This week in Black art and culture, French-Caribbean artist Julien Creuzet is shortlisted for the 2021 Edition of the BMW Art Journey. Artist-in-Residence John Sims is startlingly awakened at the Columbia Gallery and detained in his bedroom by police. The re-established College of Fine Arts at Howard University is named in honor of the late Chadwick Boseman.
Above: Chadwick Boseman at San Diego Come-Con by Gage Skidmore.
College of Fine Arts Named in Chadwick Boseman’s Honor at Howard University
The late, great Chadwick Boseman’s name will be officially cemented on Howard University’s (HU) reestablished College of Fine Arts. The honor comes in the aftermath of Boseman’s death from colon cancer in the peak of his career last August.
As an HU graduate, Boseman went on to become an A-list actor and philanthropist, portraying legendary characters like as T’Challa (Black Panther), Thurgood Marshall (Marshall), Jackie Robinson (42), and James Brown (Get on Up).
Howard named actress and HU alumnus Phylicia Rashad as dean of the freshly re-established College of Fine Arts earlier this month. Plans to reopen Howard’s College of Fine Arts were revealed in early 2018, the same year Mr. Boseman delivered a commencement address. The Cathy Hughes School of Communications, as well as the university’s television and radio stations, will be housed in the new building.
After financial difficulties forced staff layoffs, Howard combined the College of Fine Arts with the College of Arts and Sciences in the late 1990s. According to the school, students opposed the consolidation in 1997, and Boseman assisted in leading the rally. He continued participating in talks regarding the institution after graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in directing in 2000.
Robert A. Iger, the Walt Disney Company’s executive chairman, will lead fundraising efforts for an endowment named after the late actor as well as construction of a new building that will be home to the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts, among other departments.
Above: Julien Creuzet.
French-Caribbean Artist Julien Creuzet Shortlisted for BMW Art Journey
Art Basel and BMW have unveiled the 2021 shortlist of the BMW Art Journey, the world-renowned prize that celebrates a young or mid-career artist with an exciting opportunity. The BMW Art Journey prize, which was first granted in 2015, may take an artist practically anywhere in the world—to research, to network, and to develop and create new work. Artists presenting at Art Basel’s selection for emerging artists in Hong Kong are eligible for the BMW Art Journey.
This year’s shortlisted artists, Julien Creuzet, Kelvin Kyung Kun Park and Alice Wang, each have been invited to develop a proposal for their ideal journey, with the winner to be announced in late June 2021.
Julien Creuzet creates protean artworks incorporating poetry, music, sculpture, assemblage, film and animation. Evoking trans-oceanic postcolonial transactions in relation to multiple temporalities, the artist places his own inherited past, present and future at the heart of his production. Eluding generalized narratives and cultural reductions, Creuzet’s work often spotlights anachronisms and social realities to construct objects of irreducibility. The artist’s exhibitions include Camden Arts Center, London (upcoming), and previously, Palais de Tokyo, Paris and Fondation d’Entreprise Pernod Ricard, Paris. His work also was on display at group exhibitions such as Manifesta 13, Marseilles; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris and Centre Pompidou, Paris. Creuzet also has been nominated for the Prix Marcel Duchamp 2021.
Artist-in-Residence John Sims Held in His Bedroom by Police
This week, John Sims, a Black artist and activist whose work investigates emblems of white supremacy, became an allegory in his own right when he was arrested and questioned by police officers at his apartment at the 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, South Carolina, where he is the artist in residence. AfroDixia: A Righteous Confiscation, his current interdisciplinary installation there (through June 25), reimagines the Confederate battle flag.
According to the Free Times, at about 2:00 a.m. on May 17, four police officers saw an open entrance that is “normally protected especially after working hours” and began searching the premises. The policemen discovered Sims in his loft bedroom and, rejecting the artist’s request that they identify themselves, climbed the stairs to his bedroom with pistols drawn and detained the artist for six minutes as they questioned why he was there, according to the Columbia news site.
According to an examination of body cam footage by Free Times, Sims was detained for around eight minutes and shackled for around six minutes inside his residence at 701 Center for Contemporary Art. Sims told the Free Times that he was terrified that neo-Nazis, or the Ku Klux Klan, were coming to assault him and his exhibition, and that he sought shelter when he heard the policemen approach the building, preparing to call the cops himself.
Sims requested identification from the police, who refused. As officers handcuffed Sims, they forced him to face the wall and instructed him to cease struggling. Sims claimed to them that he is a resident artist, but the police claim they didn’t recognize him, and that the door was open when the alarm went off. “Is it?” he inquired. Still in the dark, he requested that the restraints be removed from his wrists.
According to a police department press release, Columbia Chief Skip Holbrook decided that officers acted “professionally and within policy.” He did, however, claim that the on-scene supervisor should have permitted Sims to record the officers. Teresa Wilson, the city manager of Columbia, advised that the city should better identify locations such as home vacation rentals, such as Airbnb, and share that information with the police and fire departments.
Biden Appoints New Members to U.S. Commission of Fine Arts
President Biden announced his plan to appoint four new members to the United States Commission of Fine Arts, the organization that regulates the design and architecture of government buildings in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday afternoon. The four proposed appointments are intended to replace the four, all-white-male commissioners appointed by former President Donald Trump, some of whom contributed to a contentious executive order promoting neoclassical architecture as the official style for federal buildings in Washington and new federal courthouses overseas.
The new commissioners are Peter Cook, a principal at HGA Architects whose previous projects include the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture; Hazel Ruth Edwards, a professor and chair of Howard University’s Department of Architecture; Justin Garrett Moore, the first program officer of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Humanities in Place program; and Billie Tsien, a partner at Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects.
Since July 2016, Dr. Hazel Ruth Edwards has served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Architecture, College of Engineering and Architecture at Howard University. Edwards, who was appointed in 2016, is the department’s first female chairperson since architectural instruction began at Howard in 1911. Her career has been one-of-a-kind, combining place-based research, planning and urban design practice, and teaching. She is an American Institute of Professional Planners (AICP) certified planner who was elected to Howard’s College of Fellows (FAICP) in 2018.
Justin Garrett Moore is a transdisciplinary designer and urbanist. He recently took a job at the Andrew Mellon Foundation as the inaugural program officer of the Humanities in Place program. Moore previously served as executive director of the City of New York Public Design Commission. He is a member of the American Planning Association’s AICP Commission, the Urban Design Forum, and the Black urbanist collective, BlackSpace. Justin is an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and the Yale School of Architecture.
-Compiled by Sumaiyah E. Wade