April 13, 2016

Art | Race | Activism

Brandeis University
(1) KRS-One at Brandeis University, 2015. (2) Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Mama, Mummy and Mamma, 2014. Photo: Mario Todeschini. (3) Yoshua Okón, Octopus (video still), 2011. (4) Camille A. Brown, BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play. Photo: Christopher Duggan.*

Rick Lowe in conversation with Christopher Bedford,
Henry and Lois Foster Director of the Rose Art Museum

April 17, 3–4:30pm
Pollack Auditorium

Rick Lowe artist talk
April 18, 3:30–5pm
Shapiro Campus Center/Multipurpose room

Rick Lowe class visit
“Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation”

April 19, 2–4pm
The Rose Art Museum
(Due to space limitations, open by invitation only)

Presented by the Departments of Fine Arts, African and Afro-American Studies, and the Rose Art Museum. Generously funded by the Brandeis Arts Council, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Mandel Center for the Humanities.

Rick Lowe’s upcoming residency at Brandeis University marks the culmination of ART | RACE | ACTIVISM, an extraordinary integrated arts project that brings a roster of remarkable visual artists, dancers, musicians, and scholars to campus. Among the highlights of 2015–16:

–A weeklong residency by Theaster Gates, who was awarded the Richman Distinguished Fellowship in Public Life
–Artist talks by Njikdeka Akunyili Crosby, Nevet Yitzhak, James (Ari) Montford, and Yoshua Okón
–A workshop by dancer/choreographer /musician Camille A. Brown
–Lectures on Contemporary African Art by Professor Salah M. Hassan (Goldwin Smith Professor of African and African Diaspora Art History and Visual Culture, Cornell University); and on Art and Incarceration by Professor Nicole R. Fleetwood (Associate Professor in the Department of American Studies and Director of the Institute for Research on Women at Rutgers University)
–An inspiring, performative presentation by Hip Hop legend, KRS-One

ART | RACE | ACTIVISM continues Brandeis’ 2014–15 initiative: ART | BLACKNESS | DIASPORA, which brought artists Mark Bradford, Melvin Edwards, Lara Baladi, Jennie C. Jones and art historian Dr. Christina Knight to our campus.

Both series reaffirm the foundational social justice mission of Brandeis University and the Rose Art Museum; challenge racial biases that have excluded innovative artists of color from the art historical and cultural canons; and advance our commitment to exhibit, teach, and research the diverse histories and cultures of Africa and the African Diaspora.

Although we began to conceptualize and plan these initiatives before the Black Lives Matter movement came to the fore and before the #FordHall2015 student protests erupted on our campus, their activism imbued our series with an added sense of urgency and relevance. As the projects evolved, they were inspired by our students, responded to their just concerns, and embraced their powerful voices as an integral part of our vision.

About Rick Lowe
2014 MacArthur fellow Rick Lowe is an artist whose unconventional approach to community revitalization has transformed a long-neglected neighborhood in Houston into a visionary public art project that continues to evolve, two decades since its inception. Originally trained as a painter, Lowe shifted the focus of his artistic practice in the early 1990s in order to address more directly the pressing social, economic, and cultural needs of his community. With a group of fellow artists, he organized the purchase and restoration of a block and a half of derelict properties—twenty-two shotgun houses from the 1930s—in Houston’s predominantly African American Third Ward and turned them into Project Row Houses, an unusual amalgam of arts venue and community support center.

For more information contact Professor Gannit Ankori, [email protected]


*Image above: (1) KRS-One at Brandeis University, 2015. Courtesy Brandeis University. (2) Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Mama, Mummy and Mamma, 2014. Acrylic, color pencils, charcoal and transfers on paper, 7 x 9 feet. Photo: Mario Todeschini. Courtesy of the artist and Victoria Miro, London. (3) Yoshua Okón, Octopus (video still), 2011. Courtesy the artist. (4) Camille A. Brown, BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play. Performance view. Photo: Christopher Duggan. Courtesy of the artist.

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