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Artists on the Future at Stanford

First conversation features Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Thelma Golden.

Stanford Office of the Vice President for the Arts presents the second season of “Artists on the Future: The Komal Shah and Gaurav Garg Artist Conversation Series.” The first conversation features visual artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. The free webinar takes place Nov. 16 at 5 p.m. PST. Register here.

“Artists on the Future” provides renowned international artists and cultural thought leaders with a platform to catalyze alternative perspectives on urgent socio-political questions and create dialogue between different communities in Silicon Valley and beyond. 

2020 has tested us all in many ways, forcing us to think differently about how we live and relate to one another. For many, this year has called into question our individual humanity, and also prompted us to think more globally about our ecosystems and communities of care. In this first conversation, Akunyili Crosby and Golden are expected to delve into how the pandemic and the call for racial justice has impacted art, artists and arts institutions.

Artists scheduled for conversations in 2021 are Shirin Neshat and Teresita Fernández. All events are free and open to the public.

About the first speakers

Drawing on art historical, political, and personal references, Njideka Akunyili Crosby creates densely layered figurative compositions that, precise in style, nonetheless conjure the complexity of contemporary experience. Akunyili Crosby was born in Enugu, Nigeria, in 1983 and currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. The artist was awarded an honorary doctorate from Swarthmore College in May 2019. She is also the recipient of a 2017 MacArthur Fellowship and has received a number of awards and grants, including the Prix Canson, 2016; Next Generation honor, New Museum, 2015; Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize, 2015; and the James Dicke Contemporary Artist Prize, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2014, among others. She was an Artist in Residence at The Studio Museum in Harlem in 2011-2012.

Thelma Golden is director and chief curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, where she began her career in 1987 before joining the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1988. After a decade at the Whitney, she returned to the Studio Museum in 2000 as deputy director for exhibitions and programs, and was named director and chief curator in 2005. Golden was appointed to the Committee for the Preservation of the White House by President Obama in 2010, and in 2015 joined the Barack Obama Foundation’s board of directors. She served as the 2015–16 chair of New York City’s Cultural Institutions Group and was appointed to the Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission by Mayor Bill de Blasio. Golden received the Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence in 2016, a Ford Foundation Art of Change Visiting Fellowship in 2015, and a Henry Crown Fellowship at the Aspen Institute in 2008. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in art history and African-American Studies from Smith College. Born in St. Albans, Queens, Golden currently resides in Harlem, New York.

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