Latest News in Black Art: New University Museum Directors, Infiniti Prize for Photography Renell Medrano, Arvie Smith Among Guggenheim Fellows, Honoring Hank Aaron

Latest News in Black Art: New University Museum Directors, Infiniti Prize for Photography Renell Medrano, Arvie Smith Among Guggenheim Fellows, Honoring Hank Aaron

The Latest in Black Arts features updates and developments in the world of art and related culture

Cécile Fromont | Courtesy of Harvard HAA


First Faculty Director at Harvard’s Cooper Gallery
Cécile Fromont (above) joins Harvard University as a new professor in the Department of History of Art and Architecture and the first faculty director of Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African and African Art at the Hutchins Center. Fromont arrives at Harvard from Yale University, where he was a professor of African and South Atlantic Art. (4/5) | More

Jacob Lawrence Gallery Names New Director
Jordan Jones (left) was appointed director and guardian Jacob Lawrence Gallery at the University of Washington in Seattle. A newly renovated, state-of-the-art exhibition space is located within the UW Seattle School of Art + Art History + Architecture. After earning a bachelor’s degree in art from Williams College, Jones has been in New York, where he served as curator of exhibitions at Independent Curators International. Previously, he was a joint curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Museum of Modern Art. Jones debuted at the Jacob Lawrence Gallery on April 3. (4/2) | More

New Trustees at the Frye Art Museum
The Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Wash., added six new members to its board of trustees, incl Brandon Vaughan and Mark Washington. Vaughn is the global director of public relations at Slalom Consulting. He also sits on the board of the Seattle Art Museum and is a founding member of the Coalition of Black Trustees for Art Museums. A graduate of Morehouse College, Washington is a vice president at CBRE (Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis), a commercial real estate company. Previously, the board had six trustees, now there are nine. (4/11) | More

Nondo Hires Veteran Media Executive
Christina Norman joined The Moth in the newly created position of chief creative officer. Non-profit organizations focused on telling personal stories through live stage performances include The Moth Radio Hour, which airs on public radio stations, and The Moth Podcast. Norman brings decades of high quality content and experience. He comes to The Moth from THINK 450 (which focuses on innovation, licensing and partnerships at the National Basketball Association), where he served as head of content. Most notably, he was CEO of OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network (2009-11). In previous roles he was president of MTV and president of VH1. Norman started at The Moth this week and is expected to help expand the organization into TV, film, and other platforms. (4/11) | More

Executive Director of Africa Center Leaving
Uzodinma Iweala he leaves Africa Center. After seven years, he will step down as CEO in December. Located in East Harlem at the north end of Museum Mile, the African Art Center was originally conceived as a visual arts museum. During Iweala’s tenure, it was reinvented as an interdisciplinary center and opened in 2019 “with an expanded mission that includes culture and a policy program that aims to change the narrative and create new opportunities for Africa and the Diaspora.” Isaacson, Miller will conduct a search for the next leader working in partnership with the center’s transition committee. (3/19) | More

Alberto Pitta. | Photo by Samuel Esteves for CJP


Alberto Pitta Joined Nara Roesler Gallery
Nara Roesler Gallery now he represents a Brazilian artist Alberto Pitta (b. 1961), above. Over his four-decade career, Pitta has worked with textiles and silk screen printing, as well as painting and sculpture, more recently. “His productions are closely linked to popular celebrations and conversations with other fields such as clothing. His work also gained a lot of public attention when he made prints of the Salvador Afro Carnival parades including that of Olodum, Filhos de Gandhy, and his own, Cortejo Afro. ” Nara Roesler has locations in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and New York.(3/27) | More


Infinity Awards Recognizes Women Photographers
The International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York celebrated women photographers at this year’s festival. 40th ICP per year Infinity Awards he went Lynsey Addario, Renell Medrano (left), Shirin Neshat, Wendy Red Star, and Caryl S. Englander, if it is the first time for the Infinity Awards to recognize five women. Medrano received the award for Business and Photo Editing. He is a “Dominican-American photographer and director from the Bronx, New York, whose work focuses on finding the difficult environment in his subjects, drawing inspiration from New York City and his motherland, the Dominican Republic. He graduated from Parsons School of Design | New School with a degree in photography.” (4/10) | More

2024 Guggenheim Fellowships
The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation announced the 2024 fellowship. The awards went to 188 recipients working in 52 fields, including fine art, film, African studies, choreography, music composition, poetry, literary criticism, American history and photography. This year’s fellows include Garrett Bradley (Video-Film), Mike Cloud (fine art), Adama Delphine Fawundu (fine art), Taji Ra’uof Nahl (fine art), Elizabeth Hinton (American History), Crystal Kayiza (Video-Film), Tiya Miles (Intellectual and Cultural History), Tavia Nyong’o (Theater and Performance Arts Studies), Lorraine O’Grady (fine art), Christina Sharpe (Total Lie), Tracy K. Smith (Poetry), Krista Thompson (Fine Art Research), no Arvie Smith (Fine Art). Each fellow receives a stipend (amount varies) to fund their project. Robert De Niro provided financing for Arvie Smithfellowship in honor of his late father, Robert De Niro Sr., painter and Guggenheim Fellow (1968). (4/11) | More

PHOTO: Top left, Renell Medrano, Courtesy of the International Center of Photography, © Scott Rudd

Nate Freeman’s “Deans List” in the April 2024 issue of Vanity Fair opens with a two-page, one-of-a-kind photo shoot featuring Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz and 21 artists represented in their collection.


21 Famous Artists Who Walked the Vanity Fair Show
Vanity Fair introduced the music industry’s top couple Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys at the event “Giants,” Brooklyn Museum exhibit showcasing their contemporary art collection. The article appears in the April 2024 issue of the journal. Among the important things are a group photo for Renell Medrano (Infinity Prize Winner 2024) featuring 21 highly recognized collectors and artists represented in their holdings, including Nina Chanel Abney, Derrick Adams, Jordan Casteel, Nick Cave, Arthur Jafa, Titus Kaphar, Temptation Mokgosi, Odili Donald Odita, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Deborah Roberts, Tschabalala Self, Amy Sherald, Mickalene Thomas, and Kehinde Wiley. (3/19) | More


Hank Aaron Honored for Postage Stamps, Statues, and Exhibits
The US Postal Service revealed a The new Forever Stamp Revered baseball legend Hank Aaron marked the 50th anniversary of his 715 home runs in 1974, which broke Babe Ruth’s record and angered racists. Designed with original art by Philadelphia, Pa. artist Chuck Styles, The stamp will be officially issued at a later date. At the same time, the Atlanta History Center opened “More than Courage. The Life of Henry Aaron,” the new exhibit will be on view until September 2025, and a bronze statue dedicated to Aaron will be unveiled on May 23 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY (4/9) | New York Times

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