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Virtual exhibition and artist narration of LISA MYERS BULMASH’s solo exhibition “The Home Inside My Head” at Morton Fine Art

24 Nov

Virtual tour and artist narration of LISA MYERS BULMASH’s first east coast solo exhibition, “The Home Inside My Head” at Morton Fine Art in Washington, DC.

Video credit: Jarrett Hendrix

Contact the gallery for private viewing by appointment, price list and acquisition. (202) 628-2787 (text or call) info@mortonfineart.com http://www.mortonfineart.com

“For most of this year, we’ve had to make a home inside our heads — because a virus was blocking the way out to “normal” life. That was fine by me at first: home is my castle and retreat. But there’s no vacation from yourself, or the deepest fears for your children’s future. Even a rich interior life becomes over-stuffed with emotions, memories and uncomfortable truths. The works in “The Home Inside My Head” reflect this ambivalence. The “Bought and Paid For” series was born from the love and deep gratitude for my ancestors’ struggles to give me greater opportunities. But even during my sheltered childhood, I recognized not every house feels like home as I experienced it. Not every parent prepares their child for ugly realities like institutional racism. As a 21st century Black woman, I need to make work that explores my disillusionments as well as my hopes for America. Collages like “One Nation, Under Reconstruction” are my attempts to name these experiences as truthfully as I can. I center a Black and female viewpoint in my work, as examples of a specific story illuminating the general human condition. But there’s something else. We can’t continue to tell each other the same stories featuring the same old heroes. Those icons accomplished amazing things everywhere but at home. We need to imagine our next home before we can live in it: this is the place where we build new narratives.” – LISA MYERS BULMASH, 2020

VONN SUMNER in “Wayne Thiebaud Influencer: A New Generation” on view January – June 2021 at Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art

26 Oct

Wayne Thiebaud Influencer: A New Generation

The profound influence of Wayne Thiebaud on a new generation of artists is front and center in this celebration of the longtime UC Davis art professor’s centennial. Pairings explore how Thiebaud forecast the future of painting through his personal journey to find meaning and reinvention in the medium’s history in ways that are both current and timeless. Works by contemporary artists who have been inspired by Thiebaud as a fellow painter as well as those of former students reveal unexpected connections and sources of inspiration.

Curators: Rachel Teagle and Susie Kantor

An exhibition featuring
Andrea Bowers, Julie Bozzi (’74, MFA ’76), Christopher Brown (MFA ’76), Robert Colescott, Gene Cooper, Richard Crozier (MFA ’74), Fredric Hope, Alex Israel, Grace Munakata (’80, MFA ’85), Bruce Nauman (MA, ’66), Jason Stopa, Vonn Cummings Sumner (’98, MFA ’00), Ann Harrold Taylor (MFA ’85), Michael Tompkins (’81, MFA ’83), Clay Vorhes, Patricia Wall (’72), Jonas Wood and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

On view January 31–June 13, 2021

Available Artwork by VONN SUMNER

Morton Fine Art, 52 O St NW #302, Washington, DC 20001

(202) 628-2787 (text or call)

info@mortonfineart.com

mortonfineart.com

MERON ENGIDA’s solo exhibition “Solidarity” reviewed in Washington Post

17 Oct

Meron Engida

By Mark Jenkins Oct. 16, 2020 at 7:00 a.m. EDT

Color, pattern and family are what Ethiopia-bred D.C. painter Meron Engida remembers about her homeland. Or at least that’s what the neo-expressionist emphasizes in “Solidarity” at Morton Fine Art, her first U.S. solo show. Most of Engida’s canvases are crowded with women in domestic scenes, their faces rendered in simple black lines, except for the bright red oblongs that often represent lips. Children appear in many of the vignettes, and one of the few pictures that depicts just two people shows a mother and infant. It’s a self-portrait, but then that’s essentially what all these paintings are.AD

The circles, florals and zigzags that decorate their clothing also appear around and atop the figures, either painted or incised into the pigment, merging subject and embellishment. That unity suggests the influence of fabric design, as does the flatness of Engida’s style. Bright reds and blues punctuate the compositions, but the dominant tones are earthy. The tans and browns express a range of skin tones in ethnically diverse Ethiopia. In Engida’s stylized vision of that country, the landscape is primarily human.

Meron Engida: Solidarity Through Oct. 28 at Morton Fine Art, 52 O St. NW, No. 302. Open by appointment.

Available Artwork by MERON ENGIDA

Delicate, Declarative: Artist Maya Freelon’s Ephemeral Work in Walter

6 Oct
WALTER Magazine

Delicate, Declarative: Artist Maya Freelon’s Ephemeral Work

North Carolina visual artist Maya Freelon balances strength and fragility in her massive water-stained tissue paper installations.
by Liza Roberts | photography by Chris Charles

Maya Freelon’s tissue paper sculptures are abstract, a confluence of kaleidoscopic color and organic shape. They move with a breeze, the passing of a person, the opening of a door. They make powerful, lasting statements with impermanent, inexpensive materials. Most of all, they are inquisitive. What is art? they ask. What’s it made of? Who gets to make it? Who decides? 

