Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Barnes Foundation and The Brothers Network

I give a shout out and express my appreciation to Gregory Walker the organizer of Brothers Network for the impressive audience at my lecture on the work of Yinka Shonibare this afternoon at the Barnes Foundation. (The Barnes is hosting Yinka's fabulous Magic Ladders exhibition, which closes on April 21). It was so refreshing to have so many of one's kind attend such an event in a venue like the venerable Barnes. I hope that this won't be the last time institutions like the Barnes would collaborate with the group. What struck me was not so much the turn out for my lecture but in fact the followup event at Brothers Network: a conversation between two artists Cosmo White and Curlee Holton. I cannot remember the last time I witnessed, within and outside the academy, a more spirited and informed discussion about an artist's work. If this is the kind of events the BN puts together, I am now calling for many more of such networks across America. It tells me that there are many black professional women and men who wish to participate in serious conversation about art and culture but who do not have the right forum to nurture such desire. I will surely return to this subject later. But for now, thanks to Judith Dolkart (who organized Magic Ladders) and her team at the Barnes for involving the BN; and many more thanks to Walker for the establishing the Network. 

With Curlee Holton (3rd L) Cosmo White (c) and members of the Brother Network and guests

Brothers Network (and some of their guests) in front of Shonibare's exhibit. Walker is the tallest fellow in the picture!

The brilliant Higgins Twins (Atamanu and Atamosi) performing at the Brother's Network program. They are both juniors at Julia Reynolds Masterman School and are part of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra. 

Cosmo White and Curlee Holton discussing Shonibare's work at the Brothers Network program. White is an MFA student at Univ. of Michigan; Holton is Founding Director of the Center for Experimental Printmaking at Lafayette College and Acting Executive Director for the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of Visual Arts and Culture of African American and African Diaspora at the Univ. of Maryland 

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