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  • NEW SCHOLARSHIP HONORS THE ART AND INSPIRATION OF SYVILLA FORT

    Born in Seattle, Syvilla Fort began dancing at the tender age of three, and by just nine years old, bolstered by private lessons, she started sharing her love for dance with those in her immediate surroundings by teaching modern, tap, and ballet to neighborhood kids. In 1932, Syvilla entered Cornish College of the Arts, having been the first person of color to enroll there, and after having been denied admission to several Seattle ballet programs because of her race. Fort was the innovator of the Afro-modern dance technique, combining modern styles learned at the Katherine Dunham School with techniques she learned at Cornish. In her New York studio, Fort was very popular among famous actors including Marlon Brando, James Earl Jones, Jane Fonda, and James Dean. A recent program at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) showcased the impact of Syvilla Fort’s life and career, which is now being memorialized through the Syvilla Fort Scholarship at Cornish College. Cornish President Raymond Tymus-Jones announced the new scholarship fund that will support the next generation of artists of color interested in pursuing a Bachelor of Arts at Cornish. Fort’s impact on dance has traversed generations even though her name does not often appear alongside those considered to be the greats. Perhaps the Cornish College scholarship will help bring more notice to a woman who defied the odds, eclipsed rejection, and inspired innovation in dance. Learn more about the Syvilla Fort scholarship here.

  • DON'T MISS THE ICONIC DAWOUD BEY + CARRIE MAE WEEMS EXHIBIT AT SAM

    Dawoud Bey & Carrie Mae Weems: In Dialogue traces the careers and 45-year friendship of two of the most significant photo-based artists working today. We can't mention Inye Wakoma's work on the curatorial team for American Art, The Stories We Carry, and not also give an emphatic Shout-Out to the groundbreaking photography exhibit featuring Dawoud Bey and Carrie Mae Weems now on view at Seattle Art Museum. Running from November 17th through January 22nd, the showing features over 140 works by the artists, who explore ideas grounded in the experiences of Black people refracted through issues of gender, class, and systems of power. In Dialogue presents a series of thematic explorations of their distinct yet overlapping concerns and approaches. This is the first time their celebrated work—the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions—has been shown together to explore their spirited engagement with each other over the years and Seattle is the third stop on the exhibition's US tour. In conjunction with the exhibition, SAM Photo Club is engaging an Instagram program where they ask their followers to snap a photo according to exhibition-related themes, tag the photo with #SAMPhotoClub, and share it to their feed. Throughout the run of Dawoud Bey & Carrie Mae Weems: In Dialogue (November 17, 2022–January 20, 2023), Seattle Art Museum will announce photography submissions for three of the defining motifs of their respective careers: self-portraits, street photography, and family and community. Every week, they'll share a few of the photographs that have been tagged in their Instagram stories. At the end of the exhibition, they'll compile the photos they've received across all three categories and share them on the SAM Blog! When to participate Friday, December 9: Street photography Friday, December 30: Family & community photography How to participate Follow SAM on Instagram and keep an eye out for each theme announcement Share your photographs with #SAMPhotoClub! You do not want to miss Dawoud Bey & Carrie Mae Weems: In Dialogue. Learn more and purchase tickets here!