The work is about “challenging norms—social norms, economic norms and art norms—by turning tissue paper into a fine work of art,” says Freelon. “It’s about the fragility of life, and transformation, and the ability to see beauty in a lot of different things.” 

Often made in collaboration with groups of people, her work celebrates “the communal aspect… the ancestral heritage, the connection to quilt-making in my family and the African-American tradition of making a way out of no way.” Metaphorically and literally, Freelon’s work is a manifestation of its maker: beautiful and forthright, vulnerable but unflinching; lithe, elegant and defiantly individual.

RETURN TO THE TRIANGLE

This month, Freelon’s massive water-stained tissue paper quilts, including pieces made by as many as 100 far-flung community collaborators, will hang from the walls and ceilings of Raleigh’s Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) as part of the Durham artist’s first solo museum exhibition in North Carolina. Also on view will be her tissue ink monoprints, images of streaking color and motion that capture the dripping ink of saturated tissue paper through a process Freelon patented. Some of these include archival family photos, some are on traditional rectangular canvases, some have been crafted in asymmetric shapes and coated in a thick epoxy glaze. Even if the museum can’t open for the public to view these works in person, the show will be installed and shared virtually, says CAM director Gab Smith. 

Freelon’s fans around the country and the globe will be glad to hear it. At Miami Art Week last year, she was named one of five young artists to watch. In 2018, she installed massive, wafting tissue paper stalactites at the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building in Washington, D.C. She’s lived and worked in Madagascar, Eswatini and Italy as part of the U.S. State Department’s Art in Embassies program. She’s collaborated with Google and Cadillac, and her work is in the collections of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the University of Maryland and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, among others. 

Back here in Raleigh, locals helped Freelon use torn tissue and glue sticks to make quilts to hang from the trees outside the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) to celebrate the museum’s expanded African art gallery in September of 2017. NCMA chief curator Linda Dougherty commissioned Freelon’s “quilting bee” installation after seeing a sculpture she’d created for one of the embassies. “Maya had done this beautiful, suspended piece, and I was amazed,” Dougherty says. “I love the ephemeral nature of her materials… they’re meant to be there for the moment, intentionally. It gives her a freedom to experiment. I love that open-endedness.”

INHERITANCE

Freelon’s talent and expressive ability were apparent early on, and she comes by both naturally as the daughter of two renowned artists and the great-granddaughter of another. Her mother, the jazz singer Nnenna Freelon, is a six-time Grammy Award nominee. Her father was revered architect Phil Freelon, the architect of record of the African-American History and Culture Museum on the Mall in Washington, D.C. His own grandfather was Allan Freelon, a noted Impressionist painter whose work was celebrated during the Harlem Renaissance. Her namesake and godmother was the poet Maya Angelou (“Auntie Maya”), a close friend of “Queen Mother” Frances Pierce, Freelon’s beloved grandmother. Angelou once described Freelon’s work, which she bought for her own collection, as “visualizing the truth about the vulnerability and power of the human being.” 

Freelon was a precocious teenage talent at Williston Northampton School in Massachusetts, where she transferred to finish high school after two years at the Durham School of the Arts. There, she mostly painted portraits, but “she was always a colorist, very good with color,” says Marcia Reed, her painting instructor at the school, who says that even then, she possessed an impressive “energy and driving force.” By 2006, she was a graduate student at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, living with her grandmother Pierce. 

It was there that she came upon a stack of multicolored tissue paper in the basement of the house. The paper had most likely been in the same spot for fifty years. Drips from a leaky pipe had mottled the stack over time, moving the color from piece to piece, turning the sheets into gossamer rainbows. Freelon was transfixed, and soon consumed with turning the water-stained tissue paper into art, and using water herself to mark and alter tissue paper, intent on “making something out of nothing.” That discovery, borne out of her connection to her family, became her signature medium. 

“Often, artists think they need to work with precious materials,” says Allan Edmunds, founder and director of the Brandywine Workshop and Archives in Philadelphia, where Freelon completed a residency years ago. Her use of tissue paper to make art both sets her apart and connects her to ingenious forebears, says Edmunds. “It’s in the tradition of working with what is available to you and being even more creative because you’ve created a challenge for yourself. I put her in league with El Anatsui.” Coincidentally, it is work by this Ghanaian artist—glittering, undulating woven fabric of found bottle caps—that’s a centerpiece of the NCMA’s permanent collection in the newly-renovated African art gallery that Freelon helped celebrate with her collaborative tissue quilts. 

