Smith & Benjamin’s ‘BAHAMIAN ART & CULTURE’ Issue No. 268 Sharing Art & Cultural News of The Bahamas for 18 Years • • • • Can’t see the images?


Smith & Benjamin’s
Issue No. 268

Sharing Art & Cultural News
of The Bahamas for 18 Years

• • • •

Can’t see the images? CLICK HERE!

• • • •

Candy Dish created completely with shells and sea glass
by Bahamian artist Pastor Allen Dixon.
• • •
An entirely self-taught folk artist, Pastor Dixon is well known in his native Long Island for his magnificently detailed and complex shell creations.
• • •
Read full story below.


Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

Happy Labour Day Bahamas!


what’s happening in
bahamian art & culture
this week

SummerFIlmSeriesMainGfx SQ

NAGB’s Summer Film Series for June 2016

June 2nd & June 23rd
The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas

The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas is proud to announce a new ongoing curated film series created specifically for The Bahamas, beginning in June and continuing throughout the entire year.

NAGB Director Amanda Coulson, Chief Curator Holly Bynoe and Canadian film programmer Francis Litzinger have selected a series of 12 films, five of which will be screened from June to August. The series is intended to reflect on the themes that resonate from the NAGB’s exhibition programming.

NAGB SummerFilmSeries DoTheRightThing

“Do The Right Thing”
Thursday, June 2

• • •
The series kicks off on Thursday, June 2 with a screening of Spike Lee’s classic “Do The Right Thing”. Unrelenting heat, miscommunication and the dynamics of racism are explored in this powerful film that’s just as relevant now as it was when it first premiered 25 years ago. “Do The Right Thing” is rated C for mature audiences.

NAGB SummerFilmSeries KonTiki

Thursday, June 23

• • •
On Thursday, June 23, the NAGB presents old-school adventure filmmaking at its finest with the presentation of the Norwegian film “Kon-Tiki”. The film dramatizes the 1947 epic voyage undertaken by Thor Heyerdahl and his five-man crew as they attempt to voyage from the coast of Peru to the Polynesian Islands aboard a small balsa wood raft, using techniques that were utilized 1,500 years ago by the indigenous peoples of the region It’s a film that will resonate for many Bahamians who know only too well both the perils and thrills that can come with sailing the open seas. “Kon-Tiki” also encourages reflection on the explorations of The Bahamas’ first inhabitants – the Lucayans – who are represented in the permanent exhibition. “Kon-Tiki” is rated B; minors should be accompanied by an adult.

CLICK HERE for the full schedule on NAGB’s website.
CLICK HERE for NAGB’s Facebook page.


Taste The Bahamas Food Festival

June 3rd
The Bahamas National Trust, Village Road

You do not want to miss this event. All persons are invited to come out and get a sample of what Taste will be. This event marks the beginning of the countdown to our main event Labor Day 2017. All patrons are welcomed to relax in the Island Flare Lounge, to take part in the Bahamian Burger Battle and cheer the student's on in the Island Flare Food Fight. Entrance fee: Adults $10 / Children $5.

CLICK HERE for the event's facebook page.
CLICK HERE for BNT’s Facebook page.


save the date

JIB -- Anuschka on stage -- wine dress 2

Bahamian Jazz artist Anuschka Wright

C O N C E R T:

‘Jazz In Bloom’: Inspire

Father’s Day –
Sunday, June 19th | 7pm
Governor’s Ballroom, British Colonial Hilton

Prepare for another great Jazz experience with Bahamian Jazz artist, Anuschka Wright. This year, the Jazz in Bloom theme is “INSPIRE” in praise of all those who mentor and inspire others to bring out their best and achieve greatness. It will be held on Father’s Day, June 19th at the British Colonial Hilton in the Governor’s Ballroom at 7pm.

