Lunder Institute Summer Think Tank
Throughout the summer of 2023, the Colby College Museum of Art’s Lunder Institute for American Art will host the first in what is planned to be an annual convening, The Lunder Institute for American Art Summer Think Tank: __________ American 2023.
From June through August at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, the Lunder Institute will host more than 30 thought partners across disciplines to be in conversation with one another about urgent questions and topics relevant in American art, with particular attention to the ways in which Blackness and the Black experience are central to American art, its history and its future.
Over ten weeks, the Summer Think Tank will foster discussions around creative practice and American identities and experiences. The first of these conversations will kick off in June and involve artists Mildred Howard and William Cordova joining the Lunder Institute summer 2023 resident fellows, Genevieve Gaignard and Papay Solomon, and their chosen guests, Kenny Rivero and Liat Yossifor.
Three chefs from the Lunder Institute’s pilot chefs in residence program will also visit throughout the summer to cook for and interact with Summer Think Tank participants. Once each month, through the summer, up to 12 friends and strangers will come together to share in food, conversation, and community. The Lunder Institute chefs in residence program aims to further the discourse around the relationship between the culinary arts, land ownership, farming and the impact and the historic influence on art practice for generations.
In July, the state of performance art, its documentation and archiving, and the generation of a new work will become the focus, with conversations featuring artists Ayana Evans, Tsedaye Makonnen, Dominique Duroseau, Nuygen Smith, M. Lamar, and Eleanor Kipping. Kelli Morgan, professor of museum studies at Tufts University and artist Xaviera Simmons will discuss the work of dismantling racism in museums and art institutions. Schomburg Center director Joy Bivins, Micha Broadnax of The Black Teacher Archives Project at Harvard and the founders of the Black Lunch Table, Heather Hart and Jina Valentine, will discuss what the archiving of Black art, artists and their archives has entailed.
In August, museum professionals and scholars will engage in conversation with guests of their choice to address art history and Blackness, performance art in 2023, and feminism and the Black aesthetic. The Lunder Institute will host Bridget Cooks, art historian and professor of art history and African American studies at UC Irvine, Ed Patuto, director of audience engagement at the Broad Museum in Los Angeles and Tiffany Barber, professor of art history at UCLA, to share thoughts, work and insights with colleagues in the field.
Though the conversations are not open to the general public, each will be recorded and preserved in an oral history archive for researchers to access.
The goal of the Summer Think Tank is to provide a safe and fertile space for participants and the freedom to engage with other invitees as well as with Colby Museum staff, students, and faculty. These conversations will also introduce ideas and methods of addressing how and why the state of American art, with relation to Black artists, producers, scholars, and practitioners whose work intersects and/or influences American art, can lead us to innovations in the field. As a unique incubator of research and practice, the Lunder Institute seeks to offer a platform for field-wide discussion, supporting, fostering, documenting, and sharing the knowledge and new questions that emerge.
The Lunder Institute has worked for more than five years to support the field of American art in a way that moves it and its practitioners toward creating a more inclusive and broader representation of American art and the complex experience and history it reflects. The Summer Think Tank __________ American 2023 builds on the Lunder Institute’s growing track record of convening artists and scholars to instigate new thinking and practice in the field.
Summer 2023 Participants
- Tiffany Barber, Scholar, Curator, Critic
- Chef Jordan Benissan, Owner of Me Lon Togo, Rockland, Maine
- Joy Bivins, Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
- Micha Broadnax, Archivist
- Bridget Cooks, Scholar and Curator of American Art
- William Cordova, Cultural Practitioner
- Bob Cozzalino, Curator
- Nathaniel Donnett, Artist
- Dominique Duroseau, Performance Artist
- Ayana Evans, Performance Artist
- Genevieve Gaignard, Artist
- Dell Hamilton, Artist, Writer, Curator, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
- Heather Hart, Artist
- Mildred Howard, Artist
- Eleanor Kipping, Performance Artist
- M. Lamar, Performance Artist
- Tsedaye Makonnen, Performance Artist
- Chef Dave Mallari, Owner of the Sinful Kitchen in Portland, Maine
- Devin Malone, Director of Public Programs and Community Engagement, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco
- Kelli Morgan, Curator, Educator, and Social Justice Activist
- Ed Patuto, Director of Audience Engagement at the Broad
- Chef Louis Pickens, Owner of Black Betty’s Bistro, Portland, Maine
- Robert Pruitt, Artist
- Kenny Rivero, Artist
- Xaviera Simmons, Contemporary Artist
- Delphine Sims, Ph.D. Candidate, History of Art, UC Berkeley
- Nyugen Smith, Performance Artist
- Papay Solomon, Artist
- Limor Tomer, Live Arts General Manager at The Met, Performing Arts Curator, Administrator & Fundraiser
- Jina Valentine, Visual Artist and Educator
- Kandis Wiliams, Artist
- Liat Yossifor, Artist
Image (Header): Romare Bearden, City of Brass (detail), 1965. Photostat and gouache on board mounted on panel, 29 in. x 40 in. (73.66 cm x 101.6 cm). The Lunder Collection; 2012.330. Art © Romare Bearden Foundation, Inc./Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.