THEASTER GATES ON LAND
On November 15, 2018 the Lunder Institute for American Art hosted an evening with Distinguished Visiting Artist and Director of Artist Initiatives Theaster Gates. Gates shared thoughts about his ongoing artistic endeavors on questions of land ownership, displacement, and miscegenation, and reflected on how, since joining the Lunder Institute, his practice has explored aspects of Maine’s history. A conversation between Gates and Maine-based artist Daniel Minter and scholar Myron Beasley followed the talk, facilitated by Lee Glazer, director of the Lunder Institute.
Daniel Minter is an American artist known for his work in the mediums of painting and assemblage. His overall body of work often deals with themes of displacement and diaspora, ordinary/extraordinary blackness; spirituality in the Afro-Atlantic world; and the (re)creation of meanings of home. Minter works in varied media – canvas, wood, metal, paper. twine, rocks, nails, paint. This cross-fertilization strongly informs his artistic sensibility. His carvings become assemblages. His paintings are often sculptural. Minter’s work has been featured in numerous institutions and galleries including the Portland Museum of Art, Seattle Art Museum, The Charles H. Wright Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, Bates College, University of Southern Maine, Hammonds House Museum, The David C. Driskell Center and the Northwest African American Art Museum. He has been instrumental in highlighting the history of the Underground Railroad in New England. For over 15 years Minter has raised awareness of the forced removal in 1912 of an interracial community on Maine’s Malaga Island. His formative work on the subject emerges from Minter’s active engagement with island descendants, archeologists, anthropologists and scholars. Minter is the co-founder of Indigo Arts Alliance, a non-profit dedicated to cultivating the artistic development of people of African descent.
Myron M. Beasley, Ph.D. is Associate Professor and Chair of American Studies at Bates College. He is a cultural critic and international curator. His writings explore the intersections of cultural politics, art and social change. He has garnered distinguished awards and fellowships by the Andy Warhol Foundation, the Whiting Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, The Davis Family Foundation, the Reed Foundation, SAVVY Contemporary, and Dorothea and Leo Rabkin Foundation. His writing appears inLiminalities: The Journal of Performance Studies, Text and Performance Quarterly, Museum & Social Issues, The Journal of Curatorial Studies and Performance Research. His curatorial projects include the first Haitian Biennale, Dark’art, Print Protest Powerand Re.Past. Malaga. myronbeasley.com.