A year ago I had the opportunity to participate in the Rockwood Leadership Institute’s Art of Leadership training program and it helped me think more about how values-alignment and vision in my work. This feels like an ongoing project but I feel fortunate to have had the resources the trainers offered me as well as my peer partners with whom I’ve stayed in touch over the last year. The year has been a complicated one in the larger social context, and these kinds of questions have taken on greater urgency. While there are always concerns about what is to be done precisely in that larger social context, I’ve recently felt the real benefits of figuring that out through learning and dialogue with my community by nurturing new and old friendships as well as several collaborations. So as I continue to push and reflect on the urgencies of the moment and the way that connects to how and where I put my energies, I’ve continued to learn and grow a lot with a fantastic group of friends and collaborators.
Below I’ve compiled updates I thought might interest you from the last 6 months or so.
- Education for Arts Organizing – In the winter and spring I was able to facilitate two dialogues on “education for arts organizing” at the Common Field convening in Philadelphia (which featured Chloe Bass, Linda Earle and Anthony Romero) and the College Art Association in New York City. The notes from common field are published here and I hope to continue developing this into a piece of writing that merges these other educators experiences with my own work at Moore. This will be drafted for my presentation at the Inclusive Museums conference in Argentina next November.
- Local Control: The video essay that I made late last year, Local Control, about the impulse towards localism across the political spectrum has screened several times including Cine Pobre Film Festival [La Paz, BCS, Mexico], Galleries at Moore, Faculty Triennial [Philadelphia, PA], Anthology Film Archives Newfilmmakers NY series [New York City, NY], Woodbine [Queens, NY], and Nightengale Cinema [Chicago, IL]. There is a screening coming up later this summer in the UK, with details still being confirmed. If you’d like to host a screening elsewhere or simply want to see the full video online, let me know.
- Talking: This week I’ll be delivering a lecture at Barnes Foundation for the group of visiting artists and curators who are part of Citizen Diplomacy International of Philadelphia’s “Promoting Social Change through the arts” leadership program.
- Making: In August I will be attending a 2-week “faculty residency” at the Studios at MASS MoCA. I’m looking forward to working on a new print and conceptualizing the last several years of projects I’ve developed about the political spectrum into an exhibition.
- Why Philly: This last spring I collaborated with Ricky Yanas and Lauren Downing on a booklet for the artist-run organizations conference Common Field for which we invited 15 contributors from the city to share their thoughts about what was urgent and exciting in Philadelphia for visitors and locals alike to know and consider. You can download and read more about Why Philly? here. Contributors include Denise Brown, Rob Blackson, Vashti DuBois, Michael Clemmons & Ian Friday, Anthony Elms, Alexis Granwell, Amy Hicks, Marissa Johnson-Valenzuela, Rana Fayez, Farrah Rahaman, Theresa Rose, Meredith Sellers, Li Sumpter, Nato Thompson, Ulises, and Carol Zou.
- Holding Space: In 2017 I conducted 3 group interviews about the process of organizing the massive project Philadelphia Assembled, undertaken throughout the city and at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The interview booklet “Holding Space” which documents those conversations in an edited form can be downloaded here along with their other publications. The interview participants were Jeanne van Heeswijk, Nehad Khader, Phoebe Bachman, Shari Hersh, Kirtrina M. Baxter, M.A. Counter Narrative Society (CNS)/ Mabel Negrete, Amanda Sroka, Damon Reaves, and Denise Valentine.
- AREA: In the winter the publication that I used to edit AREA Chicago had its website hacked and so we have created an alternate and updated AREA Archive here for your reading pleasure. The website documents hundreds of voices speaking about the intersection of art, research, education and activism in Chicago between 2005-2015.
- Events Archives: To keep track of the major events series taking place at Moore College of Art & Design over the last 5 years since I began my work there, there are now two archives I’ve collaborated on including the Conversations@Moore and In/Out Symposium documenting the 3 year-series co-curated with Paul Farber and Mural Arts.
And finally, looking forward there are some exciting curatorial projects emerging:
- “Organize Your Own” is making its final exhibit tour stop prep for Pacific Northwest College of Art for Fall 2019 and a dialogue on the project was just published with myself and Dan S. Wang in ASAP Journal which looks at both the exhibit and the class we co-taught on the topic at Ox-Bow School of Art last year.
- Also, I’ll be developing a project called “Power Map: Historic Mural Activiations” as part of my role as a Mural Arts Philadelphia Curator-in-Residence over the next year and will be contributing as a guest curator to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Spring 2020 MFA exhibition as one of their Institute for Curatorial Research & Practice fellows (see past fellows here).
I hope that this update finds you well and that you will share your updates with me virtually or in person!