Anuschka will be returning to The Bahamas after graduating with honors from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada with a degree in Fine Arts, with specialty in Jazz. Among other accomplishments, Anuschka received The Norman Marshall Villeneuve Percussion Award, established in 2012. Each year, the award is given to a deserving 2nd or 3rd year student with excellent academic performance, musicianship, leadership, and a passion for Jazz.

nuschka and norman

About Jazz in Bloom
• The annual Jazz in Bloom (JIB) Concert series was founded and created in 2013 by Bahamian Jazz artist Anuschka Wright.
Jazz in Bloom’s mission is to consistently present a high quality of jazz music to the Bahamian public showcasing both local and international jazz artists and musicians.
• The JIB team work enthusiastically to present a show that is entertaining, classy and engaging for those seeking to treat their fathers to something outside of the norm on Father’s Day.
• In addition to honoring fathers, Jazz in Bloom is an ongoing celebration of life, music and the creative spirit of all. Jazz in Bloom invites you to join us in the comfort and magic of live jazz.

CLICK HERE for Jazz in Bloom’s Facebook page.

JIB front 4x6 FB final

art and culture news
from the bahamas


Bahamian artist Arnold Kemp, Incoming Dean of Graduate Studies

Bahamian artist appointed Dean of Graduate Studies at Art Institute of Chicago

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), a global leader in art and design education, announced the appointment of Bahamian artist Arnold J. Kemp as the School’s dean of graduate studies. Concurrent with this appointment, Kemp joins the faculty of the Department of Painting and Drawing as a professor. Kemp comes to SAIC from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) where he is an associate professor and the chair of the Department of Painting and Printmaking.

Arnold J. Kemp has been making and exhibiting critically engaging art for 25 years while concurrently writing and publishing critical and creative texts. Since 2009, he has served as a mentor for graduate students in a full-time academic administration role at Pacific Northwest College of Art and VCU. While at VCU, Kemp introduced a rigorously diverse visiting artist lecture series, established a new curriculum and brought a global perspective to courses in professional practices for graduate students. Prior to that, he was the chair of the Master of Fine Arts in Visual Studies Program at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. He also worked as one of the founding curators of San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

“We’re thrilled to have Arnold join us as our dean of graduate studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago,” said Lisa Wainwright, SAIC’s dean of faculty and vice president of academic affairs. “The many roles he has played as an artist, curator, writer and lecturer are symbiotic with his personal research, art work and passion for preparing interdisciplinary artists for a lifetime of creative practice. Having the mindset of the artist and scholar within the School’s leadership is key to what makes SAIC, and its graduate programs in particular, so influential.” [...}

CLICK HERE for full article at SAIC’s website.
CLICK HERE fo Arnold J. Kemp’s website.

Nowe harris smith

Bahamian artist Nowé Harris Smith

Bahamian artist to take part in Caribbean art residency

Caribbean Linked IV is pleased to announce that its regional art residency will be taking place at the Ateliers ’89 contemporary art studio in Oranjestad, Aruba from August 1 through 23, 2016.

Ten creatives from around the French, Spanish, English and Dutch Caribbean will convene to produce work and mount an exhibition during this three week period. Selected from The Bahamas is visual artist Nowé Harris-Smith.

Harris Smith was born in Nassau in 1993. She began drawing at the age of ten and continued the practice ever since. Her work focuses on human culture, perception, and the found and revolves around mixed media arts, writing, and photography. She attended Temple Christian High School followed by The College of The Bahamas. Her current major is Art Education. She has participated in several exhibitions including The National Arts Festival along with exhibitions at The College of The Bahamas, Popopstudios.

The Caribbean Linked IV annual residency allows participants to be exposed to the practices of other emerging Caribbean artists, providing an opportunity to strengthen regional connections and cultural understanding.

Additional artists chosen for this year’s residency include Frances Gallardo (Puerto Rico), Travis Geertruida (Curacao), Tessa Mars (Haïti), Oneika Russell (Jamaica), Simon Tatum (The Cayman Islands), Laura de Vogel (Aruba) and visiting master artist Humberto Diaz (Cuba) […]

CLICK HERE for full story in Fresh Milk.
CLICK HERE for Harris Smith’s Behance page.


