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Published: January 17, 2019 Author: Staff reports

Ohio University’s School of Art + Design and the Kennedy Museum of Art welcome celebrated artist Carrie Mae Weems to Athens the week of Jan. 22-25 for a series of engagements including an opening reception at the museum, a public lecture at the Baker Center Ballroom and a masterclass performance.

Considered one of the most influential contemporary American artists, Weems has investigated family relationships, cultural identity, sexism, class, political systems and the consequences of power. Determined as ever to enter the picture — both literally and metaphorically — she has sustained an ongoing dialogue within contemporary discourse for over 30 years. During this time Weems has developed a complex body of art employing photographs, text, fabric, audio, digital images, installation and video.

In 2013 Weems received the MacArthur “Genius” award as well as the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She has received numerous awards, grants and fellowships including the prestigious Prix de Roma, The National Endowment of the Arts, the Alpert, the Anonymous was a Woman and the Tiffany Awards, among many other honors.

The OHIO community welcomes Weems with an opening reception of the exhibition “Carrie Mae Weems: The Usual Suspects,” on the evening of Jan. 24, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Kennedy Museum of Art. This exhibition includes recent photographic and video works questioning stereotypes that associate black bodies with criminality. The show will be featured through March 31.

While Weems visits Athens, she’ll give an artist lecture, titled “Past Tense,” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, in the Baker Center Ballroom, which is free and open to the public.

On Friday, Jan. 25 at 8 p.m., Weems will present a masterclass performance in The Forum Theater on the first floor of the Radio Television Building. Throughout the week, Weems will meet with the grad students of the masterclass.

In response to the mass killings at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015 coupled with the shooting of young black men at the hands of police officers, Weems felt compelled to develop a performance work around the subject of grace. Students working with her script from this piece, “Grace Notes,” will explore and contemplate current sociopolitical issues facing their own lives. The week will culminate in a performance of multidisciplinary interpretations of various aspects of “Grace Notes,” reflecting the master class participant’s areas of study. The performance is free and open to the public, but seating is limited and not numbered.

To reserve tickets to “Grace Notes” on Friday, Jan. 25, please submit your reservation for tickets here: bit.ly/2QpG6N0. Note that this is a reservation for the number of seats to reserve, but that you will need to arrive early to select your seats the night of the performance.

This series of visiting artist events is made possible with the generous support of Arts for Ohio, the School of Art + Design, Visiting Arts and Scholars Committee, School of Theater, School of Interdisciplinary Arts, Kennedy Lecture Series, Ohio University Performing Arts Series, Office for Diversity and Inclusion, Multicultural Center and Black Student Cultural Programming Board, African American Studies, the School of Dance, Cutler Scholars Program, the OHIO Honors Program, and the LGBT Center. These events are free and open to the public.

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