The Archives of American Art have announced Between Artists: In Conversation with History, a six-episode series from their podcast ARTiculated: Broadcasts from the Archives of American Art. This special series presents meaningful cross-generational dialogues between contemporary artists and voices from the past. Each of the six upcoming episodes will be curated and presented by contemporary artists Nanibah Chacon, Maia Cruz Palileo, Mari Hernandez, Carolyn Lazard, Dionne Lee and Lehuauakea. During their respective episodes, each artist will engage with oral history from the Archives of American Art collection and examine the fundamental and unseen influences that these interviews have on their own work. The first episode of the series will be released on July 28th and is titled Weaving and Shaping Native Art Today: A Balance Between the Contemporary and the Traditional. The remaining episodes will be released on the fourth Thursday of each month through December 29th.
This series brings together contemporary artists with the history of the visual arts in the United States, promoting awareness, connection, and critical listening across the spectrum of the American experience. The episodes uncover new and hidden connections between well-known and lesser-known artists, and expand historical narratives with voices beyond traditional canons.
“We are grateful for this opportunity to invite an in-depth exploration of the big questions at the heart of the archive, from what constitutes influence to who gets a voice in the history of American art,” said Ben Gillespie, oral historian at the Archives of American Art. “These episodes offer a range of explorations into the power of oral tradition, and we are so grateful to these artists for their research, insight and curiosity in bringing these stories to light.”
The Archives of American Art promote and provide access to the largest collection of oral history related to the fine arts in America and encourage further study for scholars, students and those interested in culture. The series “Between Artists: In Conversation with History” offers space for new voices to deal intensively with the artist interviews recorded years ago.
ARTiculated: Broadcasts from the Archives of American Art is supported by the Alice L. Walton Foundation. The six-part special series, Between Artists: In Conversation with History, is supported in part by the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative.
Nanibah “Nani” Chacon is a recognized painter and muralist. Her most notable work is in the public art sector, where she has over 20 years of cumulative experience spanning graffiti, public murals, community art and installation. In 2012 she transitioned from studio painting to creating murals and large-scale public works and installations. Returning to work on walls and in a public setting was a natural progression – it facilitates the content of her work and her personal philosophy that art should be accessible and a meaningful catalyst for societal change. Community-based art and educational integration are also key components of the work Chacon creates. Her work has been recognized for her unique style and her attention to the specifics of place and the integration of socio-political issues affecting humanity, with a particular focus on women and indigenous peoples.
Maia Cruz Palileo
Maia Cruz Palileo is a multidisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn. Migration and the permeable concept of home are common themes in Palileo’s paintings, installations, sculptures and drawings. Influenced by family oral histories about the migration from the Philippines to the US and the troubling colonial history between the two countries, Palileo weaves these narratives together with memory and imagination. When stories and memories are exposed to time and constant retelling, the narratives become questionable, bordering on the line between fact and fiction, but remain hidden in compellingly familiar things.
Mari Hernandez is a multidisciplinary artist. A career in non-profit art organizations led her to explore socially engaged and identity-based art and its contributions to human and community development. At the same time, Hernandez was concerned about the underrepresentation of women of color in her art community in San Antonio, Texas. These experiences have had a lasting influence on her artistic development.
Inspired by appearance-changing photographers and early Mexican-American artists, Hernandez began experimenting with self-portraits to answer questions about identity. A co-founder of the Chicana art collective Mas Rudas (2009–2015), her self-portraits focused on the Chicana aesthetic. Her solo practice is guided by these early influences, but Hernandez continues to expand her repertoire and skills.
Carolyn Lazard says they are “an artist of whatever kind who works in blah blah media on these kinds of things [sic] such ideas/thingamajigs [sic]. Your work la la la la [sic] the whozits [sic]. Lazard attended Liberal Arts College No [sic] will descend from the following institutions in the following manner. They are currently working on whatever up n [sic] coming nonsense.”
Dionne Lee works in photography, collage, and video to explore issues of power, survival, and personal history in relation to the American landscape.
She received her Master of Fine Arts from California College of the Arts in 2017 and has exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City; Art Museum of New Orleans; Aperture Foundation, New York City; Silver Eye Center for Photography, Pittsburgh; et al., Oakland, California; and the San Francisco Arts Commission, among others. Lee is 2022 Artist-in-Residence at the Chinati Foundation and Unseen California.
Lehuauakea is an interdisciplinary Hawaiian Māhū-Māhū Native American and kapa maker from Pāpaʻikou on Moku O Keawe, the Big Island of Hawaii. Lehua’s Kānaka Maoli family descends from multiple lineages connected to Maui, Kauai, Kohala, and Hāmākua, where her family resides to this day.
Through a range of craft mediums, her art serves as a vehicle for exploring cultural and biological ecologies, spectrums of indigenousness and what it means to live in the context of contemporary environmental degradation. With a particular focus on the labor intensive production of ʻohe kāpala (carved bamboo printing tools), kapa (bark tissue) and natural pigments, Lehuauakea is able to breathe new life into patterns and traditions practiced for generations. Through these acts of resilience, which help form deeper relationships with ʻāina, this style of indigenous storytelling will be carried far into the future.
Schedule of episodes of the series “Between Artists”.
July 28: Episode 7 curated by Lehuauakea, “Weaving and Shaping Native Art Today: A Balance Between the Contemporary and the Traditional”
August 25: Episode 8
September 29: Episode 9
Oct 27: Episode 10
November 23: Episode 11
December 29: Episode 12
About ARTiculated: News from the Archives of American Art
started August 2021, ARTICULATED, explores the breadth and depth of the archive’s oral history collection with context from contemporary scholars and artists. Since 1958, the Archives of American Art oral history program has preserved the diverse voices and human memories of the American art world through more than 2,500 interviews. ARTiculated: Broadcasts from the Archives of American Art draws on these interviews with the famous and forgotten, and includes first-hand accounts from artists, retailers, writers, and other key figures in dialogue with today’s thought leaders. articulated is supported by the Alice L. Walton Foundation. Click here to listen to the podcast.
About the Archives of American Art
Established in 1954, the Archives of American Art fosters advanced research through the collection and dissemination of primary sources unparalleled in historical depth and breadth, documenting more than 200 years of the nation’s artists and art communities. The archive provides access to these materials through its two research centres, exhibitions and publications, including the Archive of the American Art Journal, the longest-running scholarly journal in the field of American art. The archive is an international leader in the digitization of archive collections and also makes almost 3 million images freely available online. The oral history collection contains more than 2,500 audio interviews, the largest collection of detailed first-person accounts in the American art world. Visit the archive’s website at www.aaa.si.edu.
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