Keith, Nowé and Navarro. (Photo by John Cox)

Popopstudios announces its 2016 Junior Residency Prizes

Congratulations to young Bahamian artists Keith Thompson, Nowé H. Harris-Smith & Navarro Newton for being selected as the Popop Junior Residency Prize (PJRP) winners for 2016.

The PJRP is a joint endeavor between Popopstudios International Center for the Visual Arts and the D’Aguilar Art Foundation to provide emerging artists under 25 an opportunity for a studio space, support and research trip to New York.

Keith Thompson was born in 1996 in Nassau, Bahamas. He is currently a pursuing an AA of Arts at The College of The Bahamas. His creative practice involves conveying black culture from any era or location into paintings. The goal is to show that there is a greater beauty in a race than just skin color, and how black culture spreads through other races. Also to portray the diversities of our cultures as they scatter across the globe and progress in time.

Nowé Harris Smith was born in Nassau in 1993. She began drawing at the age of ten and continued the practice ever since. She is attending The College of The Bahamas where her current major is Art Education. Her work focuses on human culture, perception, and the found and revolves around mixed media arts, writing, and photography. Her work is influenced by surrealism, abstraction, and graffiti art and seeks to engage the perceptions of norms by challenging the definitions of common misconceptions.

Navarro Newton was born in New Providence and raised on the island of Andros. He fell in love with nature and the creative arts at a young age. He is in his 3rd year at The College of The Bahamas studying Visual Arts. His creative practice is informed by the potential of a medium to create subtle nuances in opacity and texture and how through the application and projections of figurative shapes suggested by the movement of media on a surface, a narrative can be built.

CLICK HERE for full story at Popopstudios’ website.


Grand Bahama artist Lou Lihou

Long-time Grand Bahama artist passes away

Grand Bahama artist John Albert Lihou, also known as Uncle Lou, passed away on Monday, May 23rd, 2016 at the age of 79.

Lou was born on the island of Guernsey in the Channel Islands in 1937. He was educated at the Guernsey Grammar School and then Elizabeth College. He came to Freeport, Grand Bahama in 1960 where he began work as a professional diver and continued to dive all his life.

Lihou started painting in 1986 and was entirely self-taught. He exhibited extensively in Grand Bahama and Nassau over the next 30 years. His work appears in collections in The Bahamas, Switzerland, Germany, England, U.S.A. and Canada. He was a member of the Grand Bahamas Artist Association since its inception in 1996 and exhibited in many of their shows.


Painting by Lou Lihou


Painting by Lou Lihou

In July 2012, Lihou’s work was chosen by the Chelsea International Fine Art Competition to be represented in a solo exhibition entitled “Sensorial Perspectives” at the Agora Gallery in New York.

Lihou’s paintings reflected the vibrant energy of the sea where his impressionistic brushstrokes created largely romantic paintings of the Caribbean. His part oil, part acrylic canvases reveal a love of the maritime world, displaying the lifestyle, vigor and hues which invite the viewer into the artist's own experience.

Due to his early years spent in the Channel Islands and England, Lihou brought a European nuance to his self-taught style. Looking at these paintings is to experience the joy of The Bahamas and the simplicity of an island way of life. He was able to capture the naiveté often found in island folk arts and still demonstrated a sophisticated eye and skillful use of paints. The result is a collection of work which, as the artist himself suggested, makes you wish you were there.

Lihou brought his immense love of the aquatic world to the canvas in a way that maintains the universality of the subject without having sacrificed his personal enthusiasm and sentiment.

Lou is survived by his loving wife Kathy Meadows Lihou, daughter Sarah Lihou-Rolle, son-in-law Ricardo Rolle, grandchildren Sydney and Nicholas Rolle and former wife Pat Lihou.


