Chicago booth (April 7-10) and his first solo exhibition with the gallery opens later this year on Sept. 27. Smith continues to be represented by Galerie Myrtis, a Black-owned gallery in Baltimore, Md., and will be featured in “The Afro‐Futurist Manifesto: Blackness Reimagined,” a group exhibition of eight African American artists Galerie Myrtis is curating at the 2022 Venice Biennale at the invitation of the European Cultural Centre-Italy. | More


A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Angie Chandler joined the California African American Museum in Los Angeles as Supervisor of Education and Visitor Services. In previous roles, she has worked at the McColl Center and the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, both in Charlotte, N.C., and the San Diego Museum of Art. | More

Tate, the London-based institution that operates four UK museums, announced four new appointments to its board of trustees, including Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE, a playwright who serves as artistic director of the Young Vic theatre in London. Previously, Kwei-Armah was artistic director of Baltimore Centerstage (2011-18) and artistic director of Senegal’s Festival of Black Arts and Culture in 2010. | More

Four curators were selected for the 35th Bienal de São Paulo in Brazil, which is happening in 2023. The international curatorial team includes Manuel Borja-Villel of Madrid, Spain; Grada Kilomba of Berlin, Germany; Diane Lima of Salvador and São Paulo, Brazil; and Hélio Menezes of São Paulo. | More


Curators for 2023 Bienal de São Paulo: Clockwise, from top left, Manuel Borja-Villel. | Photo by Joaquín Cortés/Roman Lores; Grada Kilomba. | Photo by Ute Langkafel; Helio Menezes. | Photo by Georgia Niara; and Diane Lima. | Photo by Uiler Costa-Santos, All Courtesy Bienal de São Paulo

More Museum News

The Columbus Museum of Art in Columbus, Ohio, continues to build on the legacy of artist Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson (1940-2015). A $25,000 gift from Donna and Larry James provided seed funding for the Aminah Robinson Legacy Endowment and Resource Fund. The museum plans to raise additional resources with the goal of reaching $1 million by 2025, marking the 10 year-anniversary of Robinson’s death. | More

In related news, the Columbus Museum of Art also announced Terrance Dean, an assistant professor of Black Studies at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, has been appointed the first Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Scholar-in-Residence. Dean officially started the 12-month residency in January. | More

The Montclair Art Museum and its African American Cultural Committee announced the Ben Jones Scholarship, providing an opportunity for high school students aged 16 and older to take an adult class or workshop at the museum’s Yard School of Art (application deadline is March 18, 2022). The scholarship is named for Ben F. Jones, a New Jersey-based artist, activist, and educator who co-founded the African American Cultural Committee in the 1980s. | More


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