Dread Scott: The Art of Liberation

Presented by the Colby Museum’s Lunder Institute for American Art

Dread Scott imagines a world free of oppression and exploitation, with resistance and liberation at the forefront. During this talk, the artist will present a range of work from the past 30 years that addresses themes of American identity and patriotism, including the criminalization of Black and Latino youth and the continuum of resistance against murder by police connecting the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s with contemporary Black Lives Matters organizing.

Scott’s art allows audience members to explore important questions surrounding the economic, social, and governing ideas of America. His pivotal work Slave Rebellion Reenactment will serve as a starting point to address Freedom and Captivity, the 2021 theme of Colby’s Center for Arts and Humanities, as well as Incarceration and Human Rights, the focus of this year’s Oak Institute for Human Rights Program.

Capacity is limited to 50 in-person attendees and 800 virtual attendees. Register here.

The Lunder Institute for American Art’s programs in 2021–22, including Dread Scott’s Senior Fellowship, are made possible through the support of the Lunder Foundation, Peter and Paula Lunder Family, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ossorio Foundation, Alice Kang P’21, and OhSang Kwon P’21, the Oak Institute for Human Rights, and the Buck Lab for Climate and Environment.

Biography

Dread Scott makes revolutionary art to propel history forward. His work is exhibited across the United States and internationally. In 1989, while he was a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, his art became the center of national controversy over its transgressive use of the American flag. President George H. W. Bush called his art “disgraceful,” and the entire US Senate denounced and outlawed this work. He became part of a landmark Supreme Court case when he and others defied the new law by burning flags on the steps of the US Capitol.

Cristin Tierney Gallery will present Dread Scott’s first solo gallery exhibition in 20 years entitled We’re Going to End Slavery. Join Us!, opening September 17th, 2021. The exhibition features large-scale performance stills and flags from the artist’s 2019 community-engaged performance project Slave Rebellion Reenactment.

Scott’s work has been included in exhibitions at New York’s MoMA PS1, the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Jack Shainman Gallery (New York), and Gallery MOMO (Cape Town, South Africa). His performance work has been presented at BAM in Brooklyn and on the streets of Harlem, New York. His work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Brooklyn Museum. It has been featured on the cover of Artforum magazine and in Vanity Fair. The New York Times selected his art as one of “The 25 Most Influential Works of American Protest Art since World War II.” He is a 2021 John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, recipient of the 2021 Public Art Dialogue (PAD) Award for achievement in the field of public art and the inaugural Frieze Impact Prize, in partnership with the Art for Justice Fund, also in 2021, recipient of the Creative Capital Grant, and has received fellowships from Open Society Foundations and United States Artists. He works in a range of media from performance, photography, and video to screen-printing and installation.

Scott plays with fire—metaphorically and sometimes literally, as when he burned $171 on Wall Street and encouraged those with money to add theirs to the pyre. His work asks viewers to look soberly at America’s past and at our present. Writing about a recent banner project, Angelica Rogers wrote in the New York Times, “…it was difficult to look away from the flag’s blocky, capitalized type. ‘A Man Was Lynched by Police Yesterday.’ It shouted the words so matter-of-factly that I felt myself physically flinch.”

The Lunder Institute is Hiring!

Attention current Colby College students—the Lunder Institute for American Art at the Colby College Museum of Art is seeking applicants for the following paid student internships:

Student Organizer for Senior Fellow Dread Scott

The Lunder Institute for American Art (LIAA) seeks one student to serve as intern to artist and Lunder Institute Senior Fellow Dread Scott for 8-12 hours per week. The intern will collaborate on a year-long research and practice project surrounding the topic of fugitivity as it relates to the artist’s ideas and the Arts and Humanities theme of Freedom and Captivity. Dread Scott, in his own words, “makes revolutionary art to propel history forward.” Through works ranging from performance, photography and screen printing, to installation and video, Scott asks viewers to look soberly at America’s past and at our present.

Candidates for the internship must be reliable, organized, and capable of working independently. Interns should have interest in learning community organizing and/or public programming; they are also expected to demonstrate interest in learning more about activism through art. Students will participate in one or two scheduled events related to Scott’s October 2021 visit to the Colby campus and assist with the promotion and production of this event; and check in with their LIAA supervisor on a weekly basis. Rising juniors and seniors are encouraged to apply.

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume to Khristina Kurasz, Lunder Institute manager of operations.