  • REIMAGINING WHAT CONSTITUTES "AMERICAN" ART

    In 2019 the Metropolitan Museum of Art began a new series of contemporary commissions for installations that would fill the empty alcoves at the museum entrance. The first installation was by Kenyan- American artist Wangechi Mutu entitled, The NewOnes, will free Us. The commissions are intended to establish a dialogue between the artist’s work, the collection, the space, and the audience. One of the sculptures installed at The Met, The Seated IV, continues this dialogue after having been purchased by and is now permanently seated on the University of Washington Seattle campus. This is just one example of the ways in which museums and other institutions of art and culture are seeking to redefine long-held concepts of what constitutes American art and create new forms of dialogue with audiences, while also creating new forms of inclusion that is more representative of the realities of what and who should be represented. Such is the case at the Seattle Art Museum where the new exhibit American Art: The Stories We Carry, is currently on view. A statement describing the exhibit on the museum website reads, “In the past, the galleries presented a historical overview of American art history that did not fully consider the many histories and perspectives that have driven cultural production in North America from the 17th century to World War II, particularly those of artists active in the Pacific Northwest region’s diverse communities.” This new exhibit takes one giant next step after recognition of the omissions and embarks upon a possibility for more inclusive and broader perspectives on what and who gets to be a part of the American art story. One of the exhibit advisors, who is also an exhibit curator and featured artist, Inye Wokoma, shared his responses to 3 questions we posed about his involvement. Inye curated the Reimagining Regionalism gallery. Here’s what he had to say: What do you want people to better understand when they experience Reimagining Regionalism? It was an interesting prospect approaching SAM’s American Art Collection with the idea that I would find meaningful points of personal connection. The collection is dominated by works by predominantly white artists from the 19th and early 20th century, objects that underscore European expansionism, and a smaller fraction by non-white artists of mainly the mid-20th century. My personal and creative lens is obviously shaped by being a Black American man and more specifically a man of dual heritage via my father’s Nigerian origins. So my relationship to many of these works is shaped by the roles I know my ancestors played in the histories they depict and represent. I think that is the first thing I want people to be aware of, that there is a very specific vision and voice that informs the gallery. It is not neutral in its gaze. Even with that, I went into the process with an open mind willing to approach each piece I considered on its aesthetic merits first, then thinking about what else there was for me to discover. So there is room for folks to simply enjoy the art. An experience that should never be undermined by more complicated ambitions. I was impressed by the number of local artists in the collection. In the end, I selected works by mainly Northwest artists, as I saw an opportunity to interrogate stories about our region. Works by artists from other parts of the country connected to this theme either by representation (Bierstadt’s Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast), by the political economies of colonial expansionism (Sullivan’s Elevator Screen from the Chicago Stock Exchange), or by the truth we all must grapple with about living on Indigenous land (Watt’s Blanket Stories). There are layers of meaning in the gallery’s placements and the art labels. If folks are willing to slow down in the space, I hope some of these encoded elements will begin to reveal themselves. The centrality of Marie Watt’s sculpture is intentional for instance. Its placement is a statement about the inescapability of our collective responsibility to the Coast Salish nations. Another example, entering the gallery from the front, the visitor is forced to view Bierstadt’s rendition of the Puget Sound through the lattice of Sullivan’s Elevator Screen. This forced perspective is a statement about the ways art functioned as a power vector for Manifest Destiny. I want people to see the gallery as an interrogation of the complexities of our personal and political relationships. Contemporary relationships that are often born of brutal histories. What were your first thoughts when you explored the available works for the exhibit? Like stated before, I was surprised by the number of local artists in the collection. In the very…extremely…absolutely brief (lol) time I spent in the previous iteration of the American Art Gallery it seemed to be preoccupied by a narrow view of American art, classical landscapes, portraits of the powerful, fetishized representations of Indigenous people, objects of conquest. I was pleased to find works by many local artists, some of which were artists of color. This gave me a chance to have a nuanced and varied curatorial experience. I was afraid the project would leave me with a flattened sense of once again railing against European colonial adventures, oppressive systems, and so on. There was some of that, history disallows avoidance of those truths, but there was also room for me to explore other points of view. Shimomura’s Minidoka Series #2: Exodus, and Tokita’s pieces Drugstore and Backyard gave me a chance to think about my childhood growing up in the Central District and how my experience was shaped by the WWII internment of Japanese Americans. I wasn’t expecting to have that kind of rich opportunity until I discovered the full extent of the collection. Prior to this assignment, what was your relationship with SAM? Over the years I have gone to SAM for their African Art collection, their contemporary art collection and exhibits, and for the occasional public engagement event. Going back I spent a lot of time at Volunteer Park and the museum when its main location was there. Some of my earliest memories are of going to see vintage cinema there on Sunday nights with my mother and sister. For years I was infatuated with a memory of seeing The Man In The White Suit. I was probably six or seven when I saw it at SAM at Volunteer Park, which would mean 1975 or '76. As an adult, in the 2010s, I still thought about that film and was able to find it online. As a critique of capitalist oligarchies, it was even better seeing it as an adult than I remembered it as a child. Even more peripherally, my mother is a committed collector of traditional African art and artifacts. Over her life, she has amassed an impressive collection for a working-class Black woman. For a time we lived in Mt. Baker near Katherine White, another major collector of African art. My mother would speak of her often and I think visited her home. Major portions of the White collection are now a part of SAM’s African Art Collection. So I guess you could say I have a lifelong relationship with SAM in many unexpected ways. Over the past few years, I have been invited by SAM to participate in the community advisory process for visiting exhibitions. Most recently I was a part of the current Dawoud Bey/Carrie Mae Weems community engagement community advisory group. Previous to that I was a part of the Jacob Lawrence American Struggle exhibition community advisory group. Learn more about Inye Wakoma here, and his work as a curator for SAM's exhbit, American Art, The Stories We Carry here .

