The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has awarded $45,000 in Art Works grant funds to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) to support its upcoming exhibition The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture and the Sonic Impulse. This is one of 1,015 grants nationwide that the agency has approved and was part of Art Works, a major funding package totaling $84 million.
“These awards demonstrate the resilience of the arts in America, showcasing not only the creativity of their arts projects but the organizations’ agility in the face of a national health crisis,” said NEA Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “We celebrate organizations like VMFA for providing opportunities for learning and engagement through the arts in these times.”
“The National Endowment for the Arts’ support for The Dirty South exhibition enables the museum to continue highlighting and commissioning work by Black artists,” said Alex Nyerges, VMFA’s Director and CEO. “Though we have been working on this exhibition for a few years it is an especially significant project at this time of historic change.” In 1944, only nine years after opening its doors, the VMFA acquired its first work by an African American artist. Since that time the museum has continued to make strides in diversifying the permanent collection of which the works of Black artists now comprise 39 percent.
Featuring approximately 80 works, The Dirty South exhibition will explore the aesthetic impulses of early 20th-century Black culture as seen in contemporary Black musical expression found throughout the American South. Drawing from the visual imagery found in music videos, lyrics, and cultural ephemera, the exhibition traces the roots of southern Black hip hop to reveal its aesthetic leanings. The exhibition, slated to open in May 2021, will explore the sonic and visual currents that not only influenced today’s music but art over the last century. “The confluence between the visual and sonic arts in Black expression have long been recognized. However, what has remained elusive, particularly in the presentation of these forms, is the long trajectory of this exchange,” said Valerie Cassel Oliver, the Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, and the exhibition’s organizer. “As a native of the South, this is an endeavor that is close to my heart.” The museum is also producing a catalog to accompany the exhibition.
For more information on this National Endowment for the Arts grant announcement visit arts.gov/news.
InLight Coming to Low Line in 2021
1708 Gallery’s 14th annual InLight will take place November 12-13, 2021 at Great Shiplock Park, Chapel Island, and nearby sites on the Low Line in Richmond.
1708 Gallery’s 14th annual InLight will take place November 12-13, 2021 at Great Shiplock Park, Chapel Island, and nearby sites on the Low Line in Richmond. InLight is 1708’s annual public exhibition of contemporary art. InLight takes place at night and each year is in a different location in Richmond. InLight features multimedia, sculpture, installation, performance, community-based works, and virtual projects that utilize light-based platforms (projections, lighting design, and more) to be experienced in the dark. Past sites include Chimborazo Park, the downtown Arts District, and the sculpture garden and grounds of the VMFA.
1708 invites regional, national, and international artists working in all media and disciplines to submit entries for InLight 2021. Great Shiplock Park is located at a former shiplock constructed as part of the James River and Kanawha Canal system. Artists are invited to propose projects that engage with and expand upon the multiple themes and histories that can be found at these sites such as: trade and labor of then-enslaved peoples of African and Indigenous descent during and following the industrial revolution; the environmental impact—especially concerning water resources—of commerce and infrastructure; and the cultivation of spaces for alternative forms of historical preservation.
The curatorial team is especially interested in proposals that address ideas around movement in air, land, and water; flows of resources; and the redistribution of power within these systems; and future-thinking projects that reflect but are not bound by the histories surrounding Great Shiplock Park to imagine the site’s specificity and potential beyond its past and present. Artists, Collectives, and Community Organizations are encouraged to apply.
For more details and to submit an entry, please visit 1708INLIGHT.ORG.DEADLINE TO APPLY: Midnight (EST), Thursday, July 15, 2021.
1708 will host two virtual meetings via Zoom to provide an opportunity for potential applicants to ask direct questions about the application and selection process for InLight 2021. The meetings will be Tuesday, June 22nd at 6:00 pm and Wednesday, June 23rd at 6:00 pm. Please register in advance to attend.
The Broadberry is F***ing Back or so I Read
Good news for lovers of live music.
Richmond Folk Festival and 2nd Street Festival Will Return
Short on details but the good news is the best event in Richmond will be back.
I was thrilled to see this in my inbox this morning.
Two of Richmond’s largest and most beloved events will return this fall, live and in person.
Venture Richmond Events plans to produce both the 2nd Street Festival and the Richmond Folk Festival as live events, while also following state and federal guidelines for outdoor gatherings.
The 2nd Street Festival, in partnership with the City of Richmond, will take place October 2-3, 2021, in the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood.
The Richmond Folk Festival, in partnership with the National Council for Traditional Arts and the City of Richmond, will take place October 8-10, 2021, along Downtown Richmond’s riverfront.
“We look forward to getting back to in-person festivals with the 33rd year of the 2nd Street Festival and the 17th year of the Richmond Folk Festival,” said Stephen Lecky, director of events. “Now more than ever we know how important it is for us to come together safely in a shared celebration of culture and experiences, whether they are the rich traditions of the historic Jackson Ward community, or those from around the nation and the world presented on Downtown’s riverfront. Certainly, the joy we receive from producing these two festivals is immeasurable and we will do so with everyone’s wellbeing as our utmost priority.”
More information will follow this summer as we continue to stay informed and aware of CDC and state guidelines for Covid-19 protocol at events. A commitment to safety and adherence to local, state, and federal ordinances and guidelines is crucial.
The 2nd Street Festival is sponsored in part by: Dominion Energy, Brown Distributing, Community Foundation, Virginia Union University, and the City of Richmond.
The Richmond Folk Festival is sponsored in part by: Dominion Energy, CoStar Group, Community Foundation, WestRock, CarMax, City of Richmond, Brown Distributing, National Council for Traditional Arts, and the Children’s Museum.