Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art Announces “Between Artists: In Conversation with History”
The Archives of American Art has announced "Between Artists: In Conversation with History," a six-episode series from its podcast ARTiculated: Dispatches from the Archives of American Art. This special series presents significant intergenerational dialogues between artists of the present and voices from the past. Each of the six upcoming episodes will be curated by and feature contemporary artists Nanibah Chacon, Maia Cruz Palileo, Mari Hernandez, Carolyn Lazard, Dionne Lee and Lehuauakea. During their respective episodes, each artist will engage with oral histories from the Archives of American Art's collection and examine the foundational and invisible influences those interviews have on their own work. The first episode in the series will be released July 28 and is titled "Weaving and Shaping Native Art Today: A Balance Between the Contemporary and the Traditional." The remaining episodes will be released on the fourth Thursday of each month through Dec. 29.
This series brings together contemporary artists with the history of visual art in the United States, fostering awareness, connection and critical listening across the spectrum of American experience. The episodes uncover new and hidden links between artists well known and not so well known, expanding historical narratives with voices beyond traditional canons.
"We are grateful for this opportunity to invite deep engagement with the big questions at the core of the Archives, from what constitutes influence to who gets a voice in the story of American art," said Ben Gillespie, the oral historian at the Archives of American Art. "These episodes offer an array of inquiries into the powers of oral history, and we are so grateful to these artists for their research, insight and curiosity in bringing these stories to light."
The Archives of American Art promotes and provides access to the largest collection of oral histories associated with the visual arts in America, encouraging further study by scholars, students and the culturally curious. The "Between Artists: In Conversation with History" series provides space for new voices to engage deeply with the interviews of artists recorded years ago.
ARTiculated: Dispatches from the Archives of American Art is supported by the Alice L. Walton Foundation. The special six-episode series, "Between Artists: In Conversation with History," is supported in part by the Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative.
Inspired by appearance-altering photographers and early Mexican American artists, Hernandez began experimenting with self-portraiture to address questions about identity. As a co-founder of the Chicana art collective Mas Rudas (2009-2015), her self-portraits focused on Chicana aesthetics. Her solo practice is guided by these early influences, but Hernandez continues to expand her repertoire and skill base.
She received her Master of Fine Arts from California College of the Arts in 2017 and has exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City; New Orleans Museum of Art; Aperture Foundation, New York City; Silver Eye Center for Photography, Pittsburgh; Et Al., Oakland, California; and the San Francisco Arts Commission, among others. Lee is a 2022 Artist-in-Residence at The Chinati Foundation and Unseen California.
Through a range of craft-based media, their art serves as a means of exploring cultural and biological ecologies, spectrums of Indigeneity and what it means to live within the context of contemporary environmental degradation. With a particular focus on the labor-intensive making of ʻohe kāpala (carved bamboo printing tools), kapa (bark cloth) and natural pigments, Lehuauakea is able to breathe new life into patterns and traditions practiced for generations. Through these acts of resilience that help forge deeper relationships with ʻāina, this mode of Indigenous storytelling is carried well into the future.
Schedule of "Between Artists" Series' Episodes
Launched in August 2021, ARTiculated, explores the breadth and depth of the Archives' oral-history collection with context from today's scholars and artists. Since 1958, the Archives of American Art's oral-history program has preserved the distinct voices and human memory of the American art world in more than 2,500 interviews. ARTiculated: Dispatches from the Archives of American Art draws on those interviews of the famous and the forgotten, featuring firsthand accounts from artists, dealers, writers and other key figures in dialogue with today's thought leaders. Articulated is supported by the Alice L. Walton Foundation. Click here to listen to the podcast.