Hyperallergic, Prizm and Morton Fine Art’s Osi Audu and Amber Robles-Gordon

11 Dec

ART

In Miami, a Fair for Artists from Africa and the African Diaspora Shines Again

The Prizm Art Fair, which consistently shows great work, has finally been given the room to breathe.

Charo Oquet, "Like an arrow, like a tree, like a mountain" (2018), mixed media-installation (image courtesy the artist)
Charo Oquet, “Like an arrow, like a tree, like a mountain” (2018), mixed media-installation (image courtesy the artist)

MIAMI — Construction of the Alfred I. duPont Building was completed in 1939, when its primary tenant was the Florida National Bank. I have been there three times in the last two years — once to see Trina perform on an old vault for a Borscht Film Festival party, then for an anticlimactic ghost tour, and last night, for Prizm Art Fair. The space is sweeping and beautiful and very appropriate for Prizm — a fair that consistently shows great work in spaces that never did it justice. It always shone through, but here, in this building, with all its breadth and light, the feeling was a sigh of relief. Work like this needs space. Room to breathe.

Left: Patrick Quarm, “Dada,” oil paint, African print, 33 x 34 1/4 inches; Right: “Mama ba,” oil paint, African print fabric on canvas, 42 x 32 1/2 inches (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

Now in its sixth edition, Prizm features talks, performances, and 63 artists across several participating galleries and three specifically curated sections. Dr. Jeffreen M. Hayes’s section, The Diaspora Currency: Black Women, focuses on work by or featuring black women, a means of centering their voices as valuable, actual currency. That’s a real through-line in the fair: reparations, or that which is reparative. Curative. Transforming the forces of capitalism and white supremacy into systems and imaginaries that empower those forced to live under it. “Renegotiation,” says Mikhaile Solomon, Prizm’s founder.

Jamele Wright, “In Transit Number 9” (2018), on display at September Gray (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

Solomon has curated her own section, The Dark Horse, which refers to the archetype of the same name — the unforeseen visitor, or here, powerful retaliation. She’s included work like Dáreece J. Walker’s charcoal drawings of die-ins, entitled “The Die-Ins: Can I live” (2018), and a video of Dread Scott’s 2010 performance, “Money to Burn,” in which he burned $250 on Wall Street and invited traders to do the same. Nearby, in the gallery section, Tahir Carl Karmali’s draped raffia robes shine with inlaid cobalt — your phone battery is probably made with it, and a child might’ve mined it. There’s a cost to these hard truths, and one for learning them: willful suspension of disbelief. But knowledge can be reclamation, too.

Christa Davis, "When the Smoke Clears" (2018) (image courtesy the artist and TILA Studios Gallery)
Christa David, “When the Smoke Clears” (2018) (image courtesy the artist and TILA Studios Gallery)

The work at Prizm also channels the spirit of embodiment — the literal, manifested act of being fully inside one’s body. Presence, people call it. Reimagining the self is some form of transformation as well; it’s everywhere at Prizm: Osi Audu’s graphite self-portraits that look like voids, their sheen a suggestion of what’s inside. Amber Robles-Gordon’s works that look like mandalas, decorated with her belongings — cowrie shells, jewels — and entrail-like snakes. Adriana Farmiga’s watercolor acrylic nails, painted rainbow-pastel. Jamele Wright’s big, gorgeous tapestries of fabric, repeated patterns — a reference to the mingling of identities, recycling, even in hip-hop — and red dirt from the earth.

Osi Audu, “Self Portrait after Dogon Bird Mask II” (2018), graphite and pastel on paper mounted on canvas, 15 x 22 inches (image courtesy the artist and Morton Fine Art)
Amber Robles-Gordon, “South and of the Fire” (2016), mixed media on canvas, 34 x 35 inches (image courtesy the artist and Morton Fine Art)

The artist William Cordova curated the third section: Transceivers: channels, outlets and forces. It’s the first you see, and the one I went to last. Experiencing Prizm in a circle — in a cycle — feels right, because the works speak to each other, and the conversation is continuous. Ritual is prominent in Cordova’s section, specifically the ritual of transmitting history, maybe rewriting it. Khaulah Naima Nuruddin’s graphite drawings of Eatonville homes, intimate and distant from the very paper they’re portrayed on, reference the formerly all-black town in Orlando.

