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Contents for March 06, 2017

1. Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, FF Alumn, at Rollins College, Orlando, FL, March 21

Artist’s Performance
at Knowles Chapel
6 P.M.
Assistant Professor,
University of Central Florida
Florida School of Visual Arts and Design
Thomas P. Johnson
Distinguished Visiting Artist
Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz
Artist Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz shares that she was compelled to create the durational performance piece, Pietá, because "as a woman of color and mother to a small, brown boy, I am haunted by the inevitable truth that my son will experience trauma because of the color of his skin. He will be ostracized, questioned, confronted, contested, and presumed incompetent. He will be tested, taunted, harassed-and that is the easy part. What plagues me is much darker, scarier: Sirens, flashing red and blue lights, a knock at my door, somber faces and that somehow he asked for it. With all of the attention placed on the loss of life among young men of color at the hands of bias crimes, I reflect on a mother's worst nightmare come true. This is not just a performance piece about social (in)justice, but a moment to grieve." The performance at Knowles Chapel will be accompanied by a brochure featuring Raimundi-Ortiz's sketches and written pieces by Rollins College Professor of History, Julian Chambliss, Curator Amy Galpin, and Fred Hicks Fellow Sarah Castro. Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz's work has been widely exhibited and was featured in the museum's Summer 2016 exhibition Displacement: Symbols and Journeys. This is the premiere performance of Pietá, which will be performed next at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.
Sponsored by



2. Franc Palaia, FF ALumn, at Montgomery Row Second Level, Rhinebeck NY, opening March 11

Franc Palaia, FF Alumn, with present a solo survey show "100 Points of View" a selection of 100 color photographs at Montgomery Row Second Level exhibition space in Rhinebeck, NY. The selection of photos culled from 35 years of photographs taken in nine countries, the U.S., Italy, France, Turkey, China, Spain, Cuba, Greece and Canada.

Imagery includes; architecture, landscapes, aqueducts, urban murals, street art, Polaroids and oddities.

Exhibit dates: March 11 - April 28, 2017. Opening reception: Saturday March 11,
5 -7pm.
For more info: Francpalaia1@gail.com. www.FrancPalaia.com. The gallery is open 7 days 9-6pm. Montgomery Row, 6423 Montgomery Ave., (Rt 9), Rhinebeck, NY 12572.



3. Beverly Naidus, FF Alumn, at Seattle Presents Gallery, WA, thru April 14

“The Nightmare Quilt (Revival)” 1988-2017
Beverly Naidus
Seattle Presents Gallery, 700 5th Ave, Seattle
March 1-April 14, 2017

Almost 30 years ago, Beverly Naidus created a quilt from canvas scraps, acrylic paint and twine that described her fears for the future and her concerns about that present moment. The original version was displayed on a bed in a gallery, and visitors were invited to share their own nightmares and dreams and place them under the quilt. When they lifted up the quilt, they discovered that there were dreams on the opposite side. But to see all the dreams, the visitors needed to ask for help. In other words, we don’t get our collective dreams for the future unless we work in collaboration with each other.

This past fall, after moving to Tacoma, and putting the contents of her Seattle studio into storage in the UW Tacoma art building, Naidus pulled out this piece to share with her students in “The Artist as Visionary and Dreamer” course that she teaches at UWT. The students said, “this is about what’s going on today. It needs to be out in public now.” Within weeks, she received the invitation to share her work by the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.

The original quilt had 54 nightmares and 54 dreams. Recently Naidus created 27 new, double-sided panels of nightmares and dreams, speaking to our current fears and hopes. She has also modified the installation that surrounds the piece to create a stronger atmosphere for the quilt. She is eager to see how the Seattle city employees and other visitors experience the quilt. She will be available on several occasions to help with the turning of the quilt and facilitate discussions related to its content, resources and strategies for action.

