Weekly Happenings: June 1–8, 2021

Each week, we create a list of exhibitions, screenings, events, and news featuring Creative Capital Awardees of all disciplines. This list can include shows that have recently opened, shows about to close, and noteworthy headlines and interviews that profile artists and their work.

On May 31–June 1, 1921, white mobs invaded and destroyed the Greenwood District in Oklahoma—a wealthy Black neighborhood known as Black Wall Street—leaving the community in ruins. Businesses were destroyed, and many were killed, injured, and left homeless. On the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, we are highlighting projects by awardees that bring to light the events that occurred that night and commemorate those lost and affected by the tragedy. We encourage you to view Paul Rucker’s website Three Black Wallstreets, read Kalup Linzy’s article in BOMB Magazine, and watch Bayeté Ross Smith’s immersive video to learn more.

Remembering Black Wall Street

“Artist’s Black Wall Street Project Is About Tulsa 100 Years Ago — And Today”
May 31, 2021

Paul Rucker spoke to NPR about his digital project, Three Black Wallstreets, launched today, “which evokes and honors the achievements of Black entrepreneurs and visionaries who created thriving spaces of possibility and sanctuary after the end of the Civil War.”

Listen Now

“On the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.”
BOMB Magazine
May 31, 2021

Kalup Linzy invited eight artists who are currently based in or have deep family connections tying them to Tulsa to contribute to their commemoration project in BOMB Magazine. “I could not allow this moment in history to pass without commemorating and honoring those who lost their lives or livelihood as a result of white supremacists’ pursuit of dominance.”

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“An act of terrorism America tried to forget – 360 video”
The Guardian
May 31, 2021

Bayeté Ross Smith uses archival photos to create immersive 360 scenes of the Tulsa Race Massacre. The video is part one of Red Summers, a series by Ross Smith on the untold American history of racial terrorism from 1917 to 1921.

Watch Now

Daniel Bernard Roumain
They Still Want to Kill Us

The Public Theater
Virtual Screening
May 25–July 31, 2021

They Still Want To Kill Us is a short film and an aria by Daniel Bernard Roumain which speaks truth to what transpired in 1921 at the Tulsa Race Massacre, an atrocity all but deleted from history until recently. The work is being premiered to mark one year since the murder of George Floyd: a commentary on our progress this last century on the issue of race and America’s treatment of Black life. The work is performed by J’Nai Bridges and directed by Yoram Savion.

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Events, Exhibitions, & Screenings

Anne Patterson
Mother + Daughter

Jessica Hagen Gallery, Newport, RI
May 22–June 19, 2021

Anne Patterson is showing work alongside her mother, Anne Mimi Sammis, for the first time. The exhibition features Patterson’s ribbon and watercolor work and Sammis’s bronze sculptures.

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Cannupa Hanska Luger

Denver Art Museum
May 23–Aug 22, 2021

This exhibition features work by Cannupa Hanska Luger and Marie Watt, two leading Indigenous contemporary artists whose processes focus on collaborative artmaking. Luger and Watt’s work is divided into two sections that explore the artists’ engagement with community, materials and the land. A new collaborative piece is featured where the two artists’ works converge within the gallery.

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Eisa Davis
The Essentialisn’t: Gold Taste

Performance Space New York
In-Person Performance and Installation
Through June 27, 2021

Part of Afrofemononomy//Work The Roots—a group activation of black femme theater artists in celebration of each other—this performance and installation explores unproduced one-act plays by the late Kathleen Collins.

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Jeffrey Gibson
Because Once You Enter My House, It Becomes Our House

deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, MA
Opens June 4, 2021

Jeffrey Gibson’s monumental ziggurat-shaped sculpture pays homage to ingenuity of Indigenous North American peoples and cultures, to pre-Columbian Mississippian architecture, and to queer camp aesthetics. The exhibition includes performances by other Indigenous artists.

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Nia Witherspoon

The Shed in New York City
In-Person Performance
June 3–4, 2021 at 8pm ET

The Dark Girl Chronicles is a ritual-play cycle by Nia Witherspoon which memorializes the stories of Black women warriors. CHRONICLE X is the first section in the cycle, inspired by a Nigerian creation story and the Facebook Live posting Diamond Reynolds made after her fiancé Philando Castile was shot by a police officer at a traffic stop.