Purvis Young at William Cordova’s Transceivers: channels, outlets and forces, installation view (image by Victoria Ravelo)

Prizm’s video works were my favorite of all. Ezra Wube’s animated video, “Hidirtina/ Sisters” (2018), in Solomon’s section, is part of a story collection Wube started in 2004, when he sent out an open call for folklore to a Habesha diaspora community in New York City. His animation is based on a volunteer’s short story, which centers on a group of seven immortal sisters, one  of who falls in love with a hunter. Against the sisters’ warning, he murders a deer, whose sudden listlessness is rendered slowly; his beloved instructs him to climb a tree to protect himself from subsequent cosmic retaliation. Onajide Shabaka’s one-minute “Henry Meade Leighton 1881” (2018), located in Cordova’s section, tells the story of a man’s body, discovered in a river, covered in the muck of swamps. Though his pockets were “officially said to be empty,” says the narrator, “a woven knot of long, black hair was found … inside one pocket of his overalls. Some said, a naked woman of light complexion with long black hair, had been seen swimming in the area. But every search for her ended with no evidence of the woman being found.”

Tahir Carl Karmali, “STRATA I,” raffia, cobalt, oxide, copper and aluminum, 69 x 52 inches (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

The body of the earth is, I think, another thread in Prizm — its ills and treasures, its destruction, the way its losses mirror human loss, the way it grows, enchants, and flourishes anyway.

Prizm Art Fair continues at the Alfred I. DuPont Building (169 East Flagler Street, Miami) through December 9.

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Preview of Morton Fine Art’s Booth at Prizm Art Fair in Miami

29 Nov

 

 

