Wednesday, November 23, 2011

MEDIA NEWS: Frist Center Receives NEA Grant to Support Carrie Mae Weems

Carrie Mae Weems photo by Jeff Hoone via

“My responsibility as an artist is to work, to sing for my supper, to make art, beautiful and powerful, that adds and reveals; to beautify the mess of a messy world, to heal the sick and feed the helpless; to shout bravely from the rooftops and storm barricaded doors and voice the specificity of our historical moment.” 

—Carrie Mae Weems

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts will receive $48,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts in support of Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video, opening Sept. 21, 2012, as well as production of the exhibition’s accompanying catalog. The Frist Center’s grant is one of 863 NEA grants totaling $22.543 million encompassing 15 artistic disciplines and fields. The grants support projects in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Carrie Mae Weems is a socially motivated artist whose works invite contemplation on issues surrounding race, gender and class. Increasingly, she has broadened her view to include global struggles for equality and justice. This retrospective, which is composed of more than 150 objects—primarily photographs but also written texts, audio recordings, fabric banners and videos—will provide an opportunity to trace the evolution of Weems’s career over the last 30 years. Although she employs a variety of means and addresses an array of issues, an overarching commitment to better understanding the present by closely examining history and identity is found throughout her work. A notion of universality is also present: while African-Americans are typically her primary subjects, Weems wants “people of color to stand for the human multitudes” and for her art to resonate with audiences of all races.

This exhibition is organized by the Frist Center and curated by Frist Center Curator Katie Delmez. 

The exhibition will travel to the Portland (Oregon) Museum of Art: Feb–May 2013; to the Cleveland Museum of Art: June 30–Sept. 15, 2013; and to the Guggenheim Museum Oct. 18, 2013–Jan 19, 2014.

An illustrated exhibition catalogue will be published in conjunction with the show by Yale University Press with scholarly essays by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Professor and Director, W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, Harvard University; Franklin Sirmans, Curator of Contemporary Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Dr. Deborah Willis, Professor of Photography and Imaging, New York University; and Katie Delmez, Curator, Frist Center for the Visual Arts.

“Art Works is the guiding principle at the NEA,” said agency Chairman Rocco Landesman. “And I’m pleased to see that principle represented through the 823 Art Works-funded projects included in this announcement. These projects demonstrate the imaginative and innovative capacities of artists and arts organizations to enhance the quality of life in their communities.”

“We are tremendously grateful and pleased to receive this support from the National Endowment for the Arts,” said Frist Center Executive Director Susan H. Edwards, Ph.D. “The arts both reflect and chronicle the human condition, and now, more than ever before, support for the arts in all forms is critically important. We are appreciative that the NEA is at the forefront of advocacy and support for the arts.”

In March 2011, the NEA received 1,686 eligible applications for Art Works requesting more than $84 million in funding. The resulting funding rate of 49 percent of eligible applications reflects both the significant demand for support and the ongoing vitality of the not-for-profit arts community despite current financial challenges. Art Works grants are awarded based on the applications received by the NEA and how those applications are assessed by the review panels.

A complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support is available on the NEA website at

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts is supported in part by the Metro Nashville Arts Commission and the Tennessee Arts Commission.

About the Frist Center
Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, located at 919 Broadway in downtown Nashville, Tenn., is an art exhibition center dedicated to presenting the finest visual art from local, regional, U.S. and international sources in a program of changing exhibitions. The Frist Center’s Martin ArtQuest Gallery features interactive stations relating to Frist Center exhibitions. Gallery admission to the Frist Center is free for visitors 18 and younger and to Frist Center members. Additional information is available by calling (615) 244-3340 or by visiting our website at

 Carrie Mae Weems. A Broad and Expansive Sky-Ancient Rome, 2006. From the Roaming series. Digital c-print , 73 x 61 in.
Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery via

Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video


Frist Center for the Visual Arts: September 2012–January 2013 
Portland Art Museum: February–May 2013 
Cleveland Museum of Art: June–September 2013 
Guggenheim Museum: September 2013–January 2014

No comments:

Post a Comment