Art McGee on Fri, 23 Jul 2004 11:29:18 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Searching for African-American Video Artists

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 2004 15:14:26 -0500
From: Terri Smith <>
Subject: Searching for African-American Video Artists

Dear Art McGee,

I am curating the upcoming video show at Cheekwood Museum of Art
(Nashville, TN) and would like to feature videos by African-American
artists and/or about African-American topics. I saw your name on the Race
for Digital Space website and thought you might have some suggestions. I
am in the last phase of my research and am trying to receive sample reels
no later than the end of the first week of August. The exhibition opens in
early October.

The installation galleries were formerly horse stalls (each room is 9x10
feet), so I am primarily looking for single-channel projected videos
and/or works on monitors that are up to three channels. Each artist would
contribute one work. The videos are shown on a loop all day. So,generally
shorter videos work well (under 15 minutes). But if he has longer videos
that don't rely too heavily on chronological order -- in other words you
can walk in on the video at any time and "get" it -- those work well in
these spaces too.

A little background on our shows: Since 1998, Cheekwood has curated two
original video exhibitions each year. Each exhibition features one work by
6 artists. The Installation Galleries exclusively house new media art
(mostly video). With two, five-month-long shows each year, Cheekwood
Museum of Art is the only venue in Nashville (and probably the Southeast)
that exhibits video art year- round. Each stall contains one piece of art.
Artists who have shown in the installation Galleries include: Janine
Antoni, Janet Biggs, Patty Chang, Gary Hill, Emily Jacir, Amy Jenkins,
William Kentridge, Paul Pfeiffer, Pipilotti Rist, Bill Viola, and Zhang
Huan. Exhibition themes have included geographic associations (video
artists from New York, Chicago and Southeast) as well as shows featuring
Animation and artists who alter space (or our idea of it). The exhibition
that is currently on view is titled Neither Here Nor There: Video Artists
Navigate Cultural Displacement. Here is a link if you want to read a
recent review of that show.

Over the last five years, even with this variety of themes and locations,
I am unaware of having a video by an African-American artist come to me
from a gallery or word of mouth. With other media, I don't seem to
encounter this phenomenon. Galleries are often passing information about
talented African-American photographers, painters, sculptors etc for my
Temporary Contemporary Gallery shows. (Kerry James Marshall, Kojo Griffin,
Terry Adkins and Radcliffe Bailey are a few artists we've shown here in
the past five years in our Temporary Contemporary series.) This disparity
between most media and video inspired me to feature African - American
video artists (and subjects) in our fall show -- which is rapidly

Feel free to pass this e-mail onto anyone you think may be interested in
submitting a DVD or VHS to be considered for the show. To learn more about
Cheekwood Museum of Art, you can visit Those interested
can mail materials to Terri Smith, Cheekwood Museum of Art, 1200 Forrest
Park Drive, Nashville, TN 37205. If you have any questions, please don't
hesitate to call 615-353-6995 or e-mail. Thank you for your time, and I
look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes,

Terri Smith
Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art
Cheekwood Museum of Art
1200 Forrest Park Drive
Nashville, TN 37205

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