Home Historical art Breaking News in Black Art: President Biden Appoints Maria Rosario Jackson as NEA President, Claudia Rankine Joins Guggenheim Board, Cherise Smith Wins Smithsonian’s Eldredge Book Award and More

Breaking News in Black Art: President Biden Appoints Maria Rosario Jackson as NEA President, Claudia Rankine Joins Guggenheim Board, Cherise Smith Wins Smithsonian’s Eldredge Book Award and More



The latest news in Black Art presents updates and developments in the world of art and related culture

From left to right, poet Claudia Rankine has joined the board of the Guggenheim; Maria Rosario Jackson is President Biden’s candidate for the head of the National Endowment for the Arts. | Photos: Courtesy of Blue Flower Arts; Courtesy of Maria Rosario Jackson via NEA


Poet, playwright and essayist Claudia rankine (top left) has joined the board of trustees of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Rankine is the author of “Citizen: An American Lyric”, “Just Us: An American Conversation” and “The White Card: A Play”. Only one other black woman has ever served on the board of the Guggenheim, photographer Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, from 1993 to 1994. | New York Times

President Biden has announced his presidential candidates for national endowment programs for the arts and humanities. Maria rosario jackson (top right) is her choice for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). A professor at Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts (HIDA), she is a longtime arts and humanities administrator whose experience includes state and federal appointments. If confirmed by the US Senate, Jackson would be the first African American and Mexican to lead the NEA, according to Deadline. Biden also nominated Shelly C. Lowe chair the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). A citizen of the Navajo Nation, Lowe is Executive Director of the Native American Program at Harvard University. She would become the first Native American to lead the NEH. | National public radio

San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) appointed Denise Pate director of community investments. She will oversee the agency’s grants program, which distributes about $ 16 million per year to individual artists and nonprofit arts organizations. For over 30 years, Pate has worked in non-profit management. She joined the SFAC from the city of Oakland where she is the cultural funding coordinator.


Jazz patron and impresario Georges Wein, who founded the Newport Jazz Festival in 1954, died on September 12. He was 95 years old. The Rhode Island Jazz Festival has become a model across genres for presenting live music in outdoor venues on a large scale and has made festivals “as important as nightclubs and concert halls.” on the itinerary of virtually all great jazz performers. In 2006, Wein endowed an annual artist’s award of $ 50,000 to the Studio Museum in Harlem in the name of his late wife Joyce Alexander (1928-2005), longtime administrator of the museum. Recent recipients of the Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Award include Cauleen smith (2020), Torkwase Dyson (2019), Diedrick Brackens (2018), and Simone leigh (2017). | New York Times

DEREK FORDJOUR, “The Futility of Achievement (La futilidad de los logros)”, 2020 (acrylic, charcoal, cardboard, oil pastel, aluminum foil and glitter on newspaper mounted on canvas). | Courtesy for the artist and Petzel, New York

Prizes and distinctions

New York artist Derek Fordjour will deliver the Fall Lenhardt Lecture at the Phoenix Art Museum on October 27. The first work acquired with funds from the new Lenhardt Contemporary Art Initiative, the painting is on display in the Katz Modern Art Wing.

Cherise Smith (left) received the annual Charles C. Eldredge Award for Excellence in American Art from the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM). Smith is the first black recipient of the award. She was recognized for her book “Michael Ray Charles: A Retrospective” (University of Texas Press, 2020). Smith is the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in African American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, where she is also a Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies and Art and Art History. . The Jury Prize includes a $ 3,000 prize and Smith will present the 33rd Annual SAAM Eldredge Prize in April 2022.

IMAGE: Top left, Cherise Smith. | Courtesy of Cherise Smith via Smithsonian

No more news

Prospect Five New Orleans announced revised opening dates and a list of venues for exhibitions and triennial programming. The opening weekend is October 23.

London gallery Contemporary Tiwani opens a new space in Lagos, Nigeria, in February 2022. | ARTnews

New historic marker honoring Philadelphia natives Alain locke was installed in front of the African American Museum in Philadelphia. | WHY Public Radio

A new mural by Nick Cave and Bob Faust envelops the building at 679 N. Michigan Ave on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. | Photo by James Prinz

Public art

“Rapt on The Mile” (above), a new artist mural Nick cave and Bob Faust, was installed at 679 N. Michigan Avenue. The fresco wraps around the building and presents “iconic images and colors superimposed to create a three-dimensional garden, reminiscent of a fertile migratory center”. Presented by The Magnificent Mile® Association with EXPO CHICAGO, the mural will be on view until January 31, 2022. A limited edition Cave fundraiser ($ 3,000) was produced in association with the Facility Foundation Support Project .

The National Academy of Design has announced seven recipients of the 2021 Abbey Mural Award, awarding more than $ 125,000 for public mural projects across the country. Recipients include the Chicago Public Art Group for the restoration of “The History of the Packinghouse Worker” (1975), pictured below, one of the last exterior murals created by William “Bill” Walker (1927-2011).

Public Mural on the South Side of Chicago: WILLIAM “BILL” WALKER, “The Story of the Pack Worker,” 1974. | Image courtesy CPAG


The San Francisco Arts Commission offers a series of grants aimed at individual artists, seasoned artistic leaders, support for artistic spaces and operating expenses with fall deadlines at 12 p.m. PST: Artistic Legacy Grant (October 19, 2021) ; Creative Space Grant, CSG (October 27, 2021); Cultural Equity Initiatives, CEI (November 3, 2021); San Francisco Artist Fellowship, SFA (November 10, 2021). | More information

Jiggy, The puzzle company founded by women and created five years ago and which features images of contemporary artists and illustrators, has called for applications for art. Six winners, chosen by a combination of public votes and jury selection, will have their work reproduced on a puzzle featured in the 2022 collection and receive a commission from Jiggy on sales of their licensed art. The submission deadline is October 10, 2021. | More information

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