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lowery « MAD Blog
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Posts by lowery

Countdown to the opening of The Global Africa Project (GAP)

Bright Eke working in Open Studios at MAD, November 11, 2010

It’s Veteran’s Day and the installation of GAP is in full swing. The works of art have been arriving and as they are unpacked and put into place under the watchful eye of Dorothy Globus, our curator of exhibitions, Elayne Rush, Associate Registrar, Matthew Cox, chief preparator and Eric Lindviet, who coordinates the construction, the exhibition starts to reveal itself. This seems to be a good point to record some random curatorial thoughts

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Update on The Global Africa Project exhibition

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There’s lots going on this spring and summer at MAD with Dead or Alive opening officially on April 27th, Bespoke on May 13th and Abraaj 2010, scheduled for August 31st. In the midst of all this preparations for The Global Africa Project—to open on November 16, 2010—are progressing with great intensity.

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The Content of Design

Bide Table, Nigeria, Collection Billy and  Ruth Omabegho.

On Monday February 1, 2010 I ventured into the Javits Center here in New York City in the midst of the International Gift Fair. I was on a mission. I was meeting with Oumar Cisse (AKA Peace Corps Baba) from Mopti, Mali.

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The YA/YA group designs sets for production of “Peter and the Wolf” at the Guggenheim

“Wolf” by Rontherin Ratliff

Have you heard of the YA/YAs of New Orleans? No, I don’t mean the “Divine Sisterhood” of movie fame, but the organization (Young Aspirations/ Young Artists) whose mission is to “empower creative young people to become successful adults.” Founded over twenty years ago by Jana Napoli this organization works to give the youth of New Orleans “educational experiences in arts” and encourage “entrepreneurship…by fostering and supporting their ambitions.”

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Defining “African.”

Iona Rozeal Brown_ a3_blackface_21_L

In my first entry for this blog I posed a series of questions raised by The Global Africa Project. One of them was “How do we define “African” in this age of nomadic and migratory identities?” Serge Mouangue, the Cameroonian designer working in Japan, wrote eloquently in the last Global Africa post about how he copes with the multiple experiences he’s had in Cameroon, France, Australia and Japan.

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Transformations: New Directions in Black Art Conference

Douglas Ewart and his sonic tops

I had the distinct pleasure of participating in the organization of the conference, Transformations: New Directions in Black Art which was held at the Maryland Institute College of Art October 23, 24 and 25th.

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Exploring The Global Africa…

The oven costs just £3.50 and can bake bread and boil water.

The interest in Africa today is the most focused and proactive that it has ever been, and so it would seem the timing of the Global Africa Project was precipitous. The sheer amount of talent, product and activity that is emanating from Africa, from Africans in Europe, North and South America, the Caribbean and Asia is astounding and makes organizing this exhibition a challenge.

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Exhibition Recommendation

Man Ray, 'Nancy Cunard,' ca. 1926

Speaking of the African dimension in design, I would recommend the exhibition Man Ray, African Art, and the Modernist Lens, currently on view at the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C. This wonderful project, curated by Wendy Grossman, not only examines how photography positioned and influenced the reception of African art among the cognoscenti and the general public, but also how African jewelry and fabrics became chic fashion items in the period between the wars.

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The Global Africa Project

This will introduce the blog for the exhibition, provisionally entitled The Global Africa Project, which will be on view here at the Museum of Arts and Design as of February 2011. The exhibition will focus on design, art and craft (which figure in the forefront of the Museum’s identity) created in and out of Africa by creators living and working in Africa, Europe, the Americas and Asia. Our partner in this venture is the Center for Race and Culture, Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, and its founding director, Leslie King-Hammond.

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