Tag: Brooklyn Museum

Pharrell Williams Announces Yellow Ball Gala, Talks Protecting Artists & Taking a ‘People’s Stance’ on Federal Arts Funding

Artwork by Daniel Arsham, a member of the American Express Platinum Collective.
Courtesy Photo: Artwork by Daniel Arsham, a member of the American Express Platinum Collective.

by  via billboard.com

Since becoming the creative director for American Express Platinum in December 2016, Pharrell Williams has worked closely with the financial services company to bring awareness to the importance of arts education and advocacy. Nearly two years later, the “Happy” singer is taking his efforts one step further with the inaugural Yellow Ball gala.

The event will take place on Monday, Sept. 10 at the Brooklyn Museum and will benefit the Young Audiences Arts for Learning, the nation’s largest arts-in-education network. The Yellow Ball title was chosen by Pharrell himself, as the color has many meanings — and ties in with the purpose of the event.

“Pharrell views the color and event as helping to shine a light on the need for arts education and its ability to pave the way for a brighter future,” Elizabeth Rutledge, chief marketing officer of American Express, says. Pharrell adds, “That’s what this is about — bringing light to this cause.”

The Yellow Ball will feature musical performances, including a special set from Missy Elliott. Along with music, the event will also include multi-room art experiences from American Express Platinum Collective member Daniel Arsham, and a multi-course dinner experience by American Express Global Dining Collection Chef Dominique Crenn.

Ahead of the announcement, Billboard chatted with Pharrell about his latest initiative, his thoughts on today’s young generation of artists, and why the arts (and the color yellow) are so important for all ages.

When you were named creative director of AmEx Platinum, what were your goals and where does the yellow ball kind of fit into all of that?

My goals were to work with a company that I felt like had the means to make a difference, but just maybe needed a nudging, or maybe needed some direction. But then when I started working with them and got an education on all the things that they’ve done — from the Tribeca Film Festival to the sales program they have for small businesses on Saturdays — I realized that they had been doing this the entire time. When we talked about doing the Yellow Ball and I told them I wanted it to be about arts and education, they didn’t blink. What I wanted to do with them was just going to be just yet another great thing that they do in the world.

Why did you decide on the name the Yellow Ball, and what does the color yellow mean to you?

Not to get all esoteric, but yellow is like the color of the solar plexus. Yellow is the color for creativity, yellow is the color for curiosity. Art is largely diminishing throughout the curriculum throughout this country, and we need to protect the creative mind.

Everything around you right now versus everything you’re using, it’s just not organic, it was someone’s epiphany. That’s creativity, that needs to be protected. If we don’t have that, I don’t know what kind of future we have. We have to protect the artist community at all costs, across all artistic disciplines.

Why do you think it’s so important for people to be exposed to the arts and learn from it at a young age?

On a more paramount level, everyone is a creative. Everyone that makes a move or does anything in life is a co-creator, but the ones who actually create things that we use and things that we need, that needs to be protected. There is a future that will have corporations that will have more say. You see all the things happening with lobbyists now, you just can never doubt that. In the artistic community, it’s the educational portion of it is eroding, what kind of future is that for us? So we need to talk to all the corporations that we can — that care — now.

Did the controversy surrounding the funding cuts for the NEA change the course of action for you in your involvement with AmEx platinum in any way?

A lot of decisions that are being made are having a domino effect on programs like the [NEA]. And while we might not like that, the powers that be are the powers that be, but we are still the people and we can do things to help the people with the resources that we have access to. That’s literally all we’re doing, there’s no political stance, it’s more of a people’s stance.

Has becoming a father had an impact on the way you think about how art can affect lives?

I want all children to have access to that kind of creative growth, access and support. All kids, not just my own. There’s a lot of variables in a situation as to why something falls apart, but there’s only one scenario where it holds together, and that’s when all the variables are there. The environment, the family, the school, the system — there’s so many things. We just want to do what we can to balance the odds so that as many kids as we can afford, or help and assist in whatever ways, get this access and support.

What do you think the younger generation of today’s musical artists are bringing to the table?

I love what they do and how they express themselves. It’s like these amazing pockets of lyrics or melodies that feel good to them. The music just takes on a direction of its own, it’s not so formatted. I love that this generation is just grabbing the instruments and using them in whatever way feels good to them. That’s just like a sign of how the times have changed.

It’s kind of like the fourth time that I’ve seen music and the spirit of it change — like drastically change. It’s been amazing to see it. You see certain things that feel familiar, then you see things that you’ve never seen or thought of in your entire life. As a musician I can feel connected to it.

Source: https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/8469193/pharrell-williams-interview-yellow-ball-gala-art-education

HISTORY: Rosa Parks House in Berlin Returns Home to America

Ryan Mendoza, an American artist, in front of the exhibit he made in Berlin of the Rosa Parks house. (photo: Gordon Welters/NY TIMES)

by Yonette Joseph via nytimes.com

LONDON — In a backyard in Berlin, a ramshackle house that was once a haven for the civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks is preparing for its third life — back in the United States. It had almost been lost to history, falling into blight, abuse and foreclosure, in Detroit. But in 2016, the American artist Ryan Mendoza shipped the dismantled facade in two containers to his home in Germany. There, it was restored as an art exhibit in his garden in the Wedding neighborhood.