Sneak Preview of Morton Fine Art’s Booth at Prizm Art Fair in Miami
Contact the gallery for complimentary passes.
Morton Fine Art will be closed 12/5-12/8 during our time in Miami, however we are available by phone (202) 628-2787 or mortonfineart@gmail.com if you need to reach us!
OSI AUDU
THE TANGIBLE AND INTANGIBLE
I explore the light sheen of graphite, the matte, light absorbing quality of black pastel, the white of paper and canvas, as well as the visually affecting interactions of colors to investigate form and its evocative potential to suggest or hint at something about the shape of the head. I am interested in the dualism of form and void, and the ontological relation between the tangible and intangible, something and nothing, light and dark, body and mind, the dual nature of being – the self in portraits.
The construction of a sense of self is a very complex process, perhaps even more so in our increasingly global age, in which the boundaries between race, nationality, gender and sexuality are getting more and more blurred. I am interested in issues of self identity, and in concepts of the self rooted in my cultural experiences growing up in Nigeria, as well as global metaphysical, scientific, and social concepts of the self. There is a Yoruba thought that consciousness, referred to as the “head”, has both a physical dimension called the “outer head” and a non-physical one: “the inner head”. It is the visual implications of concepts like this that I find intriguing. The title, Self-Portrait, in my work, is more about the portrait of the intangible self, rather than a literal portrait of the artist. – OSI AUDU
COLLECTIONS
Smithsonian Museum of African Art
The Newark Museum
The British Museum
Horniman Museum
Wellcome Trust Gallery
OSI AUDU, Self-Portrait after Dogon Bird Mask II, 2018, 15″x22″, graphite and pastel on paper mounted on canvas
OSI AUDU, Self Portrait after Igbo Mask, 2018, 11″x15″, acrylic on canvas
KESHA BRUCE
KESHA BRUCE, The Sky Opened for Her, 2016, 60″x48″, mixed media on canvas
KESHA BRUCE, Fight Fire with Fire, 2017, 40″x30″, mixed media on canvas
Artwork is spiritwork.
When I pray, I ask my ancestors for the bravery to follow and make manifest the deepest truths and longings of my heart. Every artwork I create is an answered prayer.
In this current political and social moment my prayers are especially urgent: Where can Black women feel safe? Where can we feel free? How do we protect our spirits from those who mean to destroy us?
As an artist, these questions always lead me back to my work.  In my experience, the most powerful weapon for spiritual warfare is joy. I’m not being hyperbolic when I tell you that the process of making artwork has saved my life many, many times. Art is a refuge for the spirit. It offers us a way to understand and heal ourselves. I am of the mind that something absolutely prophetic can be revealed in both the act of making and the act of looking at art.
Art objects embody spiritual power.
I believe this so firmly now, that it seems almost surreal to think back to a time, not so long ago, when I was afraid to speak about my work in spiritual terms for fear of being called less serious or less intellectually rigorous. It’s clear to me now that often our fears show us the parts of ourselves that are desperately waiting to be revealed. To be set free.
So, I present this new work with the firm knowledge that what I am creating is an important and worthy contribution to the current cultural dialogue. More importantly, I consider my work a part of a strategy for resistance. Even as we steel ourselves for battle ahead, we must remember to leave room for joy.
Joy is sacred and so it is worth fighting for.
Remember to fight.
-KESHA BRUCE
SELECTED COLLECTIONS
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (14 pieces), Washington, DC
The Amistad Center for Art and Culture, Hartford, CT
The Museum of Modern Art, Franklin Furnace Artist Book Collection, New York, NY
The University of Iowa Women’s Center, Iowa City, IA
The En Foco Photography Collection, New York, NY
The Museum of Modern Art/Franklin Furnace Artist Book Collection, New York, NY
NATHANIEL DONNETT
African textiles, Gee’s Bend Quilts, and the everyday aesthetic within
the historic African American neighborhoods of Houston, Texas inspire “Boom”. This
work acts as a reminder to the extrinsic value of these neighborhoods through the
lens of its spatial geography and relationship to gentrification, along with objects
and form in terms of cultural iconography, and the everyday aesthetic. Drum
notations and Houston’s hip-hop car culture formulate the abstract patterns. These
patterns act as a response to the marginalization of Black American identity, the black spatial imaginary, and contemporary art. During the times of American slavery, it was said that southern quilts communicated warnings to the slaves.
Although this was found to be a myth, this contemporary makeshift quilt does
communicate moments of neighborhood erasure and the silencing of its cultural
contributions. It also simultaneously celebrates the neighborhood’s cultural socio-
consciousness and overall complexity.
-NATHANIEL DONNETT
MUSEUM EXHIBITIONS
The Ulrich Museum, Wichita, KS
The McColl Center, Charlotte, NC
The American Museum, Washington, DC
The Kemper Contemporary Arts Museum, Kansas City, MO
The Theresa Hotel, Harlem, NY
Harvey B Gantt Art Center for African American Arts and Culture, Charlotte, NC
The Community Artist’s Collective
The Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury CT
The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX
Project Row Houses, Houston, TX
The University Museum, Houston, TX
The New Museum, New York, NY
NATHANIEL DONNETT, Boom, 2018, 40″x46″, duct tape, plastic and photographs on paper
VICTOR EKPUK
VICTOR EKPUK, Head 4, 2015, 45″x48″, acyrlic on panel
VICTOR EKPUK, Mask Series 1, 2018, 24″x18″, acrylic on canvas
Victor Ekpuk is a Nigerian-American artist based in Washington, DC.