Painting by Lou Lihou


Pastor Allen Dixon poses with one of his shell crab creations. This giant white crab loves to hug! Do you see the face on its back?

Bahamian intuitive artist captivates with his stunning shell art

Written by
Susan L. Koster

Edited by Dionne Benjamin-Smith

Back in 1970, Pastor Allen Dixon, at the tender age of 19, began working for the Bahamas Oil Refinery in Freeport, Grand Bahamas. The job was very high energy and to find relaxation, he began creating art—specifically art made from shells. The idea first came to him when he went diving one day and saw a coral “tree” growing on a conch shell. This sparked something inside that made him decide to recreate what he saw in nature with shells.

Since then, Pastor Dixon has made numerous creatures out of shells. There are many crabs—land crabs, ocean crabs, soldier crabs—and most of the crabs were actually once alive. Dixon captures the crabs, cures their shells, dries and washes them thoroughly until he has the perfect surface onto which he fashions his shell designs. In addition to the crabs, Dixon also recreates turtle shells, bill fish, birds, and game animals all out of shells.

Outside of creating pieces inspired by nature, Dixon also makes depictions of the supernatural in the form of angels as well as functional items like mirrors, candy dishes, sconces, lamps, and bowls. He also makes driftwood sculptures and shell arrangements depending on the mood he finds himself in in the moment. Whatever it is, it is always intricately and beautifully covered by many different varieties and sizes of shells. What appears to be flowers on the edge of a bow or the rim of a mirror are actually flowers painstakingly created out of the tiniest of shells.


Dixon proudly displays the Bahamian flag on each claw as he is a Bahamian Crab. Here, the shells cover the actual shell of this magnificent crab.


Every crab has a face on his back...just as they have in the wild. However, this one is blessed....


...blessed with a sea-glass Cross on his back.


Pastor Dixon's interpretation of the angel Gabriel blowing his horn.....look at the details of the robes.


Pastor Dixon and wife Debbie; Pastor Dixon and grandson inside the huge concrete shell in front of his shop; and Pastor Dixon discussing shells with a friend.

Pastor Dixon was born in Burnt Ground, Long Island on September 8,1950. His great-grandfather was from Bermuda and was an overseer at the Adderley Plantation in Long Island.

Dixon met his wife Debbie in Nassau and he knew he would marry her from the moment he met her. They have been happily married for 42 years and live on the main road Long Island. They have 6 well-educated children and 15 grandchildren. He is described by those who know him as humble and talented, an amazing artist, a doting father, a dedicated husband, a skilled fisherman, roofer, and a beloved pastor. On top of all that, he is a fantastic dancer.

Dixon loves going to the beach—any beach, any island—just to see what he can find. He is an avid collector of shells; he has barrels of them at home. And when he goes somewhere new, going to the beach is what he does first. Allen’s wife and children are also shell collectors. His daughter recounts how she “grew up with her eyes on the sand.”

Dixon is intimate with his Long Island beaches—the winds, the tides, and the currents that bring in the most shells. Common shells, rare shells, deep-water shells, or beach shells—he finds a purpose for each one.


This beautiful large bowl is as lovely on the inside as it is on the outside, and both surfaces are totally different. Note how each little shell is perfect.


One of Dixon's latest pieces, a seahorse made from a mix of seashells and seaglass.


A ram’s horn Pastor Dixon created using shells. He uses it in ministry to carry a small bottle of anointed oil.

Dixon first has an idea, free-hand sketches it, and then creates it from shells. Interestingly enough, his greatest inspiration are cartoons as he believes there is quality graphics in animation. His favourite is Bugs Bunny whose cartoon home was always nicely furnished with mirrors on the walls.

He also gathers his ideas from the designs on clothing or from ‘pictures’ in the clouds. He is entirely a self-taught artist who finds an opportunity for creativity in each shell he collects from the beach.