Then the strange and itinerant journey of the wood-frame house took another turn recently, when a member of the Nash Family Foundation, based in Manitowoc, Wis., formally agreed to pay for its passage back.“I never wanted to rebuild it in my backyard,” Mr. Mendoza said by phone from Berlin. “But I wanted to protect it.”“ It’s time for the house to return home,” he added. “It’s needed for people to have another major point of reference for how to treat each other with dignity. This will be a marker on the ground.”

While the house has a ticket back to America, the question of where it would find a permanent home remains unanswered. The hurdles seem huge, the logistics daunting, but calls and emails have gone out for help to institutions including Brown University in Rhode Island, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit and the Brooklyn Museum, among others, Mr. Mendoza said. At least two institutions — Brown and Wright — said they were seriously considering the project. “The house has a symbolic importance — it’s important in the narrative of her life,” said James Nash, a board member and the driving force behind the foundation’s pledge. “She suffered for a huge act of courage. It should be here, not in Berlin.”

To read full article, go to: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/02/world/europe/rosa-parks-house-berlin.html?_r=0

LIFESTYLE: GBN Picks for July 2015

GBN In JULY

by GBN Lifestyle Editor Lesa Lakin
by GBN Lifestyle Editor Lesa Lakin

It’s here!  Summer… and man, is there is a lot going on in the world.  So if you just want some time to pause and do something fun alone or with loved ones, check out a few things happening this month. Personally I am looking forward to the Sneaker Exhibit. Enjoy July!

IN CINEMA

ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL

Rated PG-13 –NOW PLAYING

Me, Earl and the Dying Girl

If you just want to catch a really great flick…. Me and Earl and The Dying Girl “lives” up to the hype. (Yes, I’ve seen it, and yes, I’ve got a lot to say… GBN review coming soon.) Oh, and Earl is the greatest character I’ve seen in a while. Highly Recommend.  Check out the trailer here: https://youtu.be/2qfmAllbYC8

DOPE

Rated R – NOW PLAYING

dope1

Admittedly I’ve been benched for the last few months and not up on my reviews and screenings, but I  have been meaning to see the critically acclaimed DOPE.  

High-school senior Malcolm (Shameik Moore) and his friends Jib (Tony Revolori) and Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) bond over ’90s hip-hop culture, their studies and playing music in their own punk band. A chance encounter with a drug dealer named Dom lands Malcolm and company at the dealer’s nightclub birthday party; when the scene turns violent, they flee — with the Ecstasy that Dom secretly hid in Malcolm’s backpack. A wild adventure ensues as the youths try to evade armed thugs who want the stash.

 Now playing check out the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=strEm9amZuo

SOUTHPAW

(Currently unrated) – RELEASE DATE JULY 24th

“Southpaw” stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson (Photo via usatoday.com)

I just saw the trailer for this and I’m hooked. Gotta say… I am loving Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson in the acting game. Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day”) directs. Check out the trailer here: https://youtu.be/Mh2ebPxhoLs

IN MUSIC

BROOKLYN, NY

2013-bhf-logo

July 8 – July 11, 2015 Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival: A celebration of Hip-Hop Culture and the Borough of Brooklyn Artists include: Common, Mobb Deep, Lion Babe, Freeway, Charles Hamilton, Pitch Blak Brass Band, Skyzoo, John Robinson, DJ Rob Swift, Torae, and “Uncle Ralph” McDaniels, http://www.bkhiphopfestival.com

July 10- October 4, 2015 Brooklyn Museum – catch the exhibition: “The Rise of Sneaker Culture” https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/rise_of_sneaker_culture/

1_AJ_1_From_Nike_428W_less_shadow
Nike. Air Jordan I, 1985. Nike Archives. (Photo: Ron Wood. Courtesy American Federation of Arts/Bata Shoe Museum)
July 2 – July 4 – LOS ANGELES, CA
5

Smokey Robinson at the Hollywood Bowl.  To get tickets, visit: http://www.smokeyrobinson.com

July 18 – IRVINE, CA; July 19, 2015 – MOUNTAINVIEW, CA

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 10.18.24 AM

Artists Include: The Game, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Ice T, Afrika Bambaataa and The Soulsonic Force, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, Mack 10, Xzibit, Warren G, Rapper’s Delight, Kurtis Blow, Too Short, Doug E Fresh, DJ Quik, Kool Moe Dee, King T, Grand Master Melle Mel, Tha Alkaholiks, Biz Markie, Slick Rick, EPMD, Cold Crush Brothers, Ras Kass and other special guests. The event will be MC’d by Chief Rocker Busy Bee. https://www.facebook.com/artofrapfest

RELATED: Ice-T Breaks Down Why “Art of Rap” Festival in July is Important to Hip-Hop, Art & Music

July 30 – LOS ANGELES, CA

Moses Sumney
Moses Sumney

Thanks to my little sis, Ashley,  I’m also recommending checking out  the truly captivating musical artist-singer Moses Sumney.  Check him out on SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/mosessumney

