Co-hosted by Franklin Sirmans, art critic, editor, writer, curator director of the Pérez Art Museum Miami. 

Click the headlines to read the articles.

Can a Comic Book Contain the Drama and Heat of Activism?

Writer and professor, David F. Walker has released a new graphic novel detailing the history of The Black Panther Party movement.

The book features illustrations from visual artist, Marcus Kwame Anderson. The 183-page book aims to bring into focus lesser known figures in the historic movement including Emory Douglass and Lil’ Bobby Hutton.

Walker and Anderson happened to be working on the novel when protests erupted over the summer after the death of George Floyd, which provided even more poignant context to the social importance of relaying this story.

The book happens to be released in the same week as the powerful biopic on the life and death of Black Panther leader, Fred Hampton, whose story was also captured in the writing and artwork of this novel.

The Surprising Ascent of KAWS

Franklin shared an overview of this in depth article on the rise contemporary artist Brian Donnelly, better known as KAWS.

KAWS works in the vernacular of graffiti art, a career that started with tagging on trains and buildings around New Jersey. The article goes on to lay out the critiques of his work and his status as a figure in pop culture.

The conversation went on to discuss KAWS as an example or an anomaly in the art world, in his ability to navigate both the highly critical world of museums and top galleries as well as commercial retail success through merchandise and fan gear.

Discussions of KAWS career evoke comparisons and contrasts to the careers of Takashi Murakami and Hebru Brantley.

Stacey Abrams and Lauren Groh-Wargo: How to Turn Your Red State Blue

Stacey Abrams and her former campaign manager, Lauren Groh-Wargo, now CEO of their non-profit Fair Fight, penned an op-ed detailing the ten-year strategy they applied to strengthening the Democratic Party in Georgia, leading to the historic outcomes in the 2020 election.

The two layout a specific approach built on a set of core principles of community organizing and coalition building.

The discussion examined whether the principles employed by Abram and Groh-Wargo could be applied to any form of social impact work, specifically the building of art ecosystems in urban centers.

Indianapolis Museum of Art Apologizes for Insensitive Job Posting

An apology from Indianapolis Museum of Art for an obviously racist directive corroborates stories of a toxic culture at the Indiana museum.

“The museum wrote that it was seeking a director who would work to maintain its ‘core, white art audience’…

The conversation moved into a discussion of the fact that this type of ideology, although not typically expressed so literally, is not uncommon in museum culture. The calls for justice and awareness driven by the Black Lives Matter movement has brought this issue to the fore, resulting in many museums having to reckon with their own lack of inclusion and make intentional efforts to reform the way they do business.

Posted by:Alex Delotch Davis

Leave a Reply