Saint Heron, the creative studio of musician Solange Knowles, is launching a public library of collector’s-edition books by or spotlighting Black poets, visual artists, designers, and luminaries. Starting this Monday, readers will be invited to borrow one of 50 titles completely free of charge: with shipping and return postage covered, there will be no expenses for borrowers, who can enjoy the books for research, study, and personal discovery for 45 days.
The dozens of publications, many of them now out of print, constitute an invaluable archive of Black brilliance. Highlights include a signed first edition of In Our Terribleness (1970) by the avant-garde poet and playwright Leroi Jones (Amiri Baraka); Between the Lines: 70 Drawings and 7 Essays (1988), a monograph of artist Benny Andrews prefaced by Alice Neel; and a signed copy of Julianna Free’s La Tete (1996), a compilation of prose poetry and photography plumbing the intersection of Blackness and femininity.
There are also some unexpected finds that don’t fit easily into categories, like Madam Zenobia’s Space Age Lucky Eleven Dream and Astrology Book (1975), an oneiric exploration of the 12 sun signs of the zodiac likely authored pseudonymously by Philadelphia-based journalist Justine Rector.
Guest-curated by Rosa Duffy, who founded the Atlanta-based community bookstore For Keeps Books focused on Black rare titles and classics, Saint Heron Library’s first “season” runs through October 29; a second iteration will be forthcoming, with dates to be announced. Once returned, the books will become part of the library’s permanent collection.
These oeuvres, including works by authors and creators both well-known and undervalued in literature and arts circuits, can “expand imaginations,” Knowles says in a statement.
The books will become available to rent out at saintheron.com on a first come, first serve basis on Monday, October 18, at 12pm EST.
The close, careful, and subtle observation I found this year is representative of precisely why I continue to gravitate to this fair.
How do we counter stereotypes about Black mothers, while stressing the importance of memory, determination, love, and corporeality?
Featuring underwater recordings from around the world, this immersive, site-specific installation is on view at the Lenfest Center for the Arts in NYC from February 3 to 13.
With two stellar retrospectives, one time-based installation, and several commissions by local artists, the Phillips Collection has dedicated its galleries to highlighting abstract work by Black artists.
As we begin a new year, a small moment on Queer Eye makes me think about the profound effect our stories can have on each other.
BRIC’s multidisciplinary program in Brooklyn has cohorts in Contemporary Art, Film & TV, Performing Arts, and Video Art. Applications are due March 10.
Some have criticized the racist monument’s planned relocation to North Dakota, near land seized from Indigenous people.
A group called the Boriken Libertarian Forces toppled the monument hours before King Felipe VI of Spain’s visit.
Still resonating with relevance, William Gropper’s incisive cartoons in defense of the WPA go on auction at New York’s Swann Galleries together with other works by celebrated WPA artists.
Archeologists excavating in Nijmegen, the Netherland’s oldest city, found the bowl in pristine condition.
A pioneer of street photography, Levitt worked in the most crowded and poorest neighborhoods of New York searching for the theater of everyday life.