December 18, 2020 — April 11, 2021
MEMORY OPUS I (our 1st museum exhibit)
Presented at the Museum of the City of New York in New York Responds: The First Six Month — Museum of the City of New York, 1220 5th Ave, NY, NY 10029
Memory Opus I is a sound work derived from COVID Diaries POC, an ongoing oral history project conceived by the West Harlem Art Fund and artist Nadia DeLane. Capturing the voices of people of color in quarantine, Memory Opus is a collection of poignant interviews touching on events surrounding the pandemic, identity and global calls for social justice. Music is by Caleigh Drane.
Curated by Linda Griggs & M. Charlene Stevens – University of Massachusetts Amherst Hampden Gallery
On view here: February 1 – May 14, 2021
CURRENT UNDERCURRENT is a visual conversation relating to current events such as COVID-19, gender (LGBTQIA+, masculinity) racial justice (Black Lives Matter), and climate change. The show addresses these issues through the shared anxiety of a divided nation and a partisan political climate. There are no clean divisions in these issues. COVID-19 and climate change have more devastating effects on Black and brown people. A California wildfire began with a gender reveal party’s pyrotechnics. Toxic masculinity has fed the anti-masker movement. The boundaries are permeable and the issues intersect and overlap.
Artists: Wide Awakes, Savona Bailey-McClain, Kimberly Becoat, Sanford Biggers, Linda Byrne, William Camargo, Renee Cox, Nadia DeLane, Patricia Fabricant, David Rios Ferrera, First Americans Art: Masked Heroes: Roberta Atabaigi; Doloros Gull; Pilar Agoyo, For Freedoms, David Frye, Allen Hansen, Rashid Johnson, Jamian Juliano-Villani, Lisa Levy, Pamela Longobardi, Steven Mallon, Christina Marsh, Jamie Martinez, Steve Mumford, Sherilyn Neidhardt, Shellyne Rodriques, Katarra Peterson, Duke Riley, Ricardo Robinson (La’Vender Freddy), Arlene Rush, Kathleen Vance, Jeff Vespa, West Harlem Art Fund, Adrian White, Avivia Rahmani & Dr. Jim White.
MASTER DRAWINGS NEW YORK
Free Zoom event
See video here
A panel discussion led by Savona Bailey-McClain, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the West Harlem Art Fund. Joining McClain is William Keyse Rudolph, Ph.D, Deputy Director, Curatorial Affairs, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; Virginia Anderson, Ph.D., Curator of American Art, Baltimore Museum of Art; Paul H. D. Kaplan, Professor of Art History at Purchase College, SUNY, Daniel M. Fulco, Ph.D., Curator for the Museum of Fine Arts — Washington County and Philippe Halbert, Ph.D. candidate, Yale University.
This virtual discussion will spotlight the talents of seven mixed-race artists who lived and studied in either the United States or Europe. Panelists will discuss what influenced these people to become artists and what their impact on world politics entailed.
The artists are Prince Demah Barnes, Grayton Tyler Brown, Robert S Duncanson, Julien Hudson, Joshua Johnson, Mary Edmonia Lewis and Eugene Warburg.
First Lady Jill Biden selected artist Robert S. Duncanson and his work as the inaugural painting. See here.
February 16, 2021
Growing Rice: A Migration Story from Seed to Plate
8pm — Zoom event
Rice around the world is thought of as Asian. But rice is just as African as it is Asian. Oryza glaberrima was cultivated from wild rice that needed humans when the Sahara was drying. That knowledge fueled the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade where Africans were brought west.
Rice dominated the United States and particularly South Carolina for two hundred years by these African slaves. When Black culture migrated north, Harlem became its capital. A mecca where traditions could be preserved and human rights championed.
Spend an evening learning about rice with curator and historian Savona Bailey-McClain, culinary historian & author Michael Twitty, JJ Johnson, chef of the rice restaurant FieldTrip, and rice farmer Nfamara Badjie. Learn how the culture of rice has impacted Black culture as we trace its roots from Africa and the Caribbean to the American South.
