Monday, February 13, 2017

Artist Talk: Ben Jones Through the Years

Mentoring at Various Levels          Social Commentary          Environmentalist    

Conservation          Activist          Purposeful Life          Socialist

Travel is Best Education          Exposure to Cultures          Museums Inspire

Blood Series          Evolution/Revolution          Bearden/Matisse          Dancer      

Engaged with What's Happening in the Community/World      

Chuck Davis Dance Company  


Friday, January 20, 2017

TIPS for Black Artists from a Collector

I offer these tips as a result of my continual involvement in the art world. My hopes are that they may help the artist as he/she navigates the unfamiliar and opaque terrain of  that business world. As an artist, those tips that you find useful, please use and make appropriate adjustments that fit your style. Those that do not apply, simply ignore. I decided to post these tips based on an experience that I had a couple of months ago when attending an art opening reception, and one of the 2 artists was 1 hour late for a 2 hour reception. Realizing the business that this artist was possibly losing by not being there to engage with collectors or future collectors, prompted me to create this list.

I asked a couple of artists to use samples of their artwork to enhance the text presented in this post. If you like any of the art work, I can give you contact information for the artist. As an artist, collector, or simply someone interested in the work of black artists,  if you have other tips, please share.
  • For opening and closing receptions in your honor, please be on time, or even get to the venue before it starts. The purpose of these functions is for attendees to get to know the artist and his/her body of work that is on exhibit, and for the artist to mingle with those attending. Remember, some of those attending,  may be collectors or future collectors. As an artist, not being visible and available to answer questions could cut into crucial connections and sales. Receptions are a great venue and offer the ideal opportunity to network
    Don Griffin
    Mixed Media on Watercolor Paper 300 gsm,

     Acrylic, Gel Ink, Gold Ink

    Size: 22.75" x 15"

    Date: 2015
  • Create an overview statement for each series that you complete. That overview of your works will answer some of the questions that collectors or prospective collectors may have about pieces in a particular series. It gives the viewer something to look at and refer to when either looking at or thinking about a piece of art to purchase.   

    Don Griffin
    Mixed Media on Watercolor Paper 300 gsm,

     Acrylic, Gel Ink, Gold Ink

    Size: 22.75" x 15"

    Date: 2015
  • Accommodate a collector, if he/she requests you to take a photograph with him/her with a piece or pieces purchased. The collector is documenting the artwork and the experience with you, the artist.
  • When artworks leave your studio for gallery or museum exhibitions, or are simply on loan to an individual or institution, keep a record of those pieces of art by name and description. At all times, you want to know where your art is located whenever it is out of your possession.
    Don Griffin
    Mixed Media on Watercolor Paper 300 gsm,

     Acrylic, Gel Ink, Gold Ink

    Size: 22.75" x 15"

    Date: 2015
  • Always have your résumé, artist statement, and biographical sketch updated and ready, and be able to explain your work in a broad overview. As a client/collector shows interest in a particular piece or pieces, feel comfortable explaining the specifics of any series created.    
  • Artists should know those collectors who buy their works, so keep rigorous records of any transactions.  
    Billy Colbert, 2016
  • Never leave your work on consignment with a gallery or any alternative space that sells art without getting something in writing. This becomes a business transaction and needs to go beyond a handshake. 
  • Don't isolate yourself. Welcome critiques from other artists, and offer critiques of their work as well. Even as you listen to what collectors say about or interpret your artwork, keep those thoughts in mind. How do those thoughts compare with your vision for what you are creating and trying to achieve. Use what enhances your vision and discard the other, but engaging brings about awareness. 
    Billy Colbert, 2016
  • Be true to your vision and your work; you have a unique voice and perspective that makes your art special. Do not jump on the bandwagon of what is trendy and popular, simply to sell your art.
  • Apply for art opportunities that fit your experience, including artist calls, art colonies/residencies, art fairs, and etc.
    Don Griffin
    Mixed Media on Watercolor Paper 300 gsm,

     Acrylic, Gel Ink, Gold Ink

    Size: 22.75" x 15"

    Date: 2015
  • Keep your artist website current with accomplishments, exhibitions, images, contact information, etc. If you do not have the time to keep your website current, then seek the help of a specialist in that area. If funds are not readily available, negotiate and barter for services.
  • When you are selling directly to collectors or clients provide a receipt with details of the work, including title, size, medium, date created, etc. Include a photograph of the artwork for the collector/client and make one for yourself. With the photograph that you keep, include collector/client information, this record will help you in the future if you are having a  retrospective exhibition and the curator may want to request a piece of your work from a collector to include in an exhibition. Recently, I had a curator to contact me because the artist told her that I owned a particular piece of art. In actuality, I did not own the art in question.  
 Please share tips that you would like to share with artists.   
  • Sheila Crider @SheilaCriderArt shared (January 2, 2017): "I think it's important to send thank you notes...."

