Faith Ringgold, Black Light Series #7: Ego Painting, 1969. Oil on canvas, 30 × 30 in. (76.2 × 76.2 cm).Art Institute of Chicago; Wilson L. Mead Trust Fund; Claire and Gordon Prussian Fund for Contemporary Art; Mr. and Mrs. Frank G. Logan Purchase Prize Fund; Ada S. Garrett Prize, Flora Mayer Witkowsky Purchase Prize, Gordon Prussian Memorial, Emilie L. Wild Prize, William H. Bartels Prize, William and Bertha Clusmann Prize, Max V. Kohnstamm Prize, and Pauline Palmer Prize funds. © Faith Ringgold / ARS, NY and DACS, London, courtesy ACA Galleries, New York 2021. Photo: Art Institute of Chicago/Art Resource
Presented in conjunction with the opening of the exhibition “Faith Ringgold: American People,” this panel discussion will explore the enduring influence of Harlem on Ringgold’s life and work and the equally important impact she has had on the creative community in Harlem. Panelists include Director of Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling Rob Fields, Director and CEO of Lucas Museum of Narrative Art Sandra Jackson-Dumont, writer and professor Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, and artist Nari Ward, who will consider Ringgold’s practice and vision in relation to the neighborhood where she was born and raised. This program is moderated by exhibition co-curator Gary Carrion-Murayari, Kraus Family Curator, and co-presented with Cooper Union, with support from Phaidon Press. “Faith Ringgold: American People,” is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue co-published with Phaidon.
Rob Fields (b. 1967, Cleveland, OH) is an arts leader based in New York City. He is the recently appointed Director of the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling and the former President & Executive Director of the Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn. Over the course of his career, he’s been a marketer for big brands, cultural institutions and indie artists; a cultural programmer; and the publisher of an online magazine for over a decade. His writing has appeared in Hyperallergic, Forbes.com, and Huffington Post. Rob is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University.
Sandra Jackson-Dumont (b. 1970, San Francisco, CA) is a curator, author, educator, and administrator who lives and works in Los Angeles. Jackson-Dumont is the Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, a new museum under construction in Los Angeles. Throughout her roles with some of the country’s most renowned museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Seattle Art Museum, and now the Lucas Museum, she has collaborated extensively with living artists, communities, creatives, and historical materials. Her work catalyzes the presence of increasingly dynamic and diverse peoples in cultural spaces while exploring timely issues of relevance and concern. She believes that visual storytelling can foster greater understanding of our nuanced humanity. Jackson-Dumont holds a B.A. in art history from Sonoma State University and an M.A. in art history from Howard University.
Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts is an author and professor working Brooklyn, New York. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, Chimurenga, Bidoun, A Public Space, Creative Time Reports, Harper’s, Essence and Vogue, among many others. Rhodes-Pitts is the author of Harlem Is Nowhere: A Journey to the Mecca of Black America (2011), a New York Times Notable Book of 2011 and a National Book Critics Circle Finalist. Her 2015 book for young readers, Jake Makes a World: Jacob Lawrence a Young Artist in Harlem (commissioned by MoMA and illustrated by Christopher Myers), was named by Booklist among the year’s top books about art for children. She has received grants and awards from Creative Capital, the Whiting Foundation, the Rona Jaffe Foundation and the Lannan Foundation. Rhodes-Pitts organizes public projects through The Freedwomen’s Bureau, gathering collaborators across the fields of visual art, music, theater, film, and education to produce events at venues like Harlem Stage, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The New Museum, PS 1 / MoMA and sidewalks in Harlem. She received a B.A. from Harvard College.
Nari Ward (b. 1963, St. Andrew, Jamaica) is an artist and professor who lives and works in New York. Ward is known for his sculptural installations composed of discarded material found and collected in his neighborhood, his practice re-contextualizes these found objects in thought-provoking juxtapositions that create complex, metaphorical meanings to confront social and political issues surrounding race, poverty, and consumer culture. Select solo exhibitions of Ward’s work have been organized at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, CO (2020); Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX (2019); New Museum, New York, NY (2019); Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA (2017); Socrates Sculpture Park, New York, NY (2017). Select group exhibitions featuring his work include “Grief and Grievance,” New Museum, New York, NY (2021); “The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse,” Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA (2021); and “Inalienable,” The Contemporary Dayton, Dayton, OH. Ward has received numerous honors and distinctions including the Fellowship Award, The United States Artists, Chicago (2020); Vilcek Prize in Fine Arts, Vilcek Foundation, New York (2017); and the Rome Prize, American Academy of Rome (2012). Nari Ward received a B.A. from City University of New York, Hunter College in 1989, and an M.F.A. from City University of New York, Brooklyn College in 1992.
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