As a devout Christian, Dixon has been in ministry almost his entire life with the past 16 years being dedicated to being a pastor. Dixon, a natural, high-energy dancer says that the church is the best part of his life. He can often be seen dancing on the beach, pockets full of shells. He often incorporates a spiritual or religious theme in his work—whether it’s in the form of scripture or a small cross. An interesting piece he has created is a ram’s horn covered with shells. It holds a small bottle of olive oil that he uses for anointing. It is an ecclesiastical article he carries with pride.


An ornamental piece featuring "flowers" made from blue Chiton shells. Dixon often makes these flowers while sitting on the boat to Nassau; he can make a shell floret in just ten minutes!


A beautiful mirror featuring "Blood-tooth snails". All of Pastor Dixon's works feature natural colors, as they are found on the shells. Nothing has been artificially colored.


This lovely wall light sconce hangs in a private home in Stella Maris. Typical of Pastor Dixon's work, the back—which no one will probably ever see—is intricately filled with patterns of small shells.

Some of Dixon’s most amazingly complex pieces are his functional objects for the home and part of his knowledge he learned from a very unlikely source – American film star, Elizabeth Taylor who once said that a fine piece of jewelry should be as beautiful on the back as it is on the front. Taking that sage piece of advice, Dixon’ pieces each have a complete and intricate back made from countless shells.

As prolific as he is creative, Dixon sometimes has three pieces in progress at the same time. Some days are just not the right days to create certain pieces, or, the right shells may not be available. He takes great effort to not duplicate any of his work, but those pieces that are being worked on at the same time, sometimes do end up having the same shells incorporated in the various designs.


Another beautiful bowl with an assortment of shell "flowers" created by Dixon.


(Top) This magnificent is the outside of a candy dish and it sits in a very intricate display stand, made of shells, of course. (BOTTOM) This is the inside of the candy dish at left. Dixon says,"When the chocolates are all gone, turn over the bowl and enjoy the beauty of the bowl."

One of the high points in Pastor Dixon’s life as an artist was representing the artists of The Bahamas at the 1994 Festival of American Folklife at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC. Some of his work is still on display there since that time.

Dixon’s work can be found in the quaint shop he has built in Burnt Ground. It is currently undergoing a wonderful renovation which will ultimately provide a well-deserved showroom for his one-of-a-kind art.

Debbie has retired from her job in retail and now welcomes visitors to the shop who are drawn to the unique structure by the large concrete conch shells Dixon created in the front yard. Both Pastor Dixon and Debbie enjoy explaining the intricate details of each work of art and the inspiration behind their creation.

Each piece is for sale, making room for new creative work. Special commissions are welcomed. Pastor Dixon can be contacted at (242) 338-7038 or on his cell (242) 472-3270.

• • •

Special thanks to Karen Tetreault who introduced us to Pastor Dixon and to Susan L. Koster who took great pleasure in visiting and photographing Pastor Dixon and who provided us with this story. Both of these amazing ladies are transplants from America and have lived in Long Island for many years. All photos by Susan L. Koster


This is a very large Soldier Crab. He was once real, and now will live forever as a Dixon piece of art.


Max Taylor holds up the plate he used in this etching of a silk cotton tree in the Fox Hill Parade. (Photo: NAGB)

A familiar place

Master Bahamian artist Max Taylor’s renewed print making vigor

Few things are timeless enough that one would find something special about carving their images out to be immortalized. Max Taylor has made it his life’s work to find them and do just that. In an affirmation of Taylor’s passion and respect for the art form, the D’Aguilar Art Foundation (DAF) recently opened My Neighborhood – an exhibition of Taylor’s newest prints.

Starting out
Taylor was born in Grant’s Town, and grew up in Nassau during the 40s and 50s. He spent his adolescence and young adulthood taking lessons at Don Russell’s Academy of Fine Arts and could later be found shooting the breeze with Brent Malone and Kendal Hanna at the Chelsea Pottery. He left New Providence for New York in the 60s. At the time he hoped he would get into the armed forces. “I think if I did, I wouldn’t have made it anyway,” he said reflecting on his intentions. The art world is glad he remained a civilian. Taylor ended up enrolling at the Art Students League of New York, where he took a printmaking class that laid the foundation for what would be decades of emotive printmaking. […]

CLICK HERE for the full article in The Nassau Guardian.