Biography: After many years in the NYC and LA art worlds, and visiting artist gigs in other more rural regions, Beverly Naidus has made her home in the Pacific Northwest for over a decade. She has triangulated the Salish Sea, living on Vashon Island, in Seattle and is now in Tacoma. She has published two artists’ book, one about body image and the other about cultural identity. She is the author of Arts for Change: Teaching Outside the Frame (New Village Press, 2009) that describes her innovative approach to interdisciplinary and socially engaged, studio arts pedagogy. She facilitated the permaculture designed, eco-art project on Vashon called Eden Reframed. She works with the collective ARTifACTs on a project called, “We Almost Didn’t Make It” - visual and performed stories that our descendants discover about us, the ancestors, and what we did to make it possible for them to exist. This coming year, for her second sabbatical, she plans to collaborate with artists internationally who are working on climate change issues, and projects that remediate the damages of displacement and environmental degradation. Her website is www.beverlynaidus.net

The “The Nightmare Quilt (Revival)” is on display at the Seattle Presents Gallery until April 14th. The address is 700 5th Ave, Suite 401 - it is small gallery space outside the lobby of the Municipal Tower on the corner of Columbia and Fifth. The staff of the SOAC will have the gallery open to the public on Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon-2 pm. The artist will open the gallery to interested visitors by appointment. Just email bnaidus@uw.edu to arrange a visit.



4. Joyce Cutler Shaw, FF Alumn, at Craft & Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles, CA, thru May 7

I’m in an exhibition for book arts. Here’s the information:

Chapters: Book Arts in Southern California, Craft & Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles, CA, January 29-May 7




5. Shirin Neshat, FF Alumn, at Dirimart Dolapdere, Istanbul, Turkey, thru March 26

Shirin Neshat
February 24–March 26, 2017

Dirimart Dolapdere
Irmak Cad. 1-9
Dolapdere, 34 440

T +90 212 232 66 66
F +90 212 291 64 00

Curator: Heinz Peter Schwerfel

Dirimart is pleased to announce DREAMERS, an exhibition by Shirin Neshat. The show will include two video installations; Roja (2016) and Sara (2016) in addition to a series of new photos titled "Dreamers." Each video revolves around single female protagonists whose emotional and psychological narratives remain on the border of dream and reality; madness and sanity; and consciousness and sub-consciousness as they each face their own distinct inner anxieties.

These beautifully shot, black and white films share similar surrealistic and dreamy visual effects. Based on aspects of the artist's own recurring dreams, memories and sense of longings; Neshat manages to achieve a haunting quality through simple, non¬linear narratives and effective use of subtle camera techniques. In all the works, natural landscapes and distinct monolithic architecture become dominant aspects of the brief narratives, which indirectly investigate issues of gender, power, displacement, protest, identity, and the space between the personal and the political.

In Neshat's own words; "I have been haunted by the power of dreams, and in how it is only in the state of dreams where the boundaries between reality and fiction are blurred; and where human beings become become truly free and naked."

Sarah is an unfolding journey of a woman as she recollects and breathes annihilation, while facing residues of history, destruction, and mortality. What remains at the core of this narrative, is Sarah's fears which at last force her to plunge into imagining her own death. While intimate and personal, Sarah reflects on today's global sense of anxiety against extinction, violence and genocide.

Roja is an evocative piece, loosely based on the experience of "nostalgia" by an Iranian woman who feels deeply divided in between Eastern and Western cultures and landscapes; desperately seeking a notion of "security," "homeland" and a "mother figure" which prove to be both sympathetic and yet terribly threatening.

DREAMERS leaves the audience with the same question in mind, will the world ever heal from victimizing the displaced, the vulnerable and the protagonist?

Shirin Neshat (b.1957, Qazvin), is an Iranian artist and filmmaker living in New York. In 2009, Neshat made her first feature length film, Woman Without Men, and was awarded with Silver Lion prize for Best Director in the Venice International Film Festival. Neshat's current photo series include "The Book of Kings" (2012), "Our House Is on Fire" (2013), and "The Home of My Eyes" (2015). Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Serpentine Gallery, London; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal and the Detroit Institute of Arts are among the museums where Neshat's artworks are exhibited. Holding a recent exhibition in Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, the artist participated in the 48th Venice Biennial (1999), Whitney Biennial (2000), Documenta XI (2002) and Prospect 1 New Orleans (2009). Awards she was granted are: Grand Prize at the Gwangju Biennial (2000); First International Prize at the 48th Venice Biennale (1999), the Golden Lion Award; Hiroshima Freedom Prize (2005); and the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Award (2006). Neshat is working on her second feature-length film, which is about the life and art of the legendary Egyptian singer Uum Kulthum.

