Camille Ann Brewer is working this spring as technical coordinator for ART CART: Saving the Legacy, an intergenerational arts legacy project that connects aging professional artists with teams of graduate students to undertake the preparation and documentation of their creative work.
The Research Center for Arts and Culture’s recent study, Above Ground: Information on Artists III: Special Focus New York City Aging Artists, revealed that artists are in many respects a model for society, maintaining strong social networks and an astonishing resilience as they age. Yet 61% of professional visual artists age 62+ have made no preparation for their work after their death; 95% have not archived their work; 97% have no estate plan; 3 out of every 4 artists have no will and 1 in 5 have no documentation of their work at all.
For the teams of artists and graduate fellows, Ms. Brewer provides technical support and guidelines for art cataloging according to museum standards. The project employs Gallery Systems’ art database, EmbARK, for maintain objects, exhibition and artist records.
ART CART is currently working with visual artists based in New York City and Washington DC.
“To Be Young, Gifted and Black in the Age of Obama” is an art exhibition featuring new drawings by eight African American visual artists responding to writings from the Black Arts Movement of the late 1960s. The exhibition will be held at the Kentler International Drawing Space in Red Hook, Brooklyn from Friday, September 7 through Sunday, October 21, 2012. The exhibition features the work of Alonzo Edwards, Duron Jackson, Yashua Klos, Jasmine Murrell, Jamea Richmond-Edwards, Senghor Reid, Alexandria Smith, and Matthew Thomas; and is curated by Camille Ann Brewer.
All born after the early 1970s, the artists in this exhibition were asked to read selected writings from the Black Arts Movement (BAM), the artistic branch of the Black Power movement, and create drawings in response to the readings. The writings included articles on the AfriCOBRA aesthetic, “Black is a Color” by Raymond Sanders, and others. The artists explored several questions. Given the rich history of BAM that defined cultural aesthetics in many art forms during a specific time period in American history, what does it mean for African American artists, who were not born during the time of the BAM, to be young, gifted and Black in the age of an Obama presidency? What is the response of young, educated African American artists today working in an “art world” that, in most cases, has shunned their voices? Yet, in the months leading up to the 2012 U.S. Presidential election, why is the national dialogue asserting that the nation has moved passed institutionalized racism and that the country has moved into a “Post-Black” era?
The opening reception will be held Friday, September 7 from 6-8PM. All the artists are planning to attend. A curator’s talk will be held Sunday, September 23 at 4PM. The public is invited. All events are FREE. Kentler International Drawing Space is located at 353 Van Brunt Street (cross street is Wolcott), Red Hook. See www.kentlergallery.org for directions. For more information call 718.875.2098.
As reported in the New York Daily News (April 25, 2012), a Nigerian Nok terracotta, owned by a prominent New York African art collector, was destroyed during a photography shooting for an art magazine. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/widow-artist-arman-suing-nigerian-nok-statue-destroyed-article-1.1067650
Two issues are of concern here: Was the work properly insured; and did the collector hold title insurance for the work? The collector is suing the magazine in Manhattan Supreme Court for damages of $300,000 for the sculpture. Was the sculpture appraised and insured at this amount? Did the collector hold proper title for the sculpture, which comes from a genre of work interconnected with international legal conventions? If these steps were not taken and in place, does the court consider the lack of due diligence, in fact, the value the collector placed on the work.
Nok sculptures are protected by the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, which both the Untied States and Nigeria are party to this convention. Did the collector’s acquisition of the sculpture violate the convention? If the owner of the broken Nok sculpture is unable to establish a history of legal acquisition, various international legal issues arise. If the sculpture were properly acquired through legal means, proper title insurance on the object would have been essential.
All that glitters is not necessarily gold. It pays to address all legal matters when developing art collections. This includes maintaining proper object facts and provenance information, title insurance and valuation appraisals.