sep 23, 2016 newsletter

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National Museum of African American History & Culture opening Sept 24, 2016
A three-day Grand Opening Festival has been announced to launch the opening of the National Museum of African American History & Culture. The 400,000 square-foot building, designed by a team of architects led by David Adjaye, is to be the final Smithsonian institution to take its place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The distinct profile of the museum is said to be inspired by the traditional Yoruban crown. In a recent interview for Metropolis, Adjaye said of the unique tripartite design of the building, that “… fundamentally, it symbolized the tripod-type nature of the brief. There are three fundamentals that organize the building. It’s history, the present, and the future. In a way, this triple crown of these three parts seems to literally fit the body of the project.”

The recently restored “Freedom Bell” from Williamsburg’s historic First Baptist Church has been sent to Washington, D.C. to ring at the dedication of the National Museum. President Obama is set to speak at the opening dedication, with First Lady, Michelle Obama, also in attendance. Also scheduled to be at the opening ceremonies is former president George W. Bush, with Mrs. Laura Bush, who signed H.R. 3491, the National Museum of African American History and Culture Act in 2003. (9/16)

Image: National Museum of African American History & Culture
Photo: Alan Karchmer/NMAAHC

MacArthur Foundation announces recipients of 2016 MacArthur Fellowship Award
Each of the 23 awards will receive a no-strings-attached grant for $625,000, to be paid out over five years. This years winners in the visual arts are: San Francisco-based sculptor Vincent Fecteau, Art Historian and Curator at Columbia University Kellie Jones, New York Video Artist Mary Reid Kelley, Cultural Historian at USC Josh Kun, New York artist and writer Lauren Redniss, and Baltimore-based Jewelry Maker and Sculptor Joyce J. Scott.

Josh Faught and Ruth Laskey recipients of 2016 San Francisco Artadia Awards (9/16)
Both artists will receive $10,000 in unrestricted funds as well as access to the ongoing benefits of the Artadia Awards program, including eligibility for the inaugural edition of the National Artadia Award to be bestowed at the end of this year.

David Breslin appointed Curator and Director of the Collection at the Whitney Museum (9/16)
David Breslin comes to New York after an 18-month tenure as chief curator of the Menil Drawing Institute in Houston, slated to open in the fall of 2017. He previously served as associate curator of contemporary projects at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass.

Hamza Walker announced as new executive director of LAXART (9/15)
Hamza Walker comes to Los Angeles following his tenure as director of education and associate curator at the Renaissance Society, Chicago, which he joined in 1994. He has also served as adjunct professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and was winner of both the 2004 Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement and the 2010 Ordway Prize. Hamza, no stranger to the Los Angeles art scene, recently took a two-year leave of absence from the Renaissance Society to be part of the curatorial team for the Hammer MuseumÕs current biennial, Made in L.A. 2016: a, the, though, only.

San Francisco art dealer and a champion of ceramic artists, Ruth Braunstein has died (9/14)
Prominent San Francisco art dealer and early champion of contemporary art and ceramics in the Bay Area, Ruth Braunstein has died. She was 93. Braunstein opened her first gallery in 1961 in Tiburon which later moved to San Francisco in 1965, where Braunstein remained for the rest of her career. Although in a 2004 interview with art writer Richard Whittaker, she remarked that “getting into the gallery business was a fluke,” her long career played a significant role in shaping the San Francisco art scene. In addition to her own gallery, rebranded as Braunstein/Quay in the 1970s, she also co-founded the San Francisco Art Dealers Association in the same decade, established the California chapter of ArtTable, an organization for professional women in the arts, and was a proponent of a wide range of ground-breaking artists, including John Altoon, Bruce Conner, Richard Shaw and Peter Voulkos. Her career was celebrated earlier this year at Fouladi Projects with a group exhibition featuring artists that were represented by the galleriest when she closed the doors of her influential gallery in 2011.

Awardees for 2015 National Medal of Arts announced (9/14)
Ralph Lemon and Jack Whiten among awardees for the 2015 National Medal of Arts. The 2015 awards will be presented by President Barack Obama will present the Medals of Arts in conjunction with the National Humanities Medals on Thursday, September 22, 2016, with First Lady Michelle Obama in attendance. Other recipients of this yearÕs National Medals of Arts include writer/director Mel Brooks, author/educator Sandra Cisneros, actor/director Morgan Freeman, composer Philip Glass, playwright, director and founder of Tectonic Theater Project Moises Kaufman and playwright, actor, writer, and director Luis Valdez.

Getty Research Institute acquires Harmony Hammond archive (9/14)
Getty Research Institute has announced the acquisition of archives of the American artist, curator, scholar and writer Harmony Hammond. The archive includes nearly three decades of correspondence, photographs, publication drafts, editioned prints, original artwork and source materials, files and a slide registry devoted specifically to lesbian artists. In addition to the archive, which was purchased by the Getty Research Institute, Hammond has donated an extensive library of books and other publications related to art, feminism, and lesbian/gay/queer/trans studies.

Los Angeles Ibid Gallery among latest to move to DTLA (9/9)
Ibid Gallery, which opened its Los Angeles gallery two years ago, has announced its move to a 13,000 square-foot complex with three exhibition spaces on 570 South Anderson street puts them in close proximity with other newly opened venues in the booming Boyle Heights district. The growing list presently includes Chimento Contemporary, Corey Helford Gallery, Maccarone, MaRS, Nicodim, Sage Projects and VENUS LA. Ibid Gallery also stands adjacent to UTA Fine Arts, the newly opened commercial gallery with ties to HollywoodÕs United Talent Agency. The new space will open September 25, 2016.

Exhibitors for Art Basel Miami Beach 2016 announced (9/6)
The complete list includes 269 leading international galleries, from 29 countries across North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa participating in eight different (Galleries, Edition, Film, Kabinett, Nova, Positions, Public, and Survey) sectors of the fair. New to the Galleries sectors, which includes 193 participants, are Altman Siegel, Bergamin & Gomide, Cherry and Martin, Di Donna, GALLERYSKE, Galerie Greta Meert, Galerija Gregor Podnar, joségarcía, Labor, mx, Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Menconi + Schoelkopf, and Pilar Corrias.
Click here for a complete list of participating venues.