Documentation of “Money to Burn” a performance by Dread Scott. Scott burned money in front of the NY Stock Exchange, June 22, 2010

Meet Our Fall 2021 Residential Fellows

In September, two new residential fellows—Julia Arredondo and E. Saffronia Downing—will join continuing residential fellows Adriane Herman and Veronica Perez at the Lunder Institute through December 2021. Established earlier this year, Lunder Institute residential fellowships provide artists with spacious studios as well as opportunities for collaboration with Colby College faculty, students, and staff, the Waterville community, and the Maine arts community. This new studio program, based in downtown Waterville, encompasses artists at all stages of their careers and working in a range of artistic disciplines and mediums. Resident fellows are provided with housing and a stipend, have access to Colby College campus facilities, and are in dialogue with local organizations and community members.

 

Bios

Julia Arredondo (she/they) is an artist entrepreneur who recently completed her master of fine arts at Columbia College Chicago. Originally from Corpus Christi, Texas, Arredondo is heavily influenced by the small, family-based businesses she grew up around. Formally trained in printmaking and specializing in artistic forms of independent publishing, she founded Vice Versa Press and Curandera Press. Her latest endeavor, QTVC Live!, a DIY shopping network for artists and underrepresented creatives, is currently in its second season of production in collaboration with the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art. Arredondo is a recent recipient of the Hyde Park Art Center’s Artist Run Chicago Fund grant. She believes that open dialogue around creative finances is a much-needed form of class representation in the arts.

E. Saffronia Downing (she/her) works with wild clay to create site-specific sculptures and installations. Foraging materials from local landscapes, Downing considers correspondences between makers and matter. She received her master of fine arts in ceramics from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2020, and her work has been featured in exhibitions at Bad Water (Knoxville, Tenn.), Resort (Baltimore, Md.), and The Franklin (Chicago). Downing currently teaches the course Knowledge Lab: Craft Ecologies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the co-creator of the digital publication Viral Ecologies.

 

2021–22 Research Fellows: Art of the American Southwest

The Lunder Institute for American Art is pleased to announce its 2021–22 Research Fellowship program on the Art of the American Southwest.

Led by Distinguished Scholar Jessica L. Horton, the 2021–22 cohort of research fellows will pursue original scholarship on artistic modernisms of the Southwest, a region with unstable and contested boundaries shaped by sovereign Indigenous communities, settler colonialism, and ecological flux. Motivating this focus are the Colby College Museum of Art’s collection of work by the Taos Society of Artists, the Museum’s recent collaborations with Indigenous artists, and a forthcoming collection reinstallation that will put Native and non-Native art into conversation.

Research Fellows will attend meetings at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and in Taos, New Mexico, engaging in critical reflections on art in the context of the westward expansion of the United States, a vast and unfinished project centered on the appropriation of Indigenous homelands, assimilation of Native bodies, and establishment of industries dedicated to art, tourism, and resource extraction. The group will be joined by guest speakers at each site, including Cynthia Chavez Lamar (assistant director for collections, National Museum of the American Indian), and they will convene in Taos at the Couse-Sharp Historic Site. Through the Colby College Museum’s collections and their ongoing research, the Fellows will explore these questions and others: How have the social and environmental upheavals of western expansion been registered—or suppressed—in artistic modernisms by makers of diverse heritages? How might our analyses of historical materials be read through the lens of Indigenous and environmental justice? What methodological tools are most needed today to address the legacies of colonialism and its contestation in Southwest modernisms and American art history more broadly?

Read their bios here.

Featured image: Victor Higgins, Taos (detail), c. 1914-1915. Oil on canvas, 27 in. x 30 in. (68.58 cm x 76.2 cm). The Lunder Collection; 2013.139P

David Driskell and Maine

David Driskell, Blue Pines, 1959. Oil on canvas, 36 x 29 in. (91.4 x 73.7 cm). Gift from the Alex Katz Foundation and Museum purchase from the Jere Abbott Acquisitions Fund. Accession Number: 2017.388

The Lunder Institute for American Art, the Portland Museum of Art , and the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture are pleased to announce David Driskell and Maine, on Saturday, July 24, 2021, 4 p.m., at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture.

David Driskell (1931–2020) attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in the summer of 1953 and remained part of the Skowhegan community for the rest of his life. His connection to Maine and to the School influenced many artists over several generations, and artists worked with him as a teacher, advisor, mentor, and friend. The participants in this conversation will discuss the meaning of David’s legacy within their practices, and in Maine more generally. Speakers will include Ruth Fine, Desmond Lewis, Julie L. McGee, and Sylvia Snowden; moderated by Sarah Workneh.

Organized in conjunction with the exhibition David Driskell: Icons of Nature and History (Portland Museum of Art, June 19 through September 12, 2021), this conversation will be followed by a reception and an optional tour of the Skowhegan campus.

This event is free but registration is required and capacity is limited. Register now.