Making something out of nothing is part of the inspiration for the title of Freelon’s exhibit at CAM: Greater Than or Equal To. Freelon also sees the title as an inquiry: “As an artist, as a Black person, as a female, I am constantly raising this question to myself,” she says. How is value—of a person, a life, a work of art—determined, and who determines it? “If we don’t value lives, if we don’t value making this world equal, then we end up having a situation where certain people’s lives mean more than others.” Her use of the symbol ≥ “is to remind folks that it’s a constant question…an opportunity for you to be aware of your judgement and where you’re placing your value.” 

She knows where her revered grandmother Pierce would have placed that value. “I think of a quote from my grandmother, which is that we come from a family of sharecroppers who never got their fair share,” she says. Grandmother Pierce’s grandchildren and “every Black person making the world a better place” were “our ancestors’ wildest dreams,” she also said. Freelon considers: “To have survived what it took to get here, and then slavery, and then segregation and racism—we’re living within it, and we’re still existing, and now we have a chance to thrive.” 

Personally, Freelon says she’s more than thriving. “I’ve never felt prouder, or better or more grateful that I took the leap, that all of my focus goes to making art and sharing it with the world… I feel like I’m just getting started.”

USING HER VOICE

As Freelon grows in her art, she’s aware of her growing platform, as well. In a video posted on social media on Juneteenth, she says: “My artwork is about using accessible materials to challenge racist paradigms that have been set forth and perpetuated by the white art world.” The video shows her setting fire to her art; an effort to seize attention in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and to make her message heard. “It’s about creating my own currency and value, and it’s about making space for and inspiring the next generation of Black artists.” In social media and in conversation, Freelon encourages her fellow Black artists to stand up for themselves, to challenge structures that don’t work for them and to know the value of their work. 

One day in late June, the day before her birthday and not long before the first anniversary of the death of her father, Freelon is reflective. She is at Vanhook Farm in Hillsborough, a bucolic place where she and her children spend a lot of time. The farm–Black-owned, Freelon points out—has long been in the family of her partner of two years, Jess Vanhook. The location is both a solace and a symbol for Freelon. “I’ve thought about our ancestors and how for them, possessing the land means that you are taking control of your own future,” she says. “You’re asking the earth to produce something for you that has value. I realized that I was doing that as an artist, cultivating something that’s made by my own hands, determining my own value and worth.” 

Even as Freelon watches over her nine-year-old son Aion, her three-year old daughter Nova, and Vanhook’s five-year-old nephew Prince, she’s focused on her art and what’s pressing on her mind. That includes supporting and mentoring younger Black artists, telling them the things she wished she’d known earlier on, both practical and philosophical: “Make sure you have an emergency fund. Make sure you apply to at least five grants a year. Be prepared to apply for art residencies that offer free studio space. Reach out to artists you admire, look at their CVs.” In a July Instagram post, she asked followers for the names of Black women artists she can pass on to museums and curators. She wants them to believe in themselves, wants them to “know that their power is their work.” 

Freelon says she had to learn all of that “on the fly.” If somebody had told her earlier, she says, “I could have made better choices, more informed choices. We need more community and connection between artists.” 

If Freelon sounds older than her 38 years, it could be because she experienced a lot early on. She has been married and wrenchingly divorced, and experienced tragedy with the death of a newborn baby, a three-day-old son named Wonderful. She connects her work directly with that experience. “There are just so many complexities to life, the fragility of it. And back to the artwork: it’s tissue paper. If it gets wet, it will break into a million pieces, but when it is dry, it has power and strength. When you unify those elements, it becomes a force to be reckoned with.” 

Art has taught her, despite the challenges she has faced, that everything she needs is within her. “Nobody can determine your future,” she says. As a younger woman, “I think I felt like I needed my parents, or I needed my husband, or I needed things or people to help push me to where I need to be, where in actuality, when everything was stripped away from me, and it was just me left, that’s all I had. That’s when I realized the drive and the energy and the purpose that’s inside.” 

And that’s what her art brings her. In her work, Freelon says, “I find peace. I find sanity. I find my purpose. I find—in working with my hands—I find community.

“I find love.”

JOIN WALTER FOR AN IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE CELEBRATING DIVERSITY, COMMUNITY AND ART. NORTH CAROLINA NATIVE AND NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED ARTIST MAYA FREELON WILL DISCUSS HER NEW EXHIBIT, GREATER THAN OR EQUAL TO, AND OFFER GUESTS A LOOK INTO HER CREATIVE PROCESS. CLICK HERE TO JOIN! 

ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY’s artwork in Virtual MPAartfest 2020 at McLean Project for the Arts

2 Oct

Don’t miss ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY’s artwork in Virtual MPAartfest 2020, a two week online juried fine art and craftshow/sale featuring the work of local and regional visual artists.
This online event features contemporary art, special musical
performances from some of the DC-area’s best musical talents*, a
virtual version of the much-loved New Dominion Women’s Club
Children’s Art Walk, the participation of many McLean Community
organizations, and daily artist studio talks with our participating
artists.
WHEN: Sunday, October 4 through Sunday, October 18, 2020
WHERE: www.MPAartfest.org
HOW: Admission is FREE for online events.

For more information visit www.mpaart.org/

Ethiopian artist MERON ENGIDA’s debut U.S. solo exhibition “Solidarity” at Morton Fine Art in DC

30 Sep

 

 

Virtual tour and artist talk of MERON ENGIDA’s debut U.S. solo exhibition, Solidarity.
Launching on Morton Fine Art’s YouTube channel.  Contact the gallery for private viewing appointments, price list and acquisition.
MERON ENGIDA's debut U.S. solo exhibition "Solidarity" with artist talk at Morton Fine Art, DC
MERON ENGIDA’s solo exhibition Solidarity and artist talk at Morton Fine Art, Washington, DC.
Video credit: Jarrett Hendriix
Solidarity
A solo exhibition of paintings by MERON ENGIDA
September 22nd – October 28th, 2020
VIRTUAL TOUR and ARTIST TALK
On Morton Fine Art’s YouTube Channel TODAY
Contact the gallery for private viewing appointment, price list, additional information and acquisition.
(202) 628-2787 (call or text)
MERON ENGIDA, Solidarity 3, 2020, 33″x35.5″, acrylic on canvas
About Solidarity
My art has been my language to express myself and my voice. My work explores personal experiences and my Ethiopian cultural heritage. Oftentimes my subject matter reflects my life as a mother in a multiracial family. My figures are diverse and often huddled together, with wide eyes. Children and lambs are the visual vocabulary I use to express innocence and forgiveness. I intend to create dialogue about diversity and women – for example, a face with open mouth represents women freely exploring and expressing themselves. Women also hold in more pain than they let out and hold each other demonstrating resilience. My most recent series addresses challenges of race and identity. One painting depicts figures from all of the Ethiopian tribes together, celebrating each other’s uniqueness. My inner feelings and values call for the love, embrace and celebration of humanity, transcending past and present, despite our differences. – MERON ENGIDA, 2020
MERON ENGIDA, See the Love, 2020 36″x36″, acrylic on canvas
MERON ENGIDA, Solidarity 11, 2020, 36″x36″, acrylic on canvas
About MERON ENGIDA
Born in Ethiopia, MERON ENGIDA received her degree from Addis Ababa University School of Fine Arts and Design in 2007.
She has exhibited her paintings extensively in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia including at the National Art Gallery. Solidarity marks her inaugural U.S. solo exhibition at Morton Fine Art in Washington, DC. She notes, “When I start a painting, there are no rules. Sometimes I work from pictures but most of the time I create from imagination. Sometimes I start with a drawing and other times with acrylic paint on canvas which I layer with tones, symbols, and a motif. The figures emerge with expressive features, emotions, and texture. I work on the paintings with trusting mark-making, not knowing where I’m going. My creative process continues until I am surprised and content and then I revisit later to see if it is indeed finished.”
She is represented by Morton Fine Art in Washington, DC.
MERON ENGIDA, Solidarity 5, 2020, 30.5″x76.5″, acrylic on canvas
MERON ENGIDA, Solidarity 9, 2020, 33.5″x32″, acrylic on canvas
About Morton Fine Art
Founded in 2010 in Washington, DC by curator Amy Morton, Morton Fine Art (MFA) is a fine art gallery and curatorial group that collaborates with art collectors and visual artists to inspire fresh ways of acquiring contemporary art. Firmly committed to the belief that art collecting can be cultivated through an educational stance, MFA’s mission is to provide accessibility to museum-quality contemporary art through a combination of substantive exhibitions and a welcoming platform for dialogue and exchange of original voice. Morton Fine Art specializes in a stellar roster of nationally and internationally renowned artists as well as has an additional focus on artwork of the African Diaspora.
Morton Fine Art
52 O St NW #302
Washington, DC 20001
COVID-19 protocol: By appointment. Mask required. Contact the gallery for supplementary artwork documentation such as detail images and short videos. Safe, no contact door to door delivery available. Shipping nationally and internationally.