His art, which began as an exploration of nsibidi “traditional” graphics and writing systems in Nigeria, has evolved to embrace a wider spectrum of meaning that is rooted in African and global contemporary art discourses.
Guided by the aesthetic philosophy nsibidi, where sign systems are used to convey ideas, Ekpuk re-imagines graphic symbols from diverse cultures to form a personal style of mark making that results in the interplay of art and writing.
Ekpuk’s art reflects his experiences as a global artist. “The subject matter of my work deals with the human condition explained through themes that are both universal and specific: family, gender, politics, culture and Identity” -Victor Ekpuk
COLLECTIONS
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Smithsonian Museum of African Art
Brooks Museum
Krannert Art Museum
Arkansas Art Center
Fidelity Investments
Newark Museum
The World Bank
University of Maryland University College Art Collection
The U. S. Department of State
MAYA FREELON
Maya Freelon is an award-winning visual artist whose work was described by the late poet Maya Angelou as “visualizing the truth about the vulnerability and power of the human being.” Cosmopolitan Magazine featured her in June 2015 in “Art Stars” calling her one “of the most badass female artists in the biz.”  She was commissioned by Google to design original art for their OnHub router, by Cadillac to create a live-sculpture for their Dare Greatly creative campaign, and by the North Carolina Museum of Art to create a collaborative tissue paper sculpture celebrating the opening of their African Art wing. Her unique tissue paper art, praised by the International Review of African American Art as “a vibrant, beating assemblage of color,” has been exhibited internationally, including shows in Paris, Jamaica, Madagascar, and Italy. She was selected by Modern Luxury Magazine as Best of the City; by Huffington Post as “Black Artists: 30 Contemporary Art Makers Under 40 You Should Know”; and by Complex magazine as “15 Young Black   Artists Making Waves in the Art World.”  Maya has completed residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, the Korobitey Institute in Ghana, and the Brandywine Workshop in Philadelphia. She earned a BA from Lafayette College and an MFA from theSchool of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
COLLECTIONS
U.S. State Department
U.S. Embassy in Madagascar
U.S. Embassy Swaziland
U.S. Embassy Rome
The University of Maryland (David C. Driskell Center)
Johns Hopkins University
Rocketship Rise Academy;
The Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists
The Reginald F. Lewis Museum
The School of the Museum of Fine Arts The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Lafayette College
The Brandywine Workshop
The Experimental Printmaking Institute
The Williston Northampton School
The Kokrobitey Institute
Lewis Tanner Moore
Dr. Maya Angelou
photo credit: Christopher Charles
MAYA FREELON, Compression, 2017, 44″x34″, tissue ink monoprint
MAYA FREELON, Intuition, 2017, 46″x44″, tissue ink monoprint
AMBER ROBLES-GORDON
AMBER ROBLES-GORDON, Awakening the Matrilineal: Calling in the West, 36″x36″, mixed media on canvas
AMBER ROBLES-GORDON, Awakening the Matrilineal: South and of the Fire, 2016, 34″x35″, mixed media on canvas
Awakening the Matrilineal
“My artwork is a visual representation of my hybridism: a fusion of my gender, ethnicity, cultural, and social experiences. I impose colors, imagery, and materials that evoke femininity and tranquility with the intent of transcending or balancing a specific form. I associate working with light, color, and energy as a positive means to focus on the healing power found in the creative process and within us all. It is my belief that colors have both feminine and masculine energies and each color represents a specific aspect of nature.” -Amber Robles Gordon
COLLECTIONS
Judith A. Hoffberg Archive Library
University of California, Santa Barbara, CA Masterpiece Miniature Art Exhibition, Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia Capital One Bank, Mc Clean,Virginia District of Columbia’s Art Bank, Washington, D.C.
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York, NY
The Gautier Family Collection, Washington, DC
NATE LEWIS
In continuing my work with black figures I sculpt in unseen tensions of the past present and future on bodies with the idea of utilizing diagnostic lenses and contrast dyes to reveal erased and unknown histories and patterns.
Through the use of presence, absence, distortion and illusion and while in a time when the digital world has severe control of our information feeds I aim to challenge our lens’, the powers that hold our attention, and create opportunities for questioning and perspective alteration.
In my time working as a critical care nurse, we would use a multitude of lenses to gain a broad understanding of what is going on with any given situation to find homeostasis. While facts and diagnostic information can inform us of any given situation, without empathy and perspective alteration, our hearts will remain unchanged.
– NATE LEWIS
Nate Lewis grew up in Beaver Falls, near Pittsburgh, Pa. He graduated from VCU with his BSN and was a practicing critical care nurse for five years as well as professional fine artist. He has been awarded prestigious residencies at Pioneer Works and Dieu Donne in NYC, Agora Culture on Martha’s Vineyard and won a number of artist fellowship grants from the DC Commission of the Arts and Humanities.
NATE LEWIS, Spirit Suite, 2018, 21.5″x26″, hand sculpted photo paper print
NATE LEWIS, Traverse Suite, 2018, 26″x26″, hand sculpted photo paper print
About Morton Fine Art
Founded in 2010 in Washington, DC, 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 anyone can become an art collector or enthusiast, 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
52 O St NW #302
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 628-2787
For further information and images, please contact Amy Morton:
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Prizm Art Fair highlighted during Miami Art Week in South Florida Caribbean News