Bahama Hand Prints co-owner Joie Lamare overseeing the printmaking process at Bahama Hand Prints as it celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. (Photo: NAGB)

Bahama Hand Prints: 50 years and counting

The phenomenal group of creatives behind Bahama Hand Prints, celebrate half a century of creating in the art form of printmaking. Every day, Linda Brown, Joie Lamare and nine dedicated craftspersons get to work on creating classic prints for another purpose. Many of us have seen them – Bahama Hand Prints’ iconic patterns and brilliant colors are quite hard to miss.

And since 2016 marks the company’s golden anniversary, multiple generations of locals have had time to get familiar with at least a few of its 100-plus prints.

Sisters-in-law Brown and Lamare are the fifth generation of Bahama Hand Prints owners and are making a special effort to remember the company’s founders, artists Helen Astarita and Berta Sands. […]

CLICK HERE for the full article in The Nassau Guardian.


Behind the counter (from left) are Bahama Hand Prints owners Linda Brown and Joie Lamare. Bahama Hand Prints celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. (Photo: NAGB)

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Some of the work exhibited at The Arts Pavilion

Young artists shine at Arts Pavilion 2016

by Alesha Cadet

It was initially intended as a visual component of the first Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival, but now more than a year on The Arts Pavilion has developed a life of its own and recently served as a platform for emerging artists to showcase their work.

Located at the Antonius Robert Studio and Gallery at Hillside House, The Arts Pavilion exhibited pieces by new artists in The Bahamas who are looking to establish themselves on the local art scene.

Participating artists included Allia Dean, Rosemarie Liang, Shasla Bethune, Kimetria Pratt, Edrin Symonette, Nowé Harris-Smith, Lemero Wright, Jeff Cooper, Shorlette Francis, Tina Maycock, Timothy Nottage, Jodi Minnis, Candis Marshall, Abby Smith, Spurgeonique Morley, Judith Papillon, Celeste harding, Caroline Anderson, Jalan Harris, Lamaro Smith, Daleanna Lynch, Dale Allen, Danielle Darville, Christina Wong, Trevor Tucker, Thomas Hairston and Nyles Neymour. […]

CLICK HERE for the full article on Page 10 in The Tribune Weekend.

Deputy-Director-of-Culture- -Ms.-Sealy---Photo-2

Deputy Director, Ministry of Culture, Beijing, China, Jin Liang; and Bahamas Award-Winning Film Director Gina Sealy.

Bahamian artists called superb at 16th Beijing Arts Festival

by The Embassy of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, Beijing, China

The music, films, art and iconic photographs of The Bahamas were recently on display in Beijing, China, as Bahamians participated in the 2016 Latin American and Caribbean Cultural Exchange as part of the overall 16th Meet in Beijing Arts Festival which annually attracts hundreds of artists from around the world.

Bahamian artists performed at the highest level and were well-received at this Beijing world celebration of the arts.

The 16th Meet in Beijing Arts Festival opened at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) on April 25, 2016 with a Spring in China and Canada themed concert. Chinese Vice-Minister of Culture Ding Wei, and former Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Sheila Copps, attended the concert.

Ding addressed the audience before the concert saying, “Since its inauguration in 2000, Meet in Beijing has developed into a comprehensive international arts festival. After 15 successive sessions, it has presented diverse and fabulous cultures and arts through performances by more than 30,000 artists and 1,000 art troupes from 115 countries and regions to the Beijing audience.” […]

CLICK HERE for the full article in The Bahamas Weekly.