Heinz Peter Schwerfel (b.1954, Cologne), is filmmaker and art critic living In Paris and Köln. He has been writing for the German ART Kunstmagazin, for Lettre International and ZEIT, among others, and has published many books on contemporary art. On artists such as Georg Baselitz, Jannis Kounellis, Markus Lüpertz, but also essay books such as Scandals in Art, Art after Ground Zero or Cinema and Art, a comprehensive overlook about the relationship between contemporary art and Hollywood, translated also to Turkish. His films on Georg Baselitz, Rebecca Horn, Bruce Nauman, Alex Katz, Christian Boltanski and many others have been shown in retrospectives all over the world. He is currently finishing for French and German TV a series on new forms of art and exhibitions called Live Art, conceived together with Hans Ulrich Obrist, featuring artists such as Marina Abramovic, Joan Jonas, Philippe Parreno, Tino Sehgal, Adrian Villar Rojas and others. Heinz Peter Schwerfel is founder and artistic director of the festival Kino der Kunst, Munich, focussing on fictional films from artists. In Istanbul, he has curated several shows for Dirimart Gallery, such as Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Isaac Julien, Shirin Neshat and Jesper Just.

For detailed information please contact the gallery at info@dirimart.com or T +90 212 232 66 66



6. Kal Spelletich, FF Alumn, at Pro Arts Gallery, Oakland, CA, thru April 28, and more

This Friday in Oakland, Bay Area Situationists at Pro Arts Gallery
Opening Reception Friday March 3, 2017 6-9 P.M.

Downtown Oakland on the Frank H. Ogawa Plaza directly across from City Hall.
150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland CA 94612 (Ground Floor Gallery.)

Exhibition Dates: March 3 – April 28, 2017

The New Situationists exhibition and related program of events is the first major survey of Bay Area avant-guarde art and countercultural activities, influenced by the ideas, theory and techniques of the Situationist International movement (1957 - 1972.) The Situationists aimed for integration of art and life, and worked to critique consumer capitalism and mediated experience. At their core, they challenged the idea of ‘art.’ It would be traditional to present this work in 2018, a tidy 50th Anniversary celebration, as one does for institutions like monarchs, museums, fast food chains, and your grandparents’ marriage. The New Situationists is literally avant-guarde in that it is occurring in 2017, a year prior to the semi-centennial of Situationism’s acme.
In conjunction with this exhibit, ON APRIL 15 at 3-7 P.M. I will run a walking BB-Q (BB-Q for free!)
and whiskey and Wine pouring machines AND give a talk about my work and Situationist mayhem in my life.
Talk at 7 P.M.

AND on April 6-9, 2017




7. Ruth Hardinger, FF Alumn, at David&Schweitzer Contemporary, Brooklyn, March 12

I”m going to have a talk at the David&Schweitzer Contemporary at 56 Bogart, Bushwick on March 12 at 3 pm. The talk will be with Richard Vine and me, and the audience will be able to participate as well. My exhibition, EYE of the EARTH, will close at the end of that day.



8. Shirin Neshat, Rev. Billy, FF Alumns, at Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Manhattan, March 16


March ushers in a new partnership between Creative Time and The New York Public Library called In Situ, a site-specific talk series which merges leading artists and public intellectuals for conversations addressing vital topics of our time.
Find sanctuary with us on March 16, as we gather in the pews at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and ponder, How to Reasonably Believe in God. Iranian-American artist Shirin Neshat is in conversation with Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, moderated by Sister Helen Prejean.The evening kicks off with a performance by Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir.
A limited amount of tickets are still available, but as you know in life, nothing lasts forever.
As an added bonus, we’re also offering Behind the Scenes tickets. This grants you a tour of the Cathedral prior to the talk, reserved stage-side seating, and entry to a wine reception with the speakers in the Cathedral’s ambulatory.

How to Reasonably Believe in God
Shirin Neshat in Conversation with Slavoj Žižek, moderated by Sister Helen Prejean
With a performance by Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir
Cathedral of St. John the Divine
1047 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025
Thursday, March 16, 2017
7:00 PM

Further In Situ events, on the subjects of immigration and feminism, will be announced later in the year.



9. Cecilia Vicuña, FF Alumn, March news

Dear friends,

In these times of terrible pain for immigrants, refugees and indigenous peoples, artists and poets around the world are raising their voices to counter the destruction of everything we love.

Here, I invite you to my upcoming exhibitions that address some of these issues: About to Happen in New Orleans; documenta 14, in Athens, Greece, and Kassel, Germany; and Movimientos de Tierra in Santiago de Chile. For each exhibition we are publishing a new book with both old and new works.

We hope to see you in some of these venues!!!

Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen traces the artist’s long career to stage a conversation about discarded and displaced people, places, and things in a time of global climate change.

Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen is organized by the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans (CAC), and co-curated by Andrea Andersson, The Helis Foundation Chief Curator of Visual Arts at the CAC, and Julia Bryan-Wilson, Associate Professor, University of California, Berkeley.

Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen, a full-color artist's book by the same name, co-published by Siglio Press and the CAC will be released in March 2017. Use code SPIRAL for 25% off.

Thursday, March 16, 2017 to Sunday, June 18, 2017

documenta 14, 2017 Learning from Athens
Artistic Director: Adam Szymczyk

Athens, Greece
8 April - 16 July 2017

Kassel, Germany
10 June - 17 September 2017

Cecilia Vicuña will present installations and performances both in Athens, Greece and in Kassel, Germany.

April 10, Athens,
April 27, Kassel

Read Thread, the Story of the Red Thread, Cecilia Vicuña, Sternberg Press, 2017. An artist book published and distributed by Sternberg Press on the occasion of Cecilia Vicuña's participation in documenta 14, will be available in April 2017.

"Red thread is the migrant, our menstrual blood, the continuity of life."

The book traces the symbolic story of the red thread from Paleolithic times, in Aboriginal Australia, Prehistoric Europe, and Pre Columbian America with a focus on Andean weaving, and in the artist's work starting in Chile in l970. (Poems, drawings, photos and archival documents.)

With essays by Dieter Roelstraete, documenta 14 curator, and José de Nordenflycht Concha, Art Historian, PhD. Professor at Department of Visual Arts, Universidad de Playa Ancha, Valparaíso, Chile.

Movimientos de tierra, Land Movements at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Santiago de Chile, an exhibition presenting artists who work in the landscape, opens July 6, till September 30, 2017.

Curated by Pedro Donoso, features Hamish Fulton and Cecilia Vicuña, along with José Délano, Catalina Correa, Patrick Steeger, and Cristián Velasco.

Movimientos de tierra, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, MNBA, Santiago, Chile.

6 de julio- 30 Septiembre 2017, Curada por Pedro Donoso.
La muestra reúne artistas que trabajan en el paisaje: Hamish Fulton, Cecilia Vicuña, José Délano, Catalina Correa, Patrick Steeger y Cristián Velasco.

Cecilia Vicuña's latest performance, addressing the current issues of demolition of democracy and ecological destruction, was at Kelly Writers House, February 16, 2017

Todos los ríos dan a la mar, All rivers flow into the sea, Chile, 2016, 15:33 mins

(English subtitles. ) A new documentary by Victoria Paz Ramírez and Morín Ortíz, on Cecilia Vicuña's poetry, filmed in Santiago de Chile, has just been released.

PW: rivers



10. Laurie Anderson, Lawrence Weiner, FF Alumns, receive Wolf Prize

Please visit this link:


Thank you.



11. Laurie Anderson, FF Alumn, in the New York Times, March 2

The New York Times
Lou Reed Archives Head to New York Public Library

After Laurie Anderson recovered from the initial shock of the death of Lou Reed, her husband, in 2013, she had to decide what to do with his archives — a responsibility she describes as “like a 15-story building falling on me.”

Packed away was a huge collection of paperwork, photographs and recordings — more than 600 hours of demo tapes, concerts and even poetry readings — that spanned most of Reed’s career. He had spoken “not one sentence” about what to do with it all, Ms. Anderson said, and her first instinct was simply to put it all online. But soon she began looking for an institution that could maintain the material properly and also make it accessible to the public.

“I really didn’t want this to disappear into an archive for only people who have white gloves,” Ms. Anderson said in an interview at her office in TriBeCa, a short riverside walk from the home she shared with Reed in the West Village. “I wanted people to see the whole picture.”

She found that institution in the New York Public Library, which on Thursday — what would have been Reed’s 75th birthday — announced its acquisition of the Lou Reed Archive for its performing arts branch. The contents will be made available to all visitors to the Library for the Performing Arts, at Lincoln Center, as soon as it is fully cataloged and prepared, which will take at least a year.

The library declined to specify the terms of the acquisition, which is the latest example of a boomer-era rock idol’s getting the full literary-archive treatment, after Bob Dylan’s papers went to institutions in Oklahoma and Bruce Springsteen gave his to Monmouth University in New Jersey.

Jonathan Hiam, curator of the library’s American music and recorded sound collection, said that the Reed archive represents “a big statement that we think that this music, popular music, is as important as anything else we’re collecting.” On the library’s storage shelves, Reed’s tapes of “Pale Blue Eyes” and “Sweet Jane” will sit near Arturo Toscanini’s papers and a lock of Beethoven’s hair.