21 Nov

 

By  November 19, 2018

African Diasporic Perspectives Get Their Due During Miami Art Week

PRIZM Art Fair, now in its sixth year, will present 63 artists and a series of thought-provoking programs, representing 15 countries and four continents in Downtown Miami

MIAMI – PRIZM Art Fair dedicated to exhibiting international artists from the African Diaspora returns to Miami with its sixth edition, taking place at the Alfred I. DuPont Building (169 East Flagler Street) from Dec. 3 to 9, 2018.

The fair will open on Tues., Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., with a special public opening reception sponsored by the Miami DDA from 4 to 8 p.m.

PRIZM is presented in partnership with the Knight Foundation, the Alfred I. DuPont Building, Miami Downtown Development Authority and the Green Family Foundation.

For the sixth edition, PRIZM will present the work of 63 artists within two curated exhibitions, eight exhibitors, and five special events, representing 15 countries and four continents, including the Bahamas, Barbados, Costa Rica, Eritrea, Ethiopia, France, Ghana, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, Trinidad & Tobago and the United States.

Participating galleries include Alaina Simone Inc, Tafeta + Partners, Emerson Dorsch, Morton Fine Art, N’Namdi Contemporary (Miami), N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art (Detroit), September Gray, and TILA Studio.

Mikhaile Solomon of Prizm Art Fair African Diasporic Perspectives During Miami Art Week

Mikhaile Solomon

PRIZM Founding Director Mikhaile Solomon and artist William Cordova will present “The Dark Horse” and “Transceivers: channels, outlets and forces,” respectively.

Solomon’s “The Dark Horse” will consider how the disenfranchised negotiate, re-appropriate and reclaim the tactics used against them to build a future that is inclusive of prosperity for everyone. Cordova’s “Transceivers: channels, outlets and forces” focuses on the intersections between futurism, ritual and the folkloric, three themes that are fluid and continuously transmitting, receiving, informing and forming the world around us.

 

PRIZM’s programming initiatives 

“PRIZM Preview,” “PRIZM Panel,” “PRIZM Film,” “PRIZM Perform” and “PRIZM 6” boast an international experience in partnership with The Africa Center, Barbados Tourism & Marketing and Mount Gay Rum, as well as thought provoking conversations with industry leaders such as Dr. David C. Driskell and Curlee Holton, and performance works that defy and expand our conventional understanding of visual arts practice.

Additionally, PRIZM will feature emerging Miami based artists who are actively engaged in perpetuating the city’s growth as a cultural hub. These artists also address sociopolitical and cultural issues pertinent to the people of African descent in Miami and beyond.

 

PRIZM Art Fair Participating Artists

PRIZM Art Fair will feature artwork by Olu Amoda, Stephen Arboite, Osi Audu, Nicole Awai, Lillian Blades, Alicia Brown, Nyame Brown, Kesha Bruce, Christopher Carter, Ify Chiejina, Taha Clayton, Yanira Collado, Victor Ekpuk, Adriana Farmiga, Maya Freelon, Alfred Conteh, Damon Davis, Morel Doucet, Shaunte Gates, Monique Gilpin, LaMont Hamilton, LaToya Hobbs, Wayne Hodge, Deborah Jack, Justin D. Johnson, N. Masani Landfair, Nate Lewis, Kelley-Ann Lindo, Daniel Lind Ramos, Tahir Carl Karmali, Jodie Lyn Kee Chow, T. Elliott Mansa, Mildred Beltré Martinez, Jared McGriff, Helina Metafari, Kishan Munroe, Marilyn Nance, Shervone Neckles, Khaulah Nuruddin, Nnenna Okore, Niyi Olagunju, Charo Oquet, Alexis Peskine, Robles Gordon, Marton Robinson, Phillip Robinson, Michael Roman, Tylonn Sawyer, Dread Scott, Frank Schroder, Onajide Shabaka, Stephon Senegal, Tariku Shiferaw, Nyugen Smith, Stanley Squirewell, Jean Marcel St. Jacques, Felandus Thames, Dareece Walker, Ronald Williams, Deborah Willis, Paula Wilson, Sephora Woldu and Ezra Wube.