A D V E R T I S E M E N T :

The Place for Art presents:
Children’s Summer Art Programs 2016

The Place for Art at Doongalik on Village Road is once again offering its summer art programs for children, aged 8 and older. Class size limited to ONLY six (6) children so register early to ensure a space. $450 for three weeks of materials and instruction in art history, calligraphy and coral reef study. Fees do not include snacks or beverages. For more information, please call 393-8834.

CLICK HERE for Place for Art’s Facebook page.


A D V E R T I S E M E N T :

Bahamian Architecture
Summer Art Programme
for Teens

The Place for Art at Doongalik on Village Road is offering a Bahamian Architecture summer art programme for teenagers, aged 12 and older. Class size is limited to ONLY four (4) teens, so register early to ensure a space. For more information, please call 393-8834. There are two levels and the fee for each level is $475 for three weeks of materials and instruction. Fees do not include snacks or beverages.

CLICK HERE for Place for Art’s Facebook page.


art news & events
from the region
and around the world


My Neighbor Totoro Cat Bus (Image: Studio Ghibli)

Animator behind “Spirited Away” and “Akira” has passed away

by Matthew Kirby

Seasoned Studio Ghibli animator Makiko Futaki passed away on Friday (May 13) while being treated for an unspecified illness, reports suggest. She was 58 and had a private funeral.

For over three decades Futaki served as the animator for an incredible list of unforgettable animations – working alongside the iconic Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki. She brought to life the characters of Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Akira and My Neighbour Totoro to name just a few from her illustrious career.

Futaki started her professional career at Telecom Animation, although one of her first notable projects was Jarinko Chie (1981) with Takahata. She had caught the attention of Miyazaki after her work on Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984) and was involved in almost every one of his animations ever since. […]

CLICK HERE for the full article in Konbini.


Before and After

by Thelma Golden

Former curator at the Whitney Museum, Thelma Golden, expounds on the image of the Black Male

For any young curator, putting together one’s first group exhibition is a complicated task. But when I became a curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York in 1991, the weight felt even greater because I sat with a lot of history: specifically, the history of the critique of museums in the late 1960s and early ’70s for institutional attitudes and exhibition making that excluded—or only very narrowly included—the work of black artists.

At first, I thought a revision of that history could be an effective way to uncover and really begin to move on from it. At other moments, though, I thought it best to avoid confronting that history head-on, by solely making exhibitions of the work of individual artists. But I also knew that a lot of what had brought about change in the art and museum world were thematic exhibitions of artists of color and women artists. Lowery Stokes Sims often speaks of “curatorial archaeology”—the way certain shows allow you to say, “Here are the artists you missed.” That creates an opening, establishes a precedent, and offers a path to canon revision. You can see the before-and-after effect of certain significant exhibitions—for example, David Driskell’s seminal “Two Centuries of Black American Art,”mounted at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1976. […]

CLICK HERE for the full article in Artforum.


Harvard University presents rich workshops, exhibitions, conferences on diversity of African culture

The Hutchins Center for African & African American Research supports research on the history and culture of people of African descent the world over and provides a forum for collaboration and the ongoing exchange of ideas. It seeks to stimulate scholarly engagement in African and African American studies both at Harvard and beyond, and to increase public awareness and understanding of this vital field of study. As the preeminent research center in the field, the Hutchins Center sponsors visiting fellows, art exhibitions, publications, research projects, archives, readings, conferences, and new media initiatives that respond to and excite interest in established and emerging channels of inquiry in African and African American research.

Drapetomania: Grupo-Antillano and the Art of Afro-Cuba
DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 East 56th Place, Chicago, IL
Saturday, June 4, 2016 - 6:00pm

International Workshop Africa and Cuba:
Ethnobotanical Legacy of Slavery in the Atlantic World

Castillo de la Real Fuerza, Havana, Cuba
Wednesday, June 8, 2016, at 9:00am

Conference: “The Slave Trade to Cuba: New Research Perspectives”
Havana, Cuba
Thursday, June 9, 2016 (All day) to Saturday, June 11, 2016 (All day)

CLICK HERE for full details on all the activities at the Hutchins Center.