Reed was no sentimentalist when it came to his own back pages, telling collaborators that he destroyed drafts of his work to keep the focus on his final product. But the archive, as left to Ms. Anderson, is still vast, occupying 300 linear feet of shelf space.

The archive offers glimpses of Reed’s life as both a cultural A-lister and a working musician surviving the daily grind. Martin Scorsese writes in 1993 about the casting of a film project that ultimately went nowhere. There is a trail of admiring correspondence with Vaclav Havel, the dissident playwright and president of the Czech Republic, who helped spread the subversive gospel of Reed’s group the Velvet Underground in the Soviet days. After visiting Prague in 1990, where he performed with Czech musicians who knew his songbook by heart, Reed wrote to his new friend in a fax: “I could not have imagined this scene and replay it often in my mind.”

And then there are reams of legal papers and the mundane accounting of a life on the road: receipts for a club sandwich at the Tokyo Hilton, a tape deck bought from an electronics shop in Phoenix. Yet even those details, Ms. Anderson said, show an important side of Reed.

“People’s image of Lou was this tough guy in a leather jacket singing really transgressive songs,” she said. “On the other hand, he’s saving all the tour receipts. He’s writing everything down. He had this amazing ability to take the jacket on and off, and do a million things at once.” (She also may be the only person who can call him “the sweetest, most tender person I’ve ever met.”)

There are also lyrics, unpublished poetry and extensive notes on tai chi, Reed’s grounding passion late in life. In spots, his humor jumps off the page, as when he signed letters “the coolest man in the world.”

But as large as it is, the archive is not complete. There is little documentation from the Velvet Underground period, for example, and scant trace of Andy Warhol, the group’s early manager and Svengali. Some of that material may be lost or in private collections. (In December, Sotheby’s offered six typescript pages of Velvet Underground lyrics from the estate of Donald Lyons, a regular in Warhol’s Factory circle in the 1960s; estimated at up to $200,000, they failed to sell.)

Yet the archive will still be of value to students, scholars and journalists, who have never had much access to Reed’s personal papers, said Johan Kugelberg, a curator and editor whose collection of Velvet Underground materials, donated to Cornell University, was until now the largest such archive held by an institution.

“All the materials that I gathered as a fan, historian and noninsider provide one aspect of his work,” said Mr. Kugelberg, who was not involved in the library deal. “The materials that Lou Reed himself kept provide another, much more important aspect.”

The heart of the archive, and the material that is likely to provide the most surprises for fans and scholars, is the audio collection. There are about 3,600 audio and 1,300 video recordings, in formats that reflect the evolution of the music industry over a half-century, from reel-to-reel tapes and cassettes to digital audiotapes and, finally, computer hard drives.

The recordings date to the earliest days of Reed’s career in New York, in the mid-1960s, when he was starting what would become the Velvet Underground and working as a staff songwriter at the budget label Pickwick International. One tape captures Reed playing a reverent acoustic version of Mr. Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” from around this time.

There are mysteries in the tapes. A reel of Velvet Underground recordings has handwritten notes like “delightful” and “gas” that might be from Warhol, said Don Fleming, the archivist that Ms. Anderson hired to go through the archive before turning it over to the library. And in May 1965, Reed mailed himself a five-inch reel-to-reel tape, perhaps an attempt to establish copyright; the box remains unopened; what’s on the tape is unknown.

Ms. Anderson and Mr. Fleming said that the process of going through the archive began about three years ago. She approached the library early last year, after reading an article in The New York Times about a library program to digitize archival material.

The first batch of Reed’s archives, containing his paperwork, photographs and record collection, were handed over in December, and are being sorted and cataloged in Queens. A library spokeswoman said that the rest of the material was expected later this year, and would probably take another year to process.

Ms. Anderson said that the library’s mandate of making its collections available to the public was central to her decision to place the archive there. But she also felt that it all simply belonged in New York.

“Lou is kind of Mr. New York,” Ms. Anderson said. “This is the city he loved the most. It doesn’t make any sense for him to be anywhere else. Then, what’s the best place in New York? This is the best place in New York.”

She also giggled a little, and made a mock librarian’s shush, as she added: “I just love that somebody who is so loud is in the New York Public Library.”

A version of this article appears in print on March 3, 2017, on Page C21 of the New York edition with the headline: The ‘Coolest Man’ Heads to the Library.

For the complete illustrated online article please visit:



12. Charlemagne Palestine, FF Alumn, at the Jewish Museum, Manhattan, March 17-Aug. 6

Please visit this link:


Thank you.



