Did You Hear About?

Did You Hear About: Archives, Activism & Mourning

Gone Are The Days of Shelter and Martry by Theaster Gates

I've returned for another installment of Did You Hear About? And this time, I not only come bearing gifts of more fascinating treats from the world of arts & culture, I also share opportunities to help you align with your inner divine and use your love of the arts to help you make 2021 a much better year than her predecessor.

That's right. It's not too late to get back on track with your New Year's Resolutions (especially if your New Year started with the Lunar New Year).

Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America

As I'm sure many of us are aware of now, quite a few arts institutions, galleries and museums are working overtime to gain our attention during this dynamic shift in support of cultural appreciation. Everyone's bandwidth is different, of course, but I think it's important to recognize when some institutions land on an event or exhibition that hits all the right buttons at the right time. Enter: The New Museum's “Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America” exhibit, which opened last Wednesday, February 17th and will run until Sunday, June 6th.

With special events scheduled to take place over the next 5 months, the exhibition is an intergenerational look at the concept of mourning, commemoration, and loss as a direct response to the national emergency of racist violence experienced by Black communities across America. The exhibition will further consider the intertwined phenomena of Black grief and a politically orchestrated white grievance, as each structures and defines contemporary American social and political life. Conceived by the late curator Okwui Enwezor, the show will feature 37 artists including one of my personal favorites, Theaster Gates.

Gates filmed Gone Are the Days of Shelter and Martyr (2014) for the exhibit, spotlighting the now-demolished Roman Catholic Church of St. Laurence on the South Side of Chicago. He'll also be the host of an artist talk this Thursday, February 25th at 4pm EST, with Massimiliano Gioni, Edlis Neeson Artistic Director of the New Museum.

Artwork Archive

Short Guide to Doing Your Taxes image

If you're living in the U.S., you're no doubt prepping and planning to get your taxes in order before the April deadline. And if you're an artist who saw the year 2020 become one of the hardest you've ever had to weather, your normal sense of dread may have increased exponentially when the words "tax season" are uttered within earshot.

Thankfully, you can find a treasure trove of advice especially curated just for artists on the Artwork Archive, an online resource that provides artists, collectors and organizations powerful tools to manage their artwork, career or collection.

Granted, the organization was created with visual artists in mind, but there's nothing to say that performing artists and literary artists couldn't benefit from articles such as "A Short Guide to Doing Your Taxes as an Artist" or "How to Track Your Expenses for Art Career Success." When you're your own boss, taxes can already feel like a daunting task. Adding the stress of being an artist, plus an artist during a pandemic, and ... well, let's just say, a helping hand in the form of free advice is a welcome sight.

Note: Artwork Archive offers paid services to artists that help them manage the logistical side of their career, but the blog advice is always free.

Steps Beyond Foundation: Activism Through Dance

If the year 2020 taught us anything, it was that we need to take a closer look at how much of our culture is fueled by a legacy of inequality, disenfranchisement and immobility. As someone who is always eager to examine the intersection of art and activism, this special artist talk series Activism Through Dance, presented by the New York City dance community's favorite Steps Beyond Foundation, offers a great opportunity to discuss just that with choreographers, dance historians and cultural observers.

The first of the two-part series took place on Sunday, February 21st, but have no fear, the second installment is coming up on March 21st at 7pm EST, and it promises to be just as enlightening. Part 1 took a look at activism through dance from a historical perspective and reviewed works leading up to the early Modern Era of dance. Part 2 will continue the discussion, but with a deep dive into the Contemporary Era, as well as asking hard questions about the individual work vs. the movement itself. The panel will also be composed of BIPOC artists at various stages in their development, from emerging to mature.

Note: The event is free with a suggested donation of $10.

Activism Through Dance image

Whether it's advice on how to be a better entrepreneur to your art practice, an important conversation on the role of activism in art, or a timely exhibit that asks us to take a closer look at where we are in the wake of great sociopolitical change, I am happy to bring you a brief glimpse into what I think are fine examples of the arts continuing to play a pivotal role in our society and our lives. The arts matter now more than ever, so be sure to share this blog post with others and remember the artists in 2021 and beyond.

Top Image: Gone Are The Days of Shelter and Martyr by Theaster Gates | Middle Image: Short Guide to Doing Your Taxes image | Bottom Image: Activism Through Dance presented by Steps Beyond

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