He’s headlining the Echo in Los Angeles on July 30th.  http://www.theecho.com/event/861489-moses-sumney-los-angeles/venue/

IN ARTS

July 10-12 – DENVER, CO

(Photo via colbaf.org)
(Photo via colbaf.org)

The Colorado Black Arts Festival is excited to present the best of visual and performing arts to celebrate its 29th Annual Festival July 10-12, 2015 in historic Denver City Park West. This year’s Festival theme “Rock Steady” conveys the ability to excel in the arts with a rocking and soulful dimension.  It represents a soulful genre that captures artistic rhythms with origins in the African diaspora.   Rock Steady 2015!  To learn more, go to: http://www.colbaf.org

“Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks” Exhibit Showing at Brooklyn Museum Until August

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s notebooks are on display at the Brooklyn Museum. (Credit: Tseng Kwong Chi/Muna Tseng Dance Projects)

As a child, Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) was a junior member of the Brooklyn Museum, which he used to visit with his mother and where he got a globalist view of art history that would provide fuel for his own later painting. He’s back at the museum now, part of that global history, in “Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks.”

At the start of his career in the late 1970s, Mr. Basquiat was better known for words than for images: short, enigmatic, rap-rhythm phrases that he wrote on New York City walls and signed with a “SAMO©” tag. The phrases, like his Expressionist-style paintings, may have looked spontaneous, but the 160 unbound notebook pages in the exhibition show they were far from that. We see words tried out and scratched out, listed and rejected, sometimes accompanied by drawings. Some of the images are as avid and original as you would expect from this artist, but it’s the words that stand out. He was a poet who happened to find art first, and this is a poet’s show. (Through Aug. 23, 200 Eastern Parkway, at Prospect Park, NY, brooklynmuseum.org.)

article by Holland Cotter via nytimes.com

Artist Mickalene Thomas Debuts Her First Film on HBO

Artist Mickalene Thomas
Artist and Director Mickalene Thomas (Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for HBO)

When Mickalene Thomas, 42, describes her short film, Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Girl, as a “moving portrait of my mother,” it’s meant both literally and figuratively. The 30-minute feature on Thomas’s mother, Sandra Bush, a beautiful statuesque preacher’s daughter from Camden, New Jersey, who has appeared in many of Thomas’s paintings, is rich in detail, provocative and endearing. It chronicles Bush’s life in her own words as she becomes a young mother and wife, a survivor of abuse and addiction, the reigning “mother of the art-world” and ultimately a warrior for her waning health.

“What I love about my mother is that she had a never give up spirit. Even when she was really sick and dying, you can see in the film that she didn’t want to die. She had hope and faith that she was going to survive,” says Thomas. Sandra Bush passed on November 7, 2012, shortly after Thomas’ first solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, where the Happy Birthday film debuted.

“The reason why I say this is a portrait of my mother is because for me it’s like looking at a painting—you don’t always have all of the answers, instead there’s lots of questions. It’s very open ended and that’s what makes life beautiful and mysterious and exhilirating and exciting and adventurous because it’s so tangible and intangible at the same time.”

Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Girl airs starting today on HBO.

article by Norell Giancana via bet.com

 

Black Arts Movement Works Acquired by Brooklyn Museum

UrbanWallSuitJae Jarrell’s “Urban Wall Suit,” from 1969, recently bought by the Brooklyn Museum.

As the curator of American art at the Brooklyn Museum began work on an exhibition to coincide with next year’s anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, she happened on a trove of works from the Black Arts Movement, the cultural arm of the black power movement of the 1960s and ’70s, the New York Times reported.

Noticing that the collection bridged two generations of works already among the museum’s holdings — by earlier African-American artists like John Biggers, Sargent Johnson and Lois Mailou Jones, and by their contemporary successors — the curator, Teresa A. Carbone, persuaded the museum to acquire it.

“Even at a time when people are more aware of the established canon of black artists,” Ms. Carbone said, “these artists are only now gaining the recognition they deserve.”

The collection — 44 works by 26 artists — was assembled by David Lusenhop, a former Chicago dealer now living in Detroit, and his colleague Melissa Azzi. About a dozen years ago the two began buying pieces they felt were prime examples of the Black Arts Movement.

Continue reading “Black Arts Movement Works Acquired by Brooklyn Museum”

“Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe” Exhibit Opens at Brooklyn Museum

Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe Portraits by this artist in this Brooklyn Museum show. (Librado Romero/The New York Times)

Mickalene Thomas’s brash, exuberant paintings don’t care what you think of them; they are much too busy simply — or not so simply — being themselves. Their sense of independence is driven home by this artist’s invigorating exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, along with the realization that the museum’s populist program sometimes hits the nail on the head.

Organized by the Santa Monica Museum of Art in California, and substantially expanded in Brooklyn, “Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe” is a show of broad appeal, free of dumbing down. It has examples of the large, color photo-portraits and clusters of the small, truculent collages that function as studies for Ms. Thomas’s paintings while being works of art themselves. Continue reading ““Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe” Exhibit Opens at Brooklyn Museum”