|curators' statement||december 2003/january 2004 selection|
r e l e a s e
c u r a t o r s : s a l l y b l o c k a n d l a u r i e c u m b o
Due to the high number of HIV/AIDS infections in the community of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, it was important to us to reach out to the public through an educational exhibit that would attempt to dispel some of the stereotypes and mystery of the disease. The initial decision to bring an exhibition in collaboration with Visual AIDS was one that MoCADA was very excited about. Our first instinct was that the artists, selected from the Visual AIDS archive, would have an obvious connection between their work and their diagnosis. We found out very quickly that, not only was the work varied in size, style and medium, but the subject matter of the artists was varied as well. Trying to narrow down a theme for the exhibit became a bigger challenge than we expected. What transpired after reviewing the work and meeting with the artists was a feeling that each artist was reflecting their own type of emotional and physical letting go. Whether it is through the archetypal family images of Derek Jackson's "Meet the Blues" series, or the clay sculptures depicting spiritual liberation and freedom from drug addiction by Joyce McDonald, the work is a reminder of the impact of art as a mechanism for catharsis and expression. It seemed fitting that the diverse collection would be best described by the simple word, Release. We are pleased to present this web gallery in conjunction with the Release exhibition at MoCADA.
Events for Release include: "Family Programming" on Saturday, December 13, 2003 at 2 PM to be moderated by Patricia Ayala, and "Talking with Teens about HIV" (in partnership with the 81st Precinct Youth Council) on Saturday, December 20, 2003 at 2 PM. Teens from Brooklyn will meet at MoCADA to discuss innovative ways to educate communities about HIV/AIDS education for young adults. We also invite you to join us at the museum following "Talking with Teens" for a special screening of "A Day's Work, a Day's Pay." The closing reception is Saturday, January 3, 2004 at 2 PM. MoCADA is located at 281 Stuyvesant Ave. (between Jefferson and Hancock) Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, NY. Directions: Take the A or C train to Utica Avenue Station. Gallery hours: Mon.-Fri. by appointment, Saturday 11 AM-6 PM and Sunday 1:30 PM-6 PM.
Founded in 1999, The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporian Arts (MoCADA) is a community-based and constituency-focused organization, that is committed to increasing public awareness of the art and culture of the African diaspora as it relates to contemporary urban issues through innovative exhibitions, public programs, interactive tours for school groups and families, and community outreach initiatives. For more information, please visit: www.mocada.org.
b i o g r a p h i e s
Sally S. Block is the Deputy Director for the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporian Arts (MoCADA). Ms. Block holds a Master of Professional Studies degree from the Pratt Institute in Arts and Cultural Management. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology.
Laurie A. Cumbo is the Executive Director and Founder of the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporian Arts (MoCADA). Ms. Cumbo holds a Master of Arts degree from New York University in Visual Arts Administration. She completed her undergraduate studies at Spelman College where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Art History. Ms. Cumbo's educational career has been bolstered by her extensive work experience in arts education as well as her travels abroad. She has worked at the Brooklyn Children's Museum, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Grey Art Gallery. Moreover, her travels throughout Europe, Africa, South America and North America have given her a global perspective on arts education. She has studied at such universities as the Utrecht School of the Arts in the Netherlands and the Fuji Studios in Florence, Italy. As a native of Brooklyn, New York, Ms. Cumbo hopes to utilize her educational and professional experiences to bring about an increased presence of the arts in the borough of Brooklyn.