Dread Scott Named 2021–22 Senior Fellow

For the 2021–22 academic year, we are pleased to announce the senior fellowship of artist Dread Scott. Senior fellows are chosen by invitation; their appointments last from nine to eighteen months, during which they contribute to the Colby community through academic engagement and one or more public programs related to their research. Scott’s fellowship represents a collaboration between the Lunder Institute and Colby’s Center for the Arts and Humanities as part of the Center’s 2021–22 humanities theme, “Freedom & Captivity.” Read more

Lunder Institute Interns and Research Assistants Reflect on the Past Year

In the 2020–21 academic year, the Lunder Institute employed eight Colby College student research assistants and interns. At the end of the spring semester, they reflected on a challenging but rewarding year and their individual contributions to the Institute’s fellowships and related programs. Read their insights here.

Inaugural Cohort of Resident Fellows Moves In

Established in 2021, the Lunder Institute residential fellowships provide artists with spacious studios as well as opportunities for collaboration with Colby College faculty, students, staff, and the Waterville community. This new studio program, which is based at the Arts Collaborative at 18 Main Street in downtown Waterville, encompasses artists at all stages of their careers and working in a range of artistic disciplines and mediums. Resident fellows are provided with housing and a stipend; have access to Colby College campus facilities; and are in dialogue with local organizations and community members.

Read more

Maya Lin, Interrupted River: Penobscot

Memorializing the Natural Environment: Maya Lin in conversation with Jessamine Batario, Danae Jacobson, and Chris Walker

Recorded on via Zoom on Thursday, May 6, 2021, at 6 p.m., this program is part of the Spring 2021 Lunder Institute Talks, a series of live, unscripted conversations with scholars and artists who are shaping the field of American art.

Consider how art, science, and history converge in Maya Lin’s “last memorial,” What is Missing?, a multi-sited and multimedia project devoted to the global biodiversity crisis related to habitat loss. As a 2020–21 Lunder Institute senior fellow, Lin has been working with several Colby College courses and engaging with the local community to make contributions to the project. This Lunder Institute Talk features Lin in conversation with her Colby faculty collaborators, Chris Walker (Assistant Professor of English) and Danae Jacobson (Visiting Assistant Professor in History). Together, they reflect on this year’s creative projects and research, discussing art’s capacity to convey urgent scientific information and the role of community participation in the formation of a public history project.

Maya Lin is an artist, designer, and environmentalist who has received both the National Medal of Arts (2009) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2016). Since designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC (1982), Lin has built a practice that balances her interests in art, architecture, and the natural environment. She has remained firmly committed to her Memory Works, of which What is Missing? is the ongoing final project. Lin has consistently focused on utilizing scientific methodology to create artworks that draw the viewer’s attention to nature in order to consider our relationship to it. From large-scale earthworks to intimate sculptural mappings of terrain, waterways, and mountains, Lin’s work reveals aspects of the natural world that are oftentimes overlooked.

Danae Jacobson is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Colby College. She received her PhD in Environmental History from Notre Dame in 2019, and is now working on a book manuscript. Her work focuses on intersections of gender, religion, and race in the U.S. West; specifically, she studies the roles of Catholic nuns in 19th century settler colonialism and empire. In addition to her research, Danae enjoys engaging with students about the multiple ways history shapes the kinds of communities we build, the kind of earth we inhabit, the kind of people we identify with, and the kind of change we imagine possible.

Christopher Allen Walker is Assistant Professor in English at Colby College, where he researches and teaches in the environmental humanities. His book project, Narratives of Decay: Environmental Change and Speculative Form, argues that 20th-century scientists and artists developed shared speculative languages in response to newly discovered processes of material decay. He is co-director of the Colby Summer Institute in Environmental Humanities.

Jessamine Batario is an art historian of modern and contemporary art and the Linde Family Foundation Curator of Academic Engagement at the Colby College Museum of Art. She received her PhD in Art History from The University of Texas at Austin, where her research project, Contemporary Transgressions: the Byzantine-Modern Connection, received support from the Dedalus Foundation, Getty Research Institute Library, and the Vivian L. Smith Foundation at The Menil Collection. Her published work can be found in the Journal of Art HistoriographyDifferent Visions, and the Brooklyn Rail

Featured Image: Maya Lin, Interrupted River: Penobscot (detail), 2019. Glass marbles and adhesive, 288 x 264 x 120 in. (732 x 671 x 305 cm). Museum purchase from Sandy ’78 and Sissy Buck, Laura Keeler Pierce ’07 and M. Vassar Pierce Jr., Seth A. Thayer ’89 and Gregory N. Tinder, the Bruce C. Drouin ’74 and Janet L. Hansen ’75 Maine Art Endowed Fund, and the Robert Cross Vergobbi ’51 Museum Acquisition Fund; 2020.026.

Watch Maine on the Map of Memory: Lunder-Buck Interns and What Is Missing?