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  • ARTE NOIR | Black Arts and Culture | Seattle

    Welcome to ARTE NOIR ARTIST SPOTLIGHT PERRI RHODEN The Vibrant Joy of @thecurlynugget READ MORE FEATURED VENDOR Joey M. Robinson Abstract painter, Portrait artist, Photographer + Storyteller www.joeymrobinson.com FEATURED ARTICLES NEW SCHOLARSHIP HONORS THE ART AND INSPIRATION OF SYVILLA FORT DON'T MISS THE ICONIC DAWOUD BEY + CARRIE MAE WEEMS EXHIBIT AT SEATTLE ART MUSEUM REIMAGINING WHAT CONSTITUTES "AMERICAN" ART VIEW ALL ARTICLES NEWSLETTER Subscribe to our regular emails filled with articles, events, featured products, and more! Email Join Our Mailing List Thank you for subscribing to ARTE NOIR's newsletter! FEATURED EVENTS GRAB YOUR THANKSGIVING DESSERTS NOVEMBER 23RD! ARTE NOIR is hosting The Sugah Shack's annual Thanksgiving Pop-Up this year! Come through to pick up all of your favorite holiday desserts, including Chef T's next-level banana pudding, decadent sweet potato pie, classic caramel apples and so much more! Pre-orders are not available this year; all items are first come, first served. You don't want to be the one who shows up empty-handed to the holiday festivities so make sure you pick your treats up early! ​ Open Limited Hours on the 23rd: 10AM to 3PM ON VIEW AT ONYX TRUTH B TOLD II A portfolio of work showcasing Pacific Northwest artists of African descent, recently portrayed in the second publication by Onyx Fine Arts Collective, TRUTH B TOLD II , is finally here! LEARN MORE Paradise Lost by Bonnie Hopper

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    ARTE NOIR PRESS Thank you to The Seattle Channel for visiting! Original episode aired on 11/15/2022. MORE RECENT STORIES The Seattle Times New spot celebrates Black culture and artwork in the Central District The Seattle Times Midtown Square artists aim to connect community to the deep history of the Central District The Seattle Times ARTE NOIR reclaims space in Central District for Black arts Crosscut ArtSEA: Black history lights up Seattle’s Central District Crosscut ArtSEA: Seattle’s new Arte Noir shines a light on Black creators The Seattle Times Q&A with Jazmyn Scott, executive director of new Seattle Black arts space ARTE NOIR The Seattle Medium Jazmyn Scott Named Executive Director Of ARTE NOIR Capitol Hill Seattle Blog ARTE NOIR arts center creating a space to grow ‘Black art, artists, and culture’ at 23rd and Union KUOW/NPR Creating an environment where black artists can thrive.' Central District gallery looks to reclaim neighborhood Capitol Hill Seattle With KEXP, DJ Riz, and Larry Mizell, Revival Market at Central District’s new Midtown Square development joins Seattle’s celebration of Juneteenth The Seattle Times Seattle arts luminaries Marcie Sillman and Vivian Phillips’ new podcast advocates for art, by and for everyone WWW Converge Morning Update Show ARTE NOIR Arts Center PODCASTS, RADIO TELEVISION + MORE Executive Director Jazmyn Scott chats all things ARTE NOIR Grand Opening with Converge Media's Trae Holiday New brick and mortar space showcasing Black art and artists opening in Seattle KUOW 00:00 / 01:04 Executive Director Jazmyn Scott + Founder Vivian Phillps on KUOW Founder + Board President Vivian Phillips on the NINE dot Arts Podcast ARTE NOIR PRESS RELEASES For all press inquiries, please contact Taelore Rhoden - marketing@artenoir.org ARTE NOIR Press Release 8.30.22 ARTE NOIR Press Release 5.13.22

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