Virtual tour with artist narration of ANDREI PETROV’s solo exhibition “Sanctuaries”

10 Aug

 

Sanctuaries
A solo exhibition of paintings by ANDREI PETROV
August 1st – August 29th, 2020
VIRTUAL TOUR with ARTIST NARRATION
On Morton Fine Art’s YouTube Channel TODAY
Video Credit: Jarrett Hendrix
Contact the gallery for price list, additional information and acquisition.
(202) 628-2787 (call or text)

ANDREI PETROV, Moonlit Poem, 2020, 10″x20″, acrylic & watercolor on canvas

About Sanctuaries
Internationally recognized for his incredible nature based abstract paintings in oil, Andrei explores expansive and airy seascapes, a wonderful breath of fresh air during these times of confinement. The scale of these beautiful paintings reflects the adjustment from his large Brooklyn studio (where he oftentimes creates large works on canvas) to more intimate works created from his home studio in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Each piece has distinct brushwork, depth and layering, and palette which is distinctly and unmistakably from Andrei’s hand.

ANDREI PETROV, For Years to Come, 2017, 30″x48″, oil on canvas

ANDREI PETROV, Splashdown, 2020, 14″x19″, acrylic & watercolor on canvas

 

ANDREI PETROV’s Obscured Source and Secure Location installed

About ANDREI PETROV

Based in New York City ANDREI PETROV explores memory in his organic abstract paintings. His paintings probe the distortion, incompleteness and rare moments of clarity in the shadows of memory. Each piece portrays the intrinsic struggle and selective inclusion or exclusion of details in the process of recollection. At times, sharpness occurs in the rear of the picture plane while the out of focus, obscured areas, exist in a larger scale toward the foreground and make reference to the inscrutable nature of long and short term memory.
PETROV’s paintings have been exhibited nationally and internationally in prestigious collections and can be viewed at The Four Seasons Hotel in both Washington, DC and Punta Mita, Mexico, The Fairmont Hotel in Chicago and The Conrad Hotel, Miami. His paintings have also had cameos in the following films, The Royal Tenenbaums, Autumn in New York, Kate and Leopold, The Business of Strangers and Words and Lyrics. He is the featured visual artist 2016 for Music@Menlo.

Sanctuaries marks ANDREI PETROV’s seventh solo exhibition at Morton Fine Art.

 

About Morton Fine Art

Founded in 2010 in Washington, DC by curator Amy Morton, Morton Fine Art (MFA) is a fine art gallery and curatorial group that collaborates with art collectors and visual artists to inspire fresh ways of acquiring contemporary art. Firmly committed to the belief that art collecting can be cultivated through an educational stance, MFA’s mission is to provide accessibility to museum-quality contemporary art through a combination of substantive exhibitions and a welcoming platform for dialogue and exchange of original voice. Morton Fine Art specializes in a stellar roster of nationally and internationally renowned artists as well as has an additional focus on artwork of the African Diaspora.

Morton Fine Art
52 O St NW #302
Washington, DC 20001

COVID-19 protocol: Contact the gallery for supplementary artwork documentation such as detail images and short videos. Safe, no contact door to door delivery available. Shipping nationally and internationally. By appointment only. Mask required.

 

NATHANIEL DONNETT’s “Acknowledgement: The Historic Polyrhythm of Being(s)” installation at Contemporary Art Museum Houston

24 Jul

ART & EXHIBITS
A Houston artist sends a coded message with his new work for CAMH
Nathaniel Donnett has filled the construction walls around the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston with backpacks that contain photographs, found objects and lights that blink in Morse code.

Molly Glentzer July 23, 2020

Updated: July 24, 2020, 11:19 am

A detail of Nathaniel Donnett’s “Acknowledgement: The Historic Polyrhythm of Being(s),” a public artwork made with LED lights, photographs and the used backpacks of youth in Third, Fourth and Fifth Wards, installed along 120 feet of construction fencing around the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston  Photo: Andrew Buckler / Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

People passing by Contemporary Arts Museum Houston have an eyeful right now with Nathaniel Donnett’s engaging and challenging new public art installation.

“Acknowledgement: The Historic Polyrhythm of Being(s)” occupies 120 feet of construction fence around the building, which is being renovated.

During the day, a long, unbroken line of block letters may spin heads first. They’re a tight mashup of imagined words and phrases common to residents of the city’s Third, Fourth and Fifth Ward neighborhoods. You might have to study it a while to break them apart, but the string becomes a kind of stream-of-consciousness chant: “PSYCHOSLABACKNOWLEDGMAYNEHOLUPBLACKSPATIALISTIC.”

Dozens backpacks hung on the fence bookend the sign, glowing and blinking mysteriously at night. The lights convey a message too — in Morse code.

Donnett’s commission both dresses up the construction site and launches Beyond CAMH, a museum initiative to create community-based work that positions artists as change-makers in society. He gathered some of his materials by collaborating with youth from Jack Yates High School, Kashmere Gardens Elementary, the Re-Education Project, SHAPE Community Center and Change Happens! Through those schools and organizations, dozens of students from Third, Fourth and Fifth Wards traded in their old backpacks for new ones.

