The Second African Burial Ground in Manhattan’s Lower East Side will finally receive proper recognition. Submissions are now open for a public artwork to honor the site, which resurfaced in public consciousness in 2006 when construction crews working on a New Museum extension found human remains. The Africa Society had buried free and enslaved Black people under the two blocks that now include the Sara D. Roosevelt Park after the location near what is now City Hall closed in 1794. While a museum and monument to commemorate the first burial ground exist, the Chrystie Street cemetery was left unacknowledged.
M’Finda Kalunga Garden, which translates to “garden at the edge of the other side of the world” in the Kikongo language, had been working toward a memorial for several years. Debra Jeffreys-Glass, a volunteer leader, dreamed of the project to continue the organization’s work of honoring the Black people that shaped the LES. Now, FABnyc, a coalition of cultural and artistic organizations combating cultural displacement in the neighborhood, has launched an application for a proposed installation, which will close before midnight EDT on Saturday, March 18.
In a two-round process, a group of around seven stakeholders including Black cultural leaders, historians, and arts professionals will select an artist or collective after narrowing down the submissions to a shortlist. Grantees whose project best resonates with the burial ground, fits with the garden’s landscape, and educates the public will receive $32,500 to cover an artist fee and expenses. FABnyc will announce the selected installation this spring and provide finalists with a $1,000 honorarium, and the public opening is tentatively slated for Juneteenth Independence Day 2024, giving artists a year to plan and execute.
Once selected, recipients will have time to collaborate with M’Finda Kalunga to develop their proposal before constructing. FABnyc’s executive director, Ryan Gilliam, told Hyperallergic that it’s important for artists to consider residents’ voices when designing the project, as the installation will be in their space. “Part of what we’re looking for is an artist who has some experience working with communities,” said Glass.
In 2019, FABnyc partnered with M’Finda Kalunga to commission the temporary exhibition LES Black & Red. Dennis Redmoon Darkeem, an artist of African-American and Yamassee Creek-Seminole heritage who was born and raised in New York, displayed seven collage works and four light boxes honoring the values and histories of the Lenape and African peoples of the LES.
Gilliam notes that many current residents may not realize the area’s heritage, which is why the installation is crucial. “It’s a welcoming call,” he said. “It helps make a more welcoming environment for Black residents now.”
MTV’s The Exhibit Is Back With an Inflatable Dolphin
Episode four, in which artists tackled themes of justice and injustice, was the most lifeless of the reality TV show so far.
Florida Principal Ousted Over “Pornographic” Michelangelo Sculpture
Parents complained that the famous sculpture was shown to their sixth graders.
The Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation Presents The Feminine in Abstract Painting
Curated by Jennifer Samet and Andrea Belag, this group exhibition in NYC explores the feminine through aesthetics, as opposed to identity or gender.
Tickets to Sold-Out Vermeer Show Are Going for Hundreds
The online resale market for the Rijksmuseum’s smash exhibition is booming, with tickets selling on eBay for over $2K.
NYU Steinhardt Opens 2023 MFA Thesis Exhibitions
Taking place at 80WSE Gallery in New York’s Greenwich Village, Part I is on view from late March through April while Part II opens in May.
Miniature Worlds: Joseph Cornell, Ray Johnson, Yayoi Kusama
Through small-scale works, this exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art in New York examines Cornell’s prominent role in the lives and careers of Johnson and Kusama.
Three Looted Antiquities at the Met Repatriated to Turkey
Nine other repatriated works were seized from Met Trustee Shelby White, whose collection was subject to a criminal investigation.
This week, the world’s lightest paint, Pakistan’s feminist movement, World Puppy Day, and were some of Vermeer’s paintings created by his daughter?
The Wider World and Scrimshaw
On March 28, join the New Bedford Whaling Museum online and in-person for a symposium on global carving traditions from across the Pacific Rim.
Who Will Decide on the Future of a Miami Native Burial Ground?
Native activists say sacred remains and objects dug up from a Brickell construction site should remain there, but mega-developer Jorge Pérez is pushing back.
How Can a Curator Approach South Asian Futurisms?
How do I acknowledge my shortcomings while reckoning with obscured histories and the exclusion of subaltern narratives in the fine art landscape? A working checklist for curators.
MCA Chicago Presents On Stage: Frictions
Will Rawls, Shamel Pitts | TRIBE, and Barak adé Soleil explore Blackness, queerness, movement, and dance in performances at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
The Complicated Legacy of Camilo Egas
The Ecuadorian painter, a leading figure of Latin America’s Indigenismo art movement, has been both praised and scorned for his representation of Indigenous peoples.
Tom Jones Zeroes in on Ho-Chunk Visibility
“I think about the young kids, the teenagers, and I think being able to see yourself represented in art is so powerful,” says the artist.