On Monday, May 3, 2021, Colby students Helen Bennett ‘22 and Cal Waichler ‘21 reflected on their year working on the What Is Missing? project with Lunder Institute senior fellow Maya Lin and her team of researchers. Bennett and Waichler discussed their experiences building a Maine environmental history timeline and translating that research into an installation for the Arts Collaborative. Designed to be interdisciplinary and collaborative at its foundation, the Lunder-Buck Internship Program is a partnership between the Lunder Institute for American Art and the Buck Lab for Climate and Environment.

This conversation was introduced by Gail Carlson, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Director of the Buck Lab for Climate and Environment, and moderated by Jessamine Batario, Linde Family Foundation Curator of Academic Engagement, Colby College Museum of Art.

Featured image: Jeremy Frey, Color in Winter, 2019. Black ash, sweetgrass, birchbark, porcupine quills, dye, 16 x 12 x 12 in. (41 x 30 x 30 cm). Museum purchase from the Bruce C. Drouin ’74 and Janet L. Hansen ’75 Maine Art Endowed Fund and Friends of Art; 2019.026.

Reframing Modern Art of the American Southwest: Patricia Marroquin Norby in conversation with Jessica Horton

Recorded on via Zoom on Thursday, April 22, 2021, at 6 p.m., this program is part of the Spring 2021 Lunder Institute Talks, a series of live, unscripted conversations with scholars and artists who are shaping the field of American art.

Explore new research shaping understanding of modern art of the American Southwest—the focus of the Lunder Institute’s Research Fellows Program in 2021–22. University of Delaware professor Jessica Horton (2021–22 Distinguished Scholar) and the Met’s Associate Curator of Native American Art Patricia Marroquin Norby (2021–22 Research Fellow) will discuss some of the questions guiding their research. How, for example, have the social and environmental upheavals of western expansion been registered—or suppressed—in art made during the first half of the 20th century by makers of diverse heritages? How might Indigenous and environmental justice change our analysis of historical materials? What methods are most needed today to address the legacies of colonialism and its contestation in Southwest modernisms and American art history more broadly?
Read more

Maine on the Map of Memory: Lunder-Buck Interns and What Is Missing?

Monday, May 3, 2021, 6 p.m.

REGISTER NOW

Join Colby students Helen Bennett ‘22 and Cal Waichler ‘21 via Zoom as they reflect on their year working on the What Is Missing? project with Lunder Institute senior fellow Maya Lin and her team of researchers. Bennett and Waichler will discuss their experiences building a Maine environmental history timeline and translating that research into an installation for the Arts Collaborative. Designed to be interdisciplinary and collaborative at its foundation, the Lunder-Buck Internship Program is a partnership between the Lunder Institute for American Art and the Buck Lab for Climate and Environment. Read more

Oral Histories in the Present Tense: Ben Gillespie, Liza Kirwin, and Wendy Red Star in conversation with Beth Finch

Recorded on via Zoom on Thursday, March 18, 2021, at 6 p.m., this program is part of the Spring 2021 Lunder Institute Talks, a series of live, unscripted conversations with scholars and artists who are shaping the field of American art.

How are artists responding to the challenges, demands, and losses of this moment as well as the opportunities it has offered for renewal, transformation, and growth? Over the Summer of 2020, the Archives of American Art created a new initiative, the Pandemic Oral History Project, that includes responses to the global pandemic across the American art world. This Lunder Institute Talk features the artist Wendy Red Star, a participant in the project, and Ben Gillespie and Liza Kirwin of the Archives of American Art in conversation with Beth Finch. The event will feature selected highlights from the eighty-five interviews, focusing on artists’ responses to this invitation to speak about their experiences during a time of interrelated crises. The conversation also touches on the Lunder Institute’s Vocal Archive, an oral history initiative dedicated to gathering artists’ reflections on works in the Colby Museum’s collection. Read more

Maya Lin, Interrupted River: Penobscot

Announcing the Lunder Institute Talks Series for Spring 2021

Maya Lin, Interrupted River: Penobscot

The Lunder Institute for American Art is pleased to announce the lineup for the Spring 2021 Lunder Institute Talks series.

The Lunder Institute Talks are a series of live, unscripted hour-long Zoom conversations with scholars and artists who are shaping the field of American art. These conversations bring audiences up close with creative and research processes. Lunder Institute team members and invited guests delve into work in progress, engage with artworks and projects related to the Colby College Museum of Art, and connect these to contemporary questions about art and society.  Read more

Staying Connected: Updates from the 2019–20 Research Fellows

Our inaugural Research Fellows Program, focused on art by African Americans, is already having a significant impact on scholarship. Distinguished Scholar and Director of Research Tanya Sheehan recently reconnected with the six 2019–20 fellows and learned about their plans to disseminate the research they conducted on artworks at the Colby College Museum of Art, including objects in the permanent collection and works on loan from the Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection of African American Art. Read more