The exchanges took place outside the museum during some of this summer’s hottest days, when the temperature was at 100 degrees or more. Donnett, his team and the participants wore masks, and he sanitized all the backpacks as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19.

He filled the old backpacks with LED lights. Some also hold photographs taken by the artist and objects collected from the neighborhoods that reference Congolese Nkisi power figures and ideas about being simultaneously present and absent. Through Morse code, the LEDs pulse out culturally significant lyrics and text: The phrase “Love Supreme” from John Coltrane’s composition “Acknowledgement,” an excerpt from James Baldwin’s essay “The Uses of the Blues” and a verse from Solange’s song “Mad.”

All that may be useful information, but a viewer doesn’t have to decipher any of it to be pulled in. It’s kind of a shame there isn’t a bench across the street where people could just sit and contemplate it for a while. Although the constant, frenetic movement around the fence — cars, walkers and bikers coming and going wherever they are going — seems fitting.

‘Movement and displacement’
“Acknowledgement” is partly informed by the writer and philosopher Fred Moten’s ideas about “fugitive blackness.” African Americans have had to navigate their environment for centuries, since they first arrived in the U.S. as slaves, Donnett explains. “There’s always movement and displacement.”

The families of Third, Fourth and Fifth Wards have experienced gentrification, cultural erasure, income disparities and unjust state and municipal policies. Yet this is no victim’s wall. Donnett’s work expresses power in many forms — the power of direct action, social exchange, language, and the strength and resources of Houston’s Black community.

“It is about memory and history but also about collective exchange, and the use of a type of familiar language and transformation,” he says. “And lastly, everyday aesthetics and Black social life.” The word ‘Being(s)’ in the installation’s title is important, he adds, because “now is a time where people limit Blackness to one thing or another and not the multiple of a being.”

On HoustonChronicle.com: ‘Soul of a Nation’ at MFAH

Donnett is no stranger to works this complex. His 2008 installation at Project Row Houses incorporated a book exchange for Ryan Middle School, and he organized a 2015 project in Milwaukee that involved people of all ages. “Acknowledgement” is the first to reach across three neighborhoods, although he knows them well. Donnett grew up in Third Ward and has always had relatives in Fourth and Fifth Wards.

“Acknowledgement” is a piece of a larger pie, rolled into other work he is producing through a 2020 Dean’s Critical Practice Research Grant from Yale University, where he is a 2021 MFA candidate, and a 2020 Art and Social Justice Initiative Grant.

The Beyond CAMH initiative has another dimension, too.

A ‘vocal portrait’
Unrelated to Donnett’s piece, the museum has opened up a phone line to help create a Houston edition of Texas-born artist their native languages. Anyone can participate by calling 281-248-8730 or visiting camh.org/beyond. A separate time-lapse video to document the work’s evolution will feature people who participated during the project’s first 100 days (through Nov. 2).

Ekene Ijeoma’s national project “A Counting.” That one aims to gather a “vocal portrait” of the city and address the under-counting of marginalized communities in the U.S. census.

Ijeoma, who founded the group Poetic Justice at Boston’s MIT Media Lab, is gathering the voices of Houstonians as they count to 100 in “A Counting” is “a meditation on what a truly united country would sound like,” Ijeoma says. “Houston has reached majority-minority status ahead of the curve across the country.”

CAMH director Hesse McGraw hopes Beyond CAMH will help the museum reach new audiences, embrace “unexpected contexts” and directly impact civic life. While the museum’s doors remain closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, “we’ve had time to think,” he says.

“To be quarantined and disconnected from daily, in-person contact with artists and audience is disorienting for a museum that exists solely for that purpose. Yet … we’re working to reimagine the ethic and practice of a more porous museum — one that spills onto the street, engages in long-term collaborations with artists, meets audiences where they are and serves our communities’ most urgent needs.”

molly.glentzer@chron.com

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AMBER ROBLES-GORDON exhibiting at Sagrado University in Puerto Rico

13 Jul

Galería de Arte de la Universidad del Sagrado Corazón

LUGAR DE ALIENTO Y NACIMIENTO

Proyecto por nuestra Artista Visitante Amber Robles Gordon

En Sagrado, el bienestar de nuestra comunidad es lo primero. Continuamos monitoreando el desarrollo de eventos relacionados con la propagación mundial del coronavirus (COVID-19). Como medida de precaución, Sagrado está implementando la práctica del distanciamiento social. Por lo tanto, la Galería de Arte permanecerá cerrada hasta nuevo aviso.