Friday, December 16, 2016

HERITAGE: Native Washingtonian, featuring Gloria Kirk, Photographer and Mixed-Media Artist

"The American University and The Anacostia Community Museum partnered to create a joint community storytelling film initiative regarding neighborhood change and what it has meant for our lives, family or community. They chose a cross section of people born in DC to tell their stories. Gloria Kirk was chosen as a participant and her portion is entitled Heritage. The film was screened at American University on Wednesday, October 26, 2016. Shalom Rosenberg was the graduate student assigned to work with Gloria. Dr. Nina Shapiro-Perl, the Filmmaker in Residence at American University, was in charge of the project."  

heritage final from Shalom Rosenberg on Vimeo.

"DC photographer and mixed-media artist, Gloria Kirk, joins Digital Diaspora Family Reunion (DDFR) at the American Film Institute's Silverdocs Film Festival in Silver Spring, Maryland. She gives an exclusive look at some of her artwork as well as her family album, which became a big inspiration for her large body of work.

Both of her photographic and mixed-media works are influenced by life experiences and take on themes of spiritual and personal identity, as well as local and international significance."

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Artist Talk: Dread Scott

Video          Painting          Performance          Installation          Photography

Sculptural Pieces          Activist          Dream          Police Murder

Lynching          Exchange of Ideas          Archive  

"Art that talk about the world we live in"         

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Artists Talk: REMIX: The Documentary

REMIX: Themes and Variations in African-American Art          Will South       

Fahamu Pecou           Jonell Logan           Tarleton Blackwell        

Leo Twiggs            Michaela Pilar Brown           Juan Logan       

Damond Howard          Repurpose          Remixing vs. Appropriation   

Artistic License          Masking / Blackface          Dignity and Respect      

Signs, Symbols, Language           Targeted Man...a Part of Our Culture

Power and Vibrancy of African-American Art in American Culture                                                        
African-American Experience is the American Experience

Monday, September 12, 2016

SELECT ART TALKS: Fall/Winter 2016

Coral Gables, Florida
Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami

  Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons (Cuban, b. 1959)
Voyeurs and Beholders of..., 2008
Composition 1/15, Polaroid, 20" x 24" 
 Collection of the artist © Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons
The Lowe Art Museum will host The Arnold and Augusta Newman Lecture Series in Photography. The Series invites distinguished photographers to the University of Miami to discuss their work. The upcoming guest speaker, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, will discuss her work on October 13, 2016. DETAILS 

Durham, North Carolina
Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University

Hank Willis Thomas, a prolific conceptual artist, will deliver the Annual Barbra and Andrew Rothschild Lecture on November 3, 2016. Thomas' talk is entitled, For Freedoms. DETAILS

Harlem, New York
Jordan Casteel Charles, 2016, Oil on canvas, 78" × 60", Courtesy the artist
Photo: Adam Reich
The Artist's Voice: Jordan Casteel
October 20, 2016 |7 - 9 p.m.

"On the occasion of Tenses: Artists in Residence 2015–16, join artist in residence Jordan Casteel; Rujeko Hockley, Assistant Curator at the Brooklyn Museum; and Dr. Monica Miller, Associate Professor of English and Africana Studies at Barnard College, as they explore the complexly layered site specificity of Harlem."  DETAILS

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 

Radcliffe Bailey, Until I Die/Georgia Trees and the Upper Room, 1997, color aquatint.
 Prof. Curlee Raven Holton, Executive Director, David C. Driskell Center will deliver a lecture in the main gallery of the Susquehanna Art Museum on November 5, 2016. Prof. Holton's lecture will focus on the current exhibition, African American Art Since 1950: Perspectives from the David C. Driskell Center which is on view October 7, 2016 through January 22, 2017. DETAILS

Los Angeles, California
University of Southern California,

"The USC Roski School of Art and Design presents the Roski Talks lecture series featuring weekly, in-depth presentations on contemporary art & art criticism by visiting artists, curators, theorists, art historians, writers, organizers, activists, and other cultural producers who engage in critical, open, and rigorous conversations with graduate students and members of the community." 