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Yance Ford
PRIDE, “Episode 5: The Culture Wars”

TV Series

FX’s new docuseries, PRIDE, which chronicles the past 60 years of the struggle for LGBTQ+ civil rights in America. Episode 5, directed by Yance Ford, looks at how the culture wars in the 1990s galvanized LGBTQ+ people to create policies and organizations that still fight for equality today.

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In the News

“Rethinking What It Means to Be a Philadelphia Artist”
New York Times
May 20, 2021

The New York Times wrote about a new exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, featuring work on view by Jesse Krimes: “The goal of the collection, titled ‘Purgatory,’ was “to challenge the disposability of incarcerated people, to make their and my full humanity visible to the public,’ said Mr. Krimes.”

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“In Denver, the Pandemic Deepens Artistic Collaboration”
New York Times
May 21, 2021

The New York Times writes about the collaboration between Cannupa Hanska Luger and artist Marie Watt for a new exhibition at the Denver Art Museum: “Not only does the exhibition pair two contemporary artists, who are displaying their separate works as well as one joint project, many of the pieces were made also with hundreds of contributions from non-artist volunteers, a mode known today as ‘social practice’ and one with much older roots.”

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“A Conversation with Kenseth Armstead”
Sculpture Magazine
May 21, 2021

Kenseth Armstead speaks to Sculpture about current projects and how Spook, his Creative Capital Project, continues to tie into his practice. “On any street, you’re on Roman streets, with French Colonial architecture, with jacked-up Modernist German concepts, but the whole idea of being in a society is an African notion. As Africans you don’t have any representations of that anywhere, physically, in your built American world. So, in a way, the American Revolution and our erasure from the beginning of the struggle became this battery for me to make an African physicalness in New York City.”

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“James Schamus Debuts First TV Series, Somos, on Netflix”
May 25, 2021

National Advisory Council member James Schamus is debuting Somos, his first television outing, on June 30. The six-episode Netflix series is based on the ProPublica report “How the U.S. Triggered a Massacre in Mexico,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist Ginger Thompson.

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“Anti-Black Discrimination and Toxic Workplaces Are All Too Common in the Arts Administration Field”
Artnet News
May 26, 2021

Paul Rucker writes on his experience with racial discrimination while working in arts administration in Seattle: “As a Black employee you’re scrutinized more than others…  I’ve seen firsthand the structural barriers that are put in place that don’t allow equitable access to employment. It’s not only explicit acts of racism. It’s conflicts of interest, cronyism, protectionism, pay inequity, and fraud, often enacted by people in leadership who are the very ones in charge of policing others.”

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“Los Angeles Is Covered in Delicious Fruit and No One Is Eating It”
Altas Obscura
May 26, 2021

Atlas Obscura discusses the large amounts of loquats on public streets that go unpicked and uneaten, highlighting Fallen Fruit’s “legendary and long-running Los Angeles art project that creates maps of public fruit around the city.”

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“The MAP Fund Announces 2021 Grantees!”
Map Fund
June 2, 2021

Map Fund announced their 2021 Grantees, including Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Steffani Jemison, Papel Machete, Liz Glynn, Heidi Latsky, Trajal Harrell, Mary Ellen Strom, Charlotte Brathwaite, and Brian Harnetty. All grantees receive $20,000 in project development funds and $5,000 in general operating funds to advance their bold ideas.

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“On making space for the impossible”
Creative Independent
June 2, 2021

Sabrina Orah Mark talks to Creative Independent about her writing practice: “I sit down often and I have no idea what I’m doing. Often I don’t really know what I think until I write through it. I’ve been holding on to writing more and more as a kind of life raft so that I can understand what is happening around me.”

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“Legacy Russell Is Named Next Leader of the Kitchen”
New York Times
June 8, 2021

Legacy Russell will take the helm as executive director and chief curator of The Kitchen in September, succeeding Tim Griffin. She has been the associate curator of exhibitions at the Studio Museum in Harlem since 2018.

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