A través de los años, hemos creado una comunidad que se une para apreciar diferentes experiencias estéticas. Queremos continuar esto sin poner en riesgo a nuestros visitantes. Por lo tanto, estamos poniendo a disposición esta experiencia en línea. Entre las nuevas ofertas compartimos el trabajo de Amber Robles Gordon, quien fue nuestra artista visitante durante el semestre de otoño y, a partir de esa experiencia, ha creado nuevas obras bajo el título “Un lugar de aliento y nacimiento”.

amber-robles

Amber Robles-Gordon, es una artista visual de medios mixtos. Conocida por recontextualizar materiales no tradicionales, sus ensamblajes, grandes esculturas, instalaciones y obras de arte públicas, para enfatizar la esencialidad de la espiritualidad y la temporalidad dentro de la vida.

Impulsada por la necesidad de construir su propio camino distintivo, innovar y desafiar las normas sociales, su obra de arte es poco convencional y no formulada. Sus creaciones son representativas de sus experiencias personales y las paradojas dentro del desequilibrio de las energías masculinas y femeninas con nuestra sociedad. En última instancia, la intención es examinar los paralelos entre cómo la humanidad percibe sus mayores recursos, hombres y mujeres versus cómo tratamos nuestras posesiones y medio ambiente.

“Tuve la suerte de ser la artista visitante de la Galería de Arte de la Universidad Sagrado Corazón, durante este año académico. Esta oportunidad me permitiría conocer el lugar donde por primera vez respiré. Luego de mis dos visitas a Puerto Rico a finales del 2019, decidí a comienzos del 2020 alquilar un apartamento en Puerto Nuevo para comenzar a producir la serie “A Place of Breath and Birth”, pautada para presentarse al final del año académico (abril de 2020) en la Galería. Debido a los terremotos persistentes, y el riesgo que representan para la comunidad Sagrado, mi exhibición se vio pospuesta, más tarde con el inicio de la pandemia COVID-19, todo a nivel mundial se alteró y tuve que regresar a Washington D.C. Las nuevas obras producidas bajo el título Un lugar de aliento y nacimiento se trasladaron a mi plataforma en línea y formarán parte de mi exhibición individual titulada Secession, a presentarse en el Katzen Art Center de la American University. (webpage https://www.amberroblesgordon.com/place-of-breath-and-birth-exhibition-puerto-rico).

Esta sería mi primera oportunidad de exhibir en el Caribe y profundizar mi relación con mi lugar de nacimiento, Puerto Rico, (la Isla del Encanto).

Por eso había titulado la exposición, Lugar de aliento y nacimiento. Comparto con ustedes unas palabras de mi declaración de artista, la que dio origen a esta serie que todavía está ardiendo y guiando mi descubrimiento por mis orígenes todos los días.

La intención de la propuesta para una exposición individual en P.R. fue empoderar a mi yo de cinco años. Para darle la fuerza para luchar por ella misma y su lenguaje. Nací en San Juan, Puerto Rico y crecí en Arlington, Virginia. Mi primer idioma era el español, pero a los cinco años llegué un día de la escuela y le dije a mi madre: “ya no hablaré en español”. A partir de entonces, sólo respondí a mi madre que habla español e inglés en inglés. Más tarde, llegué a comprender que entregué mi lengua española, una parte crítica de mi identidad cultural, para poder “adaptarme”; a una versión de mí misma que posiblemente podría coincidir con “el molde prescrito”; que otros tenían para una niña de piel morena como yo. En ese momento, mi familia y yo vivíamos en una zona de los EE. UU. donde había pocas personas que se parecían a mí y hablaran español. Aunque con el tiempo, los insultos cesaron, las micro-agresiones, preguntas insensibles, suposiciones y juicios persistieron. A lo largo de esta vida, una y otra vez, he tenido que elegir identificarme con mi color marrón / negrura sobre los otros lazos culturales que unen a otras personas de habla hispana con su cultura. Aunque, mi narrativa personal es el foco principal de estas obras de arte, continuaré contextualizando la misma dentro de los hilos políticos, socioeconómicos y ambientales que definen y a menudo se utilizan para controlar, alienar o maltratar a los puertorriqueños en general y a los afro- puertorriqueños en particular. Además, mi obra de arte trata sobre las intersecciones de la feminidad, el patriarcado, el hibridismo y el americanismo. En última instancia, espero que esta narrativa y esta obra de arte den voz a otros que caminan en tonos marrones, que respiran dentro de una forma femenina y que no se ajustan a las normas … pero son audaces y orgullosos.
Isla de Encanta

Isla Del Encanta 18 x 24 2020

Haz un click sobre las imágenes para ver una versión más grande.

Elemental_ tierra aire agua fuego

Elemental: Tierra, Aire, Agua y Fuego 18 x 24 2020

Más tarde, llegué a comprender que entregué mi lengua española, una parte crítica de mi identidad cultural, para poder “adaptarme” a una versión de mí mismo que posiblemente podría coincidir con la caja prescrita que otros tenían para una niña de piel morena como yo.

