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

Cécile Fromont | Courtesy Harvard HAA


First Faculty Director at Harvard’s Cooper Gallery
Cécile Fromont (above) is joining Harvard University as a new professor in the Department of History of Art and Architecture and the first faculty director of the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art at the Hutchins Center. Fromont arrives at Harvard from Yale University, where she was a professor of African and South Atlantic Art. (4/5) | More

Jacob Lawrence Gallery Names New Director
Jordan Jones (left) was appointed director and curator of the Jacob Lawrence Gallery at the University of Washington in Seattle. The newly renovated, state-of-the-art exhibition space is located within UW Seattle’s School of Art + Art History + Design. After earning a bachelor of art degree from Williams College, Jones has been based in New York, where she served as exhibitions coordinator at Independent Curators International. Previously, she was a joint curatorial fellow at The Studio Museum in Harlem and The Museum of Modern Art. Jones started at the Jacob Lawrence Gallery on April 3. (4/2) | More

New Trustees at Frye Art Museum
Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Wash., added six new members to its board of trustees, including Brandon Vaughan and Mark Washington. Vaughn is global director of public relations at Slalom Consulting. He also sits on the board of the Seattle Art Museum and is a founding member of the Black Trustee Alliance for Art Museums. A Morehouse College alum, Washington is an executive vice president at CBRE (Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis), the commercial real estate firm. Previously, the board had six trustees, now there are nine. (4/11) | More

The Moth Hired Veteran Media Executive
Christina Norman joined The Moth in the newly created role of chief creative officer. The nonprofit focused on personal storytelling via live stage performances includes The Moth Radio Hour, which airs on public radio stations, and The Moth Podcast. Norman brings decades of high-level media and content experience. She comes to The Moth from THINK 450 (which focuses on innovation, licensing and partnership at the National Basketball Players Association), where she served as head of content. Most notably, she was CEO of OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network (2009-11). In earlier roles she was president of MTV and president of VH1. Norman started at The Moth this week and is expected to help expand the organization into TV, film, and other platforms. (4/11) | More

Africa Center CEO Departing
Uzodinma Iweala is leaving The Africa Center. After seven years, he will step down as CEO in December. Located in East Harlem on the north end of Museum Mile, The Africa Art Center was originally envisioned as a visual art museum. During Iweala’s tenure, it was reinvented as a interdisciplinary center and opened in 2019 “with an expanded mission that includes culture and policy programming that aims to change narratives and create new opportunities for Africa and the Diaspora.” Isaacson, Miller will undertake a search for the next leader working in collaboration with the center’s transition committee. (3/19) | More


Alberto Pitta. | Photo by Samuel Esteves for CJP


Alberto Pitta Joined Nara Roesler Gallery
Nara Roesler gallery in now represents Brazilian artist Alberto Pitta (b. 1961), above. Over his four-decade career, Pitta has worked with textiles and silkscreen printing, as well as painting and sculpture, more recently. His “production is closely linked to popular festivities and dialogues with other spheres such as that of garments. His work also gained a strong public dimension as he created prints for Salvador’s Afro Carnival parades including that of Olodum, Filhos de Gandhy, and his own, Cortejo Afro.” Nara Roesler has locations in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and New York. (3/27) | More


Infinity Awards Recognize Women Photographers
The International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York celebrated women photographers at this year’s gala. ICP’s 40th annual Infinity Awards went to Lynsey Addario, Renell Medrano (left), Shirin Neshat, Wendy Red Star, and Caryl S. Englander, marking the first time the Infinity Awards recognized five women. Medrano received the Commercial and Editorial Photography award. She is “a Dominican-American photographer and director from The Bronx, New York, whose work focuses on finding vulnerability in her subjects, drawing inspiration from New York City and her motherland of the Dominican Republic. She graduated from Parsons School of Design | The New School with a degree in photography.” (4/10) | More

2024 Guggenheim Fellowships
The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation announced 2024 fellowships. The awards went to 188 recipients working in 52 fields, including fine arts, film, African studies, choreography, music composition, poetry, literary criticism, U.S. history, and photography. This year’s fellows include Garrett Bradley (Film-Video), Mike Cloud (Fine Arts), Adama Delphine Fawundu (Fine Arts), Taji Ra’oof Nahl (Fine Arts), Elizabeth Hinton (U.S. History), Crystal Kayiza (Film-Video), Tiya Miles (Intellectual & Cultural History), Tavia Nyong’o (Theatre Arts & Performance Studies), Lorraine O’Grady (Fine Arts), Christina Sharpe (General Nonfiction), Tracy K. Smith (Poetry), Krista Thompson (Fine Arts Research), and Arvie Smith (Fine Arts). Each fellow receives a monetary stipend (amounts vary) to fund their project. Robert De Niro provided funding for Arvie Smith’s fellowship in honor of his late father, Robert De Niro Sr., a painter and Guggenheim Fellow (1968). (4/11) | More

IMAGE: Above left, Renell Medrano, Courtesy International Center of Photography, © Scott Rudd


“The Deans List” by Nate Freeman in the April 2024 issue of Vanity Fair opens with two-page spread, a class photo of sorts, featuring Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz with 21 artists represented in their collection.


21 Top Artists Posed for Vanity Fair
Vanity Fair profiled major music industry couple Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys on the occasion of “Giants,” the Brooklyn Museum exhibition showcasing their contemporary art collection. The article appears in the April 2024 issue of the magazine. Among the highlights is a group photograph by Renell Medrano (2024 Infinity Award Winner) featuring the collectors and 21 highly regarded artists represented in their holdings, including Nina Chanel Abney, Derrick Adams, Jordan Casteel, Nick Cave, Arthur Jafa, Titus Kaphar, Meleko Mokgosi, Odili Donald Odita, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Deborah Roberts, Tschabalala Self, Amy Sherald, Mickalene Thomas, and Kehinde Wiley. (3/19) | More



Hank Aaron Honored with Postage Stamp, Statue, and Exhibition
The U.S. Postal Service revealed a new Forever Stamp honoring baseball legend Hank Aaron timed to commemorate the 50-year anniversary of his 715th home run in 1974, which broke Babe Ruth’s record and outraged racists. Designed with original art by Philadelphia, Pa.-based artist Chuck Styles, the stamp will officially be released on a future date. Meanwhile, the Atlanta History Center opened “More Than Brave. The Life of Henry Aaron,” a new exhibition on view through September 2025, and a bronze statue dedicated to Aaron will be unveiled on May 23 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. (4/9) | New York Times


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