Parsons School of Design at The New School hosted its first international conference on the state of Black culture in art and design education recently. The lens of day two of the conference revolved around past and current qualms of Black Cultural Production: its value is great yet not enough of it is presented on a grand scale… Two sets of panelists discussed the history, present, and future of black cultural art through their own artistic endeavours.
Noel Mayo, keynote speaker, started by referencing John Gatto’s Weapons of Mass Instruction. As high school dropout rates in black communities increase, incarceration rates correlate. Mayo proposed an idea to counteract these statistics by offering prisoners high school education for a lesser sentence …read more
Susan Cahan, an associated dean from Yale College, offered a historical lens through her thesis that art historic movements of community art spaces in New York City were segregated spaces for larger established museums in the 1970s to push black art into black institutions… larger museums were therefore justified in not incorporating more diversity into their own museum walls …read more
For the first of its kind, Parsons hosted a successful international conference on black art and design education. The economic tone of the day’s events shed a new light on how to put forth change effectively in a field that can thrive under refreshing new voices. However, change seemed to be emphasized by material production. In a heightened technological age where individuals can achieve significant success, unheard voices still have difficulty being voiced.
Contributed by: Zemen Kidane, Curatorial Fellow