13. Sean Leonardo, FF Alumn, at 370 Schermerhorn St., Brooklyn, March 9

an arts-based diversion program for court-involved youth organized in partnership with Recess and Brooklyn Justice Initiatives

Thursday, March 9
Reception: 5:00-7:00pm | Public Participatory Performance: 6:00pm
370 Schermerhorn Street (across Flatbush from BAM) | Brooklyn, NY
Please join me, along with Assembly collaborators, for the Winter 2017 Culminating Performance and Reception. The evening will mark the completion of the program's first cycle and offer a final viewing of my work in the gallery space. As guests, you will also have the opportunity to participate in a public performance informed by the Assembly curriculum and created by our collaborators.

This performance will be documented and require audience involvement.

Assembly is a nine-month pilot program operating from the Recess satellite space in Downtown Brooklyn. To expand upon its mission to connect artists and publics, Assembly offers an arts-based diversion program, which presents an alternative to incarceration and other adult sanctions for court-involved youth. After participants complete the program, prosecutors may close and seal their case, avoiding an adult record.
Viewed Above: Assembly public performance workshop

Copyright © 2017 Shaun Leonardo, All rights reserved.



14. Adam Pendleton, Laura Hoptman, FF Alumns, in The New York Times, March 2

The New York Times
Saving Nina Simone’s Birthplace as an Act of Art and Politics

For the complete illustrated article please visit https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/02/arts/design/nina-simone-house-birthplace.html?_r=0

Surprise Saviors for Nina Simone’s Home
Four artists have purchased the childhood home of Nina Simone to try to preserve it. Walk through with the artist Adam Pendleton as he tours the North Carolina house.

TRYON, N.C. — If you wanted to make a pilgrimage to the childhood home of W.E.B. Du Bois in Massachusetts or Malcolm X in Nebraska, you’d have to settle for a historical marker: The houses of those civil rights activists were lost before preservationists could save them, as many important African-American historical sites have been.
It’s a fate that easily could have met a humble three-room clapboard perched on a rise in this tiny, pretty town in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, unknown even to many residents until a few years ago. For those who knew that 30 East Livingston Street was the birthplace of Tryon’s most famous resident — the singer, soul legend and civil rights icon Nina Simone — the house’s appearance on the market late last year crystallized fears that its existence, as stubborn as that of Simone herself, might be coming to an end.
And that, unexpectedly, is where the New York art world entered the picture.
Over the last month, four prominent African-American artists — the conceptualist Adam Pendleton, the sculptor and painter Rashid Johnson, the collagist and filmmaker Ellen Gallagher and the abstract painter Julie Mehretu — quietly got together, pooled their money and bested competing bids to snatch the house up for $95,000. They describe the purchase as an act of art but also of politics, a gratifying chance to respond to what they see as a deepening racial divide in America, when Simone’s fiery example of culture warrior seems more potent than ever.

“It wasn’t long after the election that this all began to happen, and I was desperate like a lot of people to be engaged, and this felt like exactly the right way,” said Mr. Johnson, 39, whose work, like that of Ms. Gallagher and Mr. Pendleton, often directly engages issues of race and political power. (Mr. Johnson recently signed on to direct a feature film based on “Native Son,” Richard Wright’s classic novel of racial oppression.) “My feeling when I learned that this house existed was just an incredible urgency to make sure it didn’t go away.”
Simone died in 2003, at 70, but her presence may be felt even more strongly now than it was during many years of a life marked by struggles with mental illness and marital abuse. She has been the subject of three films in the last two years; President Obama tweeted that one of her songs was in rotation on his summer 2016 playlist, and Ford (to the disapproval of many fans) used her anthem “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free” in an ad during this year’s Super Bowl.
She was born Eunice Kathleen Waymon on Feb. 21, 1933, the sixth child of John Divine Waymon, a dry-cleaning shop owner and handyman, and Mary Kate Waymon, a Methodist minister, who had come to Tryon in the late 1920s during a short-lived period when their family was prospering financially.
Simone was delivered in the house, and she retained fond memories of the family’s years there, despite the number of children packed into its 660 square feet, with no running water. She remembered her mother hoisting her onto the kitchen counter and giving her “an empty jam-jar to cut out the biscuit shapes in the dough, singing all the while,” as she wrote in her 1992 autobiography, “I Put a Spell on You.” (Simone adopted her stage name in the 1950s while working at a divey nightclub, trying to keep that fact from her mother.)
Tryon, though segregated, was a town with less pronounced racial divisions than those in the cities around it or in states further south. White residents, proud of Eunice Waymon’s musical prodigy, established a fund to pay for piano lessons and to send her to a private high school. But even so, her consciousness was seared as early as 11, at her first public recital, in a library building that still stands, when her parents, seated proudly in the front row, were moved to the back. Their daughter refused to perform until they were allowed to return to their seats.
“The day after the recital, I walked around as if I had been flayed,” Simone wrote, adding: “But the skin grew back a little tougher, a little less innocent and a little more black.”
Her anger toward the town, expressed occasionally in interviews, and undoubtedly also the full-throated rage about racial injustice at the heart of her work — in songs like “Mississippi Goddam” — fueled resentment that residents say lingers in Tryon to this day. Those feelings probably contributed to a lack of recognition for her there until relatively recently. (A bronze statue of Simone was dedicated along the main street in 2010, but the fund-raising effort for the statue fell short amid squabbling.)