PRIZM Art Fair Programming Highlights 

  • PRIZM Press Preview (First view for press professionals only)

Mon., Dec. 3 from 12 to 4 p.m.

 

  • PRIZM VIP Preview (By invitation only)

Mon., Dec. 3 from 6 to 9 p.m.

 

  • PRIZM Preview VIP Dinner 

Mon., Dec. 3 from 5 to 8 p.m.

In partnership with the Africa Center and Barbados Tourism, PRIZM welcomes guests for an experiential dinner event with Keynote Speaker Uzodinma Iweala, CEO of the Africa Center and Author of the award winning novel, Beasts of No Nation.

 

  • PRIZM Opening 

Tuesday December 4 from 4 to 8 p.m.

Opening reception sponsored by the Miami Downtown Development Authority.

 

  • PRIZM Panel

Wed., Dec. 5 from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

The David C. Driskell Center at the University Maryland, College Park presents “The Living Legacy National Speaking Tour” event with Professors David C. Driskell and Curlee R. Holton.

This event will highlight Professor Driskell’s legacy as an artist, scholar and cultural historian and his contributions as well as the contributions of other African American artists to the American artistic canon.

Professor Curlee R. Holton is an artist, master printer and the Executive Director of the David C. Driskell Center.

 

  • PRIZM Film

Thurs., Dec. 6 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Q&A 4 to 5 p.m.

Life is Fare is a Tigrinya/English feature film exploring three wildly different perspectives on the East African nation of Eritrea. The film’s premise follows Sephora, an idealistic young Eritrean American pitching a well meaning but ludicrous film idea to her traditional mother about a man, Haile, who fled their home country and ended up in San Francisco.

  • PRIZM Perform

Fri., Dec. 7 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Challenging conventional modes of artmaking, performance art has long been a medium wherein artists can utilize a different format to explore, challenge and dissect a range of ideas and frameworks.

  • PRIZM 6 

Sat., Dec. 8 at 9 p.m.

Special performance by a musical guest (to be announced), allowing guests to decompress after Miami Art Week.

 

Admission

⎯ VIP admission: $200 (includes fair catalog, tours, dinner event and access to all events)

⎯ General admission:  Day pass: $15; Multi-day: $50; Students: $5

 

Fair Hours

⎯  Tuesday, December 4, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

⎯ Wednesday, December 5, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

⎯ Thursday, December 6, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

⎯ Friday, December 7, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

⎯ Saturday, December 8, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

⎯ Sunday, December 9, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 

Link to full article

KATHERINE TZU-LAN MANN participates in Artist Mother Studio Residency – WAMU coverage

20 Nov

 

The once-white walls of the Washington Project for the Arts in D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood are covered with crayon, paint and little fingerprints. Office furniture and supplies have been pushed aside to make room for bean bags, blankets, children’s books and a little wooden table and chair set.

But that’s just one side of the office space. On the other side, behind a dividing curtain, three mothers are hard at work creating art.

This is Artist Mother Studio, a nine-week-long experimental artists’ residency that comes to an end on Nov. 17. The program provided three women artists with a remarkable string of benefits, including studio space, childcare and a sense of community in the heart of D.C.

Anne Smith holds her daughter, Kiko, in the company of fellow artist Leah Lewis.Tyrone Turner / WAMU

“We’re interested in changing the way society functions, if that doesn’t sound too grandiose,” said Amy Hughes Braden, the program’s creator and curator. “Women get asked, ‘Oh, well, what are you going to do now that you have kids?’ Nobody asks men these questions.”

Braden modeled the program off of a similar residency in Amsterdam, Mother in Arts, that took place last year. In the first iteration of the D.C. project this past spring, she and two other women artists would drop off their kids at a daycare provider’s house each day and then work out of studio space at Rhizome in Takoma Park, D.C.

Then, with about $20,000 of funding from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Washington Project for the Arts and individuals donors, she started a second iteration this fall.

Anne Smith works with charcoal and pencils in her studio. The charcoal dust wouldn’t be healthy for her infant daughter, she says.Mikaela Lefrak / WAMU

The half-dozen Washington Project for the Arts staff members agreed to work at a communal table for the length of the program so that their office and gallery space could serve three artists and their combined four children.