Julie Mehretu | Painter, New York, Berlin
In dialogue with Professor Steven Nelson, UCLA, a specialist on her work.
October 13, 2016, 7 - 9p.m. | Broad Museum | 221 S. Grand Avenue, 90012
Co-presented with the Broad Museum. DETAILS

Naima Keith | Deputy Director, Exhibitions and Programs, CA African American Musuem
Lecture: Museum Responses to Current Events
November 7, 6 - 8p.m. | Graduate Fine Arts Building (IFT)

Montclair, New Jersey

Janet Taylor Pickett, Observing Bounty and Promise, 2013, collage of various papers on canvas. Courtesy of Imlay Gallery and the artist. Photo by Christine Gatti. The work draws from Romare Bearden's Circe for its central figure.
30th Annual Julia Norton Babson Memorial Lecture
A Private Conversation Made Public
Thursday, October 13, 2016, 7 p.m.

Artist Janet Taylor Pickett, MAM’s chief curator Gail Stavitsky, and independent curator Kathy Imlay of Imlay Gallery will discuss Janet’s unique fusion of imagery, process, and inspiration in her current MAM exhibition, Janet Taylor Pickett: The Matisse Series. This exhibition "explores the dialogue between Taylor Pickett’s artwork and that of renowned French artist Henri Matisse. Held in the Museum’s Roberts and Rotunda galleries, the exhibition features 76 collages, as well as 4 hand-made books." The exhibition ends June 18, 2017.

New Haven, Connecticut
Yale University Art Gallery

Gallery Talk: Branden Jacobs-Jenkins on Titus Kaphar

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, winner of the 2016 Donald Windham–Sandy Campbell Literature Prize for drama, examines the work of New Haven–based artist Titus Kaphar, M.F.A. 2006. Jacobs-Jenkins discusses what he sees in the work and outlines the ways that Kaphar’s concerns dovetail with those he addresses in his plays.The gallery talk will be held on September 21, 2016, 12:30 pm.

Newark, New Jersey

Symposium: Modern Heroics: Revisiting African-American Art at the Newark Museum

The one-day symposium is being held in conjunction with the exhibition currently on view, Modern Heroics: 75 Years of African-American Expressionism which is drawn largely from Newark’s permanent collections of African-American art and folk/self-taught collections. The symposium is held on October 15, 2016. DETAILS.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Easter, 1951. (John W. Mosley Photograph Collection, Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, Temple University Libraries)

Lecture: Diane D. Turner, Black Philadelphia and the Spirit of Unity: Art and Culture

Diane D. Turner, PhD, curator, Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, Temple University will speak on October 15, 2016. Her focus will be on Black Philadelphia and the Spirit of Unity: Art and Culture. Turner will illustrate how Mosley’s images chronicled a spirit of known and little-known individuals and art and cultural organizations and institutions. This lecture is an accompanying program for the exhibition, A Million Faces: The Photography of John W. Mosley, on view September 24, 2016 through January 16, 2017. SERIES of SUPPORTING TALKS

Washington, D.C.

Alison Saar, Tango, 2005; Woodcut on paper, 25¾" x 38¾", Courtesy of the artist and L.A. Louver; © Alison Saar
Gallery Talk: Alison Saar in Print

NMWA Curatorial Assistant Stephanie Midon discusses several works in the special exhibition Alison Saar In Print on September 28, 2016. DETAILS

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Artists Talk: Colored Frames (Documentary)

Benny Andrews           Gustave Blache III            Nanette Carter           

Ed Clark         Adger Cowans           Francks Deceus           

Gordon James           Wangechi Mutu           Howardena Pindell           

Dianne Smith          Ann Tanksley          TAFA  

Gustave Blache III          Duane Smith          Danny Simmons

John Ashford          Gordon James          Larry Hampton          

Michael Singletary          Marva Huston          Others