En ese momento, vivíamos en el continente de los EE. UU., Y vivíamos en un área donde había pocas personas que se parecían a mí y hablaban español. Aunque con el tiempo, los insultos cesaron; Las micro-agresiones, preguntas insensibles, suposiciones y juicios persistieron. A lo largo de esta vida, una y otra vez, he tenido que elegir identificarme con mi color marrón / negrura sobre los otros lazos culturales que unen a otras personas de habla hispana con su cultura.

Tendederos Communidad Energia Eterna

Tendedero Comunidad y Energía Eterna 18 x 24 2020

Aunque, mi narrativa personal será el foco principal de estas obras de arte; Continuaré contextualizando la obra de arte dentro de los hilos políticos, socioeconómicos y ambientales que definen y a menudo se utilizan para controlar, alienar o maltratar a los puertorriqueños en general y a los afro-puertorriqueños en particular. Además, mi obra de arte trata sobre las intersecciones de la feminidad, el patriarcado, el hibridismo y el americanismo. En última instancia, espero que esta narrativa y esta obra de arte den voz a otros que caminan en tonos marrones, que respiran dentro de una forma femenina y que no se ajustan a las normas … pero son audaces y orgullosos.

Botanica del Amor Autorreflexion y Espiritualidad

Botánica del Amor, Autoreflexión y Espiritualidad 18 x 24 2020

Michael Booker’s 360 interactive virtual tour and artist talk for his solo “Godspeed”

1 Jun

360 interactive virtual tour with artist talk for MICHAEL BOOKER’s long awaited solo exhibition, Godspeed. Launching on Morton Fine Art’s YouTube channel. Navigate around the video with your touchscreen, touch pad or mouse. Contact the gallery for price list and acquisition.

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MICHAEL BOOKER’s solo exhibition Godspeed and 8 minute artist talk at Morton Fine Art, Washington, DC. Navigate around the video with your touchscreen, touch pad or mouse.
Video credit: Jarrett Hendrix
Godspeed 
A solo exhibition of artwork by MICHAEL BOOKER
June 1st – June 24th, 2020
360 INTERACTIVE VIRTUAL TOUR
On Morton Fine Art’s YouTube Channel TODAY
Artist Talk included
Contact the gallery for price list, additional information and acquisition.
(202) 628-2787 (call or text)
mortonfineart@gmail.com (email)

Fruit of My Fruits, 2020, 40″x30″, fine liner pen, watercolor and collage on paper

About Godspeed
Influenced by quilts used during the Underground Railroad to send hidden messages to the traveling slaves, the drawings in Godspeed document a journey of escapism for travelers in search of a better life, for themselves and for generations to come. Quilts are used as sign markers, shields, portals, and gateways to help secure safe passage towards an “Afrotopia.” Hip Hop music, African wax fabrics, and the quilts of Gee’s Bend give form and guidance to the figures and patterns, encompassing African American history, culture, and mysticism.
– MICHAEL A. BOOKER, 2020

 

30 second video of MICHAEL BOOKER’s fine liner pen and watercolor artworks featured in his solo exhibition Godspeed

 

Installation image of Fruit of My Fruits and In Due Time

Photo credit: Jarrett Hendrix

About MICHAEL BOOKER

Michael Booker is a mixed media artist originally from Jackson, Mississippi who currently resides in Maryland. He received his BFA in Studio Art – Painting from Mississippi State University in 2008, and received his MFA in Studio Art from University of Maryland in 2012. He has exhibited in various galleries across Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, Maine, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC. His work has been acquired by the David C. Driskell Center in College Park, MD. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of Art at Montgomery College Takoma Park/Silver Spring. Booker is represented by Morton Fine Art in Washington, DC.

Sunkissed Child, 2020, 14.25″x10.5″, fine liner pen, watercolor and marker on paper

 

About Morton Fine Art

Founded in 2010 in Washington, DC by curator Amy Morton, Morton Fine Art (MFA) is a fine art gallery and curatorial group that collaborates with art collectors and visual artists to inspire fresh ways of acquiring contemporary art. Firmly committed to the belief that art collecting can be cultivated through an educational stance, MFA’s mission is to provide accessibility to museum-quality contemporary art through a combination of substantive exhibitions and a welcoming platform for dialogue and exchange of original voice. Morton Fine Art specializes in a stellar roster of nationally and internationally renowned artists as well as has an additional focus on artwork of the African Diaspora.

Morton Fine Art
52 O St NW #302
Washington, DC 20001

COVID-19 protocol: Contact the gallery for supplementary artwork documentation such as detail images and short videos. Safe, no contact door to door delivery available. Shipping nationally and internationally. Upcoming: by appointment only. Mask required.