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The Ranks, Chicago, Illinois, 1997

Addressing the representation of
black culture in photography

by Lucia De Stefani

Aperture magazine dedicates its summer issue to black culture and black experience, through the work of black photographers.

In the documentation of U.S. history through photography, a fundamental component has long been overlooked by the art and media world: black photography by black photographers. For a long time, magazines, museums, galleries and art institutions have been unable or unwilling to acknowledge it or grasp its essence.

With few outlets and publishers, and little support or public attention, black photographers have had to achieve some visibility for themselves and their art, bringing the spirit of blackness to the public through paths that were often more complicated.

“Blackness in photography has been overlooked, but that has not deterred us,” says Jamel Shabazz, a legendary street photographer who has made an incomparable contribution to black culture. “Actually it has propelled many to take a proactive position and do for self, despite the many obstacles and roadblocks.” […]

CLICK HERE for the full article in Time Magazine.

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Congolese collector Sindika Dokolo with paintings by Mustafa Maluka.

Africa Ascending: Contemporary African artists find a collector base at home

by Angela M.H. Schuster

In its May 2016 issue, Art+Auction looked at the art market in Africa, where contemporary artists from the continent who have enjoyed largely European patronage in recent decades are now finding an emerging collector base at home. In the series of articles, which will be released on ARTINFO this week, the magazine profiled some of the figures who have played critical roles in furthering the cultural dialogue within Africa as well as bringing the continent’s artists into the international spotlight. Here is part one:

“It has been exhilarating to be part of something good for Angolan society—for the human conscience, for a future built on peace, and for the fostering of greater communication between cultures,” says Lisbon- and Luanda-based artist Francisco Vidal of the postwar emergence of the art scene in the southern African nation over the past decade. […]

CLICK HERE for the full article in Blouin Art info.

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Martin says her artwork is her own language, which she is learning to translate

Business models for a modern artist

by Sarah Lawson

British artist Shantell Martin creates only the work she wants to make—and has found a revenue model to make it work.

Shantell Martin—known for her sprawling black-and-white drawings on everything from walls to skin to Adidas sneakers—began her career as a visual artist like she begins her drawings: without a plan. But over the past two decades, she's carved out a revenue model to keep up with her vast portfolio.

Martin hosts SkillShare art courses, she's an adjunct professor at NYU, and a visiting scholar at the MIT Media Lab's Social Computing program, where she works with engineers, mathematicians, and artists on the future of cities. And that's not to mention her collaborations with brands like Martone Cycling Co. and Kelly Wearstler.

"The art world is not for everyone, because the art world limits who gets in and who doesn't get in. So when that's the case, you have to create your own models. You have to create your own ways of working," Martin tells Fast Company. […]

CLICK HERE for the full article in Fast Company.

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Many of the pigments are stored in their original containers. Photo: Peter Vanderwarker

How a decaying painting spurred America’s most comprehensive pigment collection

by Alyssa Buffenstein

Art conservation departments are more or less ubiquitous in museums today, but it wasn't always this way. The first dedicated conservation facility in the United States wasn’t founded until 1927, when Edward Forbes, then-director of Harvard University’s Fogg Museum, initiated the museum's department of research and restoration.

Forbes had a personal stake in art preservation. Attending to his own collection of Renaissance paintings (like this Madonna he bought in Italy), he traveled the world collecting rare pigments to improve identification and conservation efforts—and he created a chromatic archive in the process.

The Fogg’s department of research and restoration is now the Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, one of four research centers at the Harvard Art Museums. Helmed by director and senior conservation scientist Narayan Khandekar, the collection comprises over 3,600 items which are on display in the Straus Center’s analytical labs. Besides the meticulously-organized pigments, the center also houses binding media, historical scientific equipment, and raw material samples. […]

CLICK HERE for the full article in Artnet news.


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Smith & Benjamin’s Bahamian Art & Culture eMagazine

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