Gullah food is one of the oldest world traditions being practiced in America today. It is about ancestral ties and American living, adaptability, and creativity.
Saturday, February 22, 2020
The year 2020 is very special. Four American centennials are being celebrated across the country. Yet there’s another centennial that is not American but has impacted this nation deeply. In 1920, the Mexican Revolution ended. The government was trying to figure out how best to unify the country after the war. What was decided — bring back an art tradition that dates before Columbus and for which the people loved. Murals have depicted everything from historical events such as wars to religious ceremonies like human sacrifices.
Mexican artists like Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros revitalized the Italian fresco style because it cemented their beautiful works with powerful messages, permanently in public spaces.
During the Depression, the Roosevelt Administration created the WPA and the Federal Arts Project to also unify this country. Our government wanted to show how it could positively impact our population and get them back to work.
Many famous artists like Jackson Pollack, Arshile Gorky, Mark Rothko and including African American greats like Jacob Lawrence, Charles White, Charles Alston, Aaron Douglas, Hale Woodruff, and Elizabeth Catlett participated.
This talk will elaborate on this special time at the Throckmorton Fine Arts Gallery in midtown and moderated by Savona Bailey-McClain, Executive Director & Chief Curator, West Harlem Art Fund.
Throckmorton Fine Arts Gallery
145 East 57th Street, 3rd Floor
New York NY 10022
Saturday, February 1, 2020
A ROUNDED VIEW — Artist Talk with Dianne Smith and Kraig Blue on select works being shown at Master Drawings. Hear perspectives from artists of color on European art. Moderated by Savona Bailey-McClain, Executive Director of the West Harlem Art Fund.
CROSSING THE SANDS
NP/10 (NOLAN PARK/BUILDING 10)
Saturdays and Sundays
August 24th — October 27th, 2019
12 pm — 5 pm
The West Harlem Art Fund is pleased to present Crossing the Sands, a contemporary art exhibition with artists representing the Caribbean, Africa, and the Americas. Located in the historic district of Nolan Park on Governors Island, visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy both works of art and the venue which is an old military home completed in 1878.
Artists include: Jasmin Charles, Chioma Ebinama, Megan Gabrielle, Iliana Garcia, Scherezade Garcia, Juanita Lanzo and Dianne Smith.
This show is curated by Savona Bailey-McClain, Executive Director & Chief Curator of the West Harlem Art Fund.
Upcoming LIVE Talks/Podcasts & Events
LIVE Talk w/Film Premieres
— HOME & UTICA
Saturday, October 5th, 2019 @ 2pm
Nadia DeLane is a multimedia designer and visual storyteller working in installation, film, digital and fine art. DeLane has produced creative content for organizations and institutions including the School of Visual Arts, Parsons School of Design, Stone Lantern Films and Turnstone Productions. She has consulted on several award-winning animated films and documentaries and her work has been featured in online publications such as AI-AP’s Design Arts Daily (DART).
DeLane’s documentary film, HOME, tells homegrown stories of first and second-generation Latin@, Caribbean, and West Indian Americans as they reveal truths about assimilation and American culture.
UTICA is an original film about thought. A community is in turmoil as its members sort through telepathic messages. A self-hating telepath must decide whether he will protect the public or safeguard his own mind.
Three Skeleton Key
Sunday, October 27th, 2019 @ 2pm
“Three Skeleton Key” is a short story by the French author Georges-Gustave Toudouze. The January 1937 edition of Esquire marked its first appearance in English. This suspenseful tale and “Leiningen Versus the Ants” were discovered by the magazine’s editor Arnold Gingrich.
Georges-G. Toudouze (1877-1972) was born in Paris, France. His father, Gustave Toudouze, was a well-known author of the time. The younger Toudouze wrote on such topics as art, architecture, travel and French naval history. Although he penned numerous adventure novels and short stories, he is today remembered for a single work: “Three Skeleton Key.”