A daycare provider, Dani Simms, takes care of the children from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each day. That’s a huge plus for any artist, but particularly ones in the District. According to Child Care Aware of America, center-based care for a single child in D.C. can cost more than $23,000 a year — one of the highest rates in the country. That amounts to about 35 percent of a median D.C. family’s income.

All three of the artists in the program — Anne SmithLeah Lewis, and Katherine Mann — said that while they each have supportive and involved partners, they’re the ones who typically handle the bulk of childcare.

Lewis’s fiance is also an artist, and because he brings in more money than she does, she ends up spending more time caring for their three-year-old son, Biko. She makes art in her living room or kitchen whenever she finds the time.

After a few hours in the studio, artist Katherine Mann crossed the curtain divide to play with her son and daughter.Mikaela Lefrak / WAMU

“I was kind of cloistered in my little bubble that did not include any mom artists,” Lewis said. “It was the perfect time to get this [residency], because I could hang out with other artists who are moms. You don’t feel like you’re alone.”

Mann used to rent her own studio space, but gave it up once she had her second child.

“Until this, it was just me with the kids, and I was making my work during nap time or in the middle of the night,” she said. At Artist Mother Studio, her children Calvin, 3, and Mae, 1, can easily come into her studio if they need her. Even so, Mann said, she has “the most freedom and space that I’ve had for a really, really long time.”

Smith is a new mom, and her four-month-old daughter Kiko still breastfeeds. Smith rents studio space in Mount Rainer, Maryland, but she doesn’t like the baby to be too close to some of her materials, like charcoal dust.

The setup in Shaw allows her to be close to Kiko throughout the day while still having enough space to do her work.

Mann and her daughter share a quiet moment in the studio.Tyrone Turner / WAMU

While the program has been a success from the perspective of the artists, it’s time-intensive for Braden and space-intensive for the Washington Project for the Arts, which sees itself as just a temporary incubator for ideas like Braden’s. Braden plans to take the next few months to create a shareable template for the program and brainstorm how to scale it.

She isn’t aware of any other programs like this in D.C. or in the rest of the country. But she thinks the demand is out there.

“Everybody has a struggle to get to the studio,” she said. “And the only way that I’ve been able to be a parent myself — I have a two-year-old — is with community.”

 

Click HERE to view available artwork by KATHERINE TZU-LAN MANN.

Morton Fine Art participates in Prizm Art Fair in Miami December 3 – 9, 2018

16 Oct

 

Prizm Art Fair 2018
December 3rd – December 9th | Open Daily: 10 am – 6 pm
PRIZM is the producer of a cutting-edge cultural platform that is multidisciplinary in scope. Our goal is to expand the spectrum of exhibiting international artists from the African Diaspora and emerging markets.
Our mission is to promote the work of artists from Africa and global African Diaspora, who reflect global trends in contemporary art. Workshops and special events are organized throughout the year to advance critical dialogue and sharpen the lens through which we view and understand contemporary art. We are committed to the Miami cultural community and will work to expand its visual arts landscape, nurture and educate its constituents and provide forums for cross cultural exchange.
Prizm exhibits a dynamic group or contemporary artists during Art Basel/Miami Beach and beyond. Salient works are presented that highlight the diversity evident in contemporary visual art practices today, including painting sculpture and mixed media installations.
Morton Fine Art will be featuring the artwork of internationally renowned contemporary artists OSI AUDU, KESHA BRUCE, VICTOR EKPUK, MAYA FREELON, AMBER ROBLES-GORDON and NATE LEWIS.

Morton Fine Art Relocating to NoMA District in Washington, DC

12 Oct

After nearly 9 years on Florida Ave, Morton Fine Art will be relocating the gallery to 52 O Street NW, Washington, DC, 20001 in November 2018. The building at 52 O Street NW was built in 1914 in what was then a remote, industrial part of town. It was designed by architect Clement Didden who previously assisted Richard Morris Hunt in the design of landmarks including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Before becoming an arts-dedicated space in 1978, 52 O Street NW housed a meat-packing company, a plumbing company, a Hecht’s furniture factory and Decca Records. NoMA is a vibrant, growing neighborhood nestled next to Capitol Hill, Shaw, Mt. Vernon Triangle and H Street NE corridor in Washington, DC. It also has ample street parking, easy metro access, and close proximity to Union Station.