“There are folks here who really don’t want the story told because it’s still felt that Nina Simone did the town a disservice in turning her back on it,” said Kevin McIntyre, a former economic development director for Polk County, which includes Tryon. Mr. McIntyre bought the house in 2005 and spent more than $100,000 of his own money restoring it to its 1930s state before running into money troubles and losing it.
Mr. McIntyre, known as Kipp, nurtured visions of making the house into a museum and community center, and sought out Simone’s oldest living sibling, her brother Carrol Waymon, a retired psychologist in San Diego, to get every period detail right, down to a crank telephone and pump organ. “I had to sell my truck to pay for the vintage windows,” Mr. McIntyre said.

The house, one of a few where the Waymons lived in Tryon, sat in the midst of what was for many years the economic heart of the town’s African-American community, near a thriving store and restaurant and laundry. “My interest in the house became more of an interest in that history,” Mr. McIntyre said, “which I was watching disappear before my eyes as houses got knocked down and fewer people remembered.”
The grapevine that buzzed into action to try to save the house after it came up for sale again started with Verne Dawson, a New York painter who owns a small farm outside of nearby Saluda. “Whenever anyone visited I’d take them to see it, because to me her life just gets more important with each passing year,” he said. “But that part of North Carolina is a very hostile environment to architecture. It’s a very rainy place, and the vines just grow. If you leave a house for a few years you might not be able to find it when you come back. I feared it would just disintegrate and go away even if no one knocked it down.”

Mr. Dawson talked to his wife, Laura Hoptman, a curator at the Museum of Modern Art, and the two wondered if they could get someone in the music industry interested. But then Ms. Hoptman began to think about artists who would have both the interest and the means, and she called Mr. Pendleton, 33, whom she has known for several years and whose profile has been rising rapidly in the art world.
“It took me about five seconds to know what I wanted to do, and I called Rashid and we talked and we knew we wanted to get women artists involved, and it all happened very quickly,” Mr. Pendleton said, while driving from Charlotte, N.C., in mid-February on a trip to see the house for the first time. “We don’t have a blueprint for our ideas yet, but I think sometimes artists are the best people to deal with really tricky questions — like, for instance, how to honor the legacy of someone as vital and complicated as Nina Simone.”
Ms. Gallagher, 51, added: “We just hope we can activate this place.
“She formed a lot of who I am and my sense of history. And I think of the town as a portal to a woman who influenced so many.”
Word is only now beginning to spread in town that the house has gained powerful benefactors. But if Mr. Pendleton’s reception was any indication of the feeling of the house’s supporters, the new owners might be welcomed as long-awaited saviors. The broker for the sale, Cindy Viehman, started to shake Mr. Pendleton’s hand upon meeting him but then grabbed him. “I’m just going to give you a hug,” Ms. Viehman said. “I’ve been talking to this guy every day! I’ve got him on speed dial. We’re so glad to see you.”
Mr. McIntyre, who spent so many years trying to save the house, added: “This is really what we’ve been praying for. We wanted a place that, in the right hands, would become inspirational not only as a relic of the past but as a catalyst for right now.”
Correction: March 3, 2017

An article on Thursday about a group of artists who purchased the birthplace of the singer Nina Simone misstated the age of one of the artists, Adam Pendleton. He is 33, not 32.
A version of this article appears in print on March 2, 2017, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Saving Nina Simone’s Birthplace as an Act of Art and Politics. Order Reprints| Today's Paper|Subscribe



15. Jill Medvedow, FF Alumn, in the New York Times, March 1

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Thank you.



16. Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa, FF Alumn, at Museums Haus Lange and Haus Esters, Krefeld, Germany, thru Aug. 27

Two Flamingos Copulating on a Tin Roof
Mies van der Rohe Award 2017
February 19–August 27, 2017

Museums Haus Lange and Haus Esters
Wilhelmshofallee 91-97
47800 Krefeld


The Krefelder Kunstmuseen is pleased to announce the exhibition Two Flamingos Copulating on a Tin Roof by the 16th recipient of the Mies van der Rohe Award, Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa (*1978 in Guatemala City, currently lives and works in Berlin). For his first institutional solo show in Germany, Ramírez-Figueroa has created new works specifically for Haus Esters. According Katia Baudin, Director of the Kunstmuseen Krefeld, “we are very pleased that for the first time, the Mies van der Rohe Award has been given to a promising young artist from Latin America. Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa brings a new perspective to the rich tradition of site specific installations that has been a longstanding hallmark of the museum’s exhibition policy in two modernist villas by Mies van der Rohe, Haus Lange and Haus Esters.”
Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa does not approach Mies van der Rohe’s villa with a view to the history of architecture but subjectively instead, transforming it into a dreamlike functional space recalling a domestic patient care situation. He comprehends the rooms in the former residential structure as an emotionally defined place that not only awakens his own personal biographical memories of living in Canada as a political refugee from Guatemala but also gives rise to fictional narratives that emerge from between the villa’s walls. His sculptures, which are often made out of simple materials such as styrofoam, metal and glass, are arranged in the space like scurrilous props, immersing the viewer with all his senses in a pink and light blue colored scenario featuring medical-like furnishings, deformed flamingos and the mutations of varied natural phenomena. They tell the stories of cult objects related to traditional folkloristic medicine as well as utensils from contemporary patient care and everyday domestic life. Ramírez-Figueroa stages Haus Esters with these items as an ideal location for convalescence processes and physical treatments. Such associations are provoked in particular by Mies van der Rohe’s special material language as well as his open translucent spatial concept with its connection to the nature surrounding the villa.
In Two Flamingos Copulating on a Tin Roof, Ramírez-Figueroa offers a commentary on the taming of nature and the body in society. As an artist with a transnational background, his artistic practice is characterized by a very personal occupation with such crucial themes as identity, the body, and cultural as well as architectural history. In the process, he employs practices of Latin American folklore, mythology, and magic while questioning the properties of a universal, globalized high culture. His installations formulate a very personal stage-like narrative.
Endowed with 5,000 EUR, the Mies van der Rohe Award of the City of Krefeld was established in 1979 with the purpose of supporting and promoting promising young artists. Thanks to the Award, now internationally renowned artists such as Juan Muñoz, Stan Douglas, and Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster had their first exhibition in Germany here. The proposal committee for this year’s Award was made up by Jessica Morgan (Dia Art Foundation, New York), Laurence Sillars (Baltic Center for Contemporary Art, Gateshead), and Nicolaus Schafhausen (Kunsthalle Wien). In a second step, the jury members Katia Baudin (Kunstmuseen Krefeld), Bart de Baere (Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp), Helen Hirsch (Kunstmuseum Thun), Dr. Sylvia Martin (Kunstmuseen Krefeld), and Holger Otten (Ludwig Forum, Aachen) selected the winner.
Guest curator: Dorothee Mosters
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm
New York, NY 10002, USA



17. Lynn Cazabon, FF Alumn, at Rutgers School of Criminal Justice, Newark, NJ, March 20

Exhibition, Panel Discussion and Reception: Lynn Cazabon: Portrait Garden, School of Criminal Justice Gallery, Rutgers School of Criminal Justice, 123 Washington Street, 5th floor, Newark, NJ 07102.

Panel discussion: Monday, March 20, 2:30pm, Lynn Cazabon (artist), Emma Hughes (criminologist), Elsa Newman (one of the project participants). Reception: 2 - 4pm.

Portrait Garden is a metaphorical garden of 'portraits' of eleven women incarcerated at Maryland Correctional Institution for Women (MCIW), a multilevel security prison. Portrait Garden used environmental stewardship as a tool for self-reflection, resulting in the creation of three perennial gardens on the prison grounds consisting of plants chosen to represent each woman.

Exhibition dates: Jan 17 - July 31, 2017



Goings On is compiled weekly by Harley Spiller