We look forward to continuing our active solo and group exhibition programming in our new location and also to participating in projects locally and nationally to promote Morton Fine Art’s artists in new markets. Upcoming out-of-gallery, outreach projects include Prizm Art Fair in Miami from Dec 3-9, 2018 where we will showcase the artwork of select MFA artists to a national and international collector audience; an MFA curated group exhibition of gallery artists honoring Black History and Women’s History months at Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA mid-Feb through the end of March 2019; and two month long “pop-up” exhibitions at Gallery B in Bethesda, MD in March and April 2019.

 

New Location:

Morton Fine Art

52 O Street NW #302

Washington, DC 20001

 

New Hours:

Wednesday – Saturday: 12pm-5pm

Sunday – Tuesday: By appointment

 

Map of 2 mile route down Florida Ave NW from our Adams Morgan location to new NoMA location – SO EASY!

Morton Fine Art

OSI AUDU’s “Dialogues with African Art” at Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild in New York

11 Oct

Osi Audu: Dialogues with African Art – Artist’s Talk and Opening Reception

When:   October 20, 2018 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Where:   BYRDCLIFFE Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, 36 Tinker Street, Woodstock, NY

Opening on Friday October 19, the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts presents the solo exhibition OSI AUDU: DIALOGUES WITH AFRICAN ART. Mr. Audu, who lives in Hurley, New York, will give an artist’s talk on Saturday, October 20, at 3:00 pm. The public opening reception for the show follows at 4:00 pm on Saturday.

OSI AUDU: DIALOGUES WITH AFRICAN ART examines issues of identity rooted in the artist’s cultural experiences growing up in Nigeria, as well as broader metaphysical and social concepts of the self. Audu’s paintings, some of them very large in scale, are influenced by the abstract geometric possibilities in traditional African sculpture; thus the exhibition also includes examples of original nineteenth- and twentieth-century African sculpture that the artist uses as inspiration for his work. Describing the works in the show, Audu writes: “I am interested in the dualism of form and void, and the metaphysical relation between the tangible and intangible, something and nothing, light and dark, body and mind, the dual nature of being—the self in portraits.” The title “self-portrait” that Audu uses in his work is about the portrait of the intangible self, rather than a literal portrait of the artist.

Osi Audu is a Nigerian-American artist whose work has been shown in numerous international exhibitions including the Kwangju Biennale, Venice Biennale, the Africa-Africa exhibition at the Tobu Museum, Japan, and the Museum of the Mind at the British Museum. His work has also been exhibited at and collected by public institutions including the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art in Washington DC, The Newark Museum in Newark, New Jersey, the British Museum, Horniman Museum, and Wellcome Trust Gallery, all in London, the Hood Museum at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, and the Mott-Warsh Collection in Flint, Michigan. His work has also been acquired for corporate collections including by Sony Classical New York, the Fidelity Investment Corporation in Boston, Massachusetts, and the Schmidt Bank in Germany.

Audu curated an international exhibition of contemporary African art which opened at the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art in Detroit in September 2017, then traveled to the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at the State University of New York, New Paltz, and the August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2018.

He is a current recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant.

The exhibition is curated by Sylvia Leonard Wolf, who is the chair of the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild’s Exhibition Committee. A full color catalogue accompanies the exhibition. Below is an excerpt from an essay in the catalogue:

Audu is, in effect, reclaiming abstraction…Through the language of abstraction, Audu seeks to create a container or a frame for the intangible that is the self. In choosing to dialogue with works of African art that are themselves symbolic representations of concepts, he situates his geometric abstraction firmly within African ontologies. And in doing so, he also makes tangible the intangible, or perhaps hidden, presence of African sculpture within the legacy of Western modernism.
— Christa Clarke, Ph.D. (Senior Curator, Arts of Global Africa, Newark Museum)

OSI AUDU: DIALOGUES WITH AFRICAN ART is open through Sunday, December 2. The gallery is open Thursday-Sunday: 12:00 – 6:00 pm or by appointment. School groups and other organizations can schedule group visits with the artist by contacting derin@woodstockguild.org.

Click HERE to view available artwork by  OSI AUDU.