Performa Celebrates Its 15th Anniversary With a Live Art Telethon and Limited-Edition Homewares

“I wanted to think about each of the artist’s work in a new way, by asking them to produce usable art, in the form of homewares or apparel—to make something they would not usually make,” explains Kathy Noble, Performa’s senior curator who spearheaded the editions series and has been working closely with the artists to realize them. “This idea reflects Performa’s ethos of blending art and everyday life; and making art objects to use each day is a form of performance in itself.” On whether there any particular standout pieces, Noble is diplomatic. “They are all my babies, and so I can’t have a favorite child,” she laughs.

The eclectic line-up of pieces includes a glazed porcelain vase designed by Barbara Kruger with “culture” emblazoned on one side in black and “nature” on the other in baby blue; elsewhere, there’s a hand-held mirror by Cindy Sherman printed with a

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“We’re not human without culture; art saves people”

For most artists, it’s a badge of honour to find that their work is as relevant and powerful decades after the initial unveiling. Such achievement is bittersweet for US artist Cauleen Smith, whose acclaimed film, Drylongso, is better understood now than it ever was while it was released in 1998 when she was still at film school.

The plot focuses on an art student who starts photographing Black men out of fear they may soon go extinct, a narrative that feels horribly apt in 2020 following the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

“I never expected it to be as relevant now as it was then,” Smith tells us in a Zoom video call from her LA home. “The film has grown in popularity and seems more useful to people now than when I made it – then, it was looked at as a sociological document. I was

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At RISE Amherst, new mural meant to represent connection between cannabis culture and art

To Ben Sussman, the exterior walls of RISE Amherst were a blank canvas, presenting an opportunity to bring something special to Western Massachusetts.

A quest to find a muralist to add vibrance to the buildng became a passion project. That project is now complete, as artist Zaeos has spray-painted a mural around recreational and medical marijuana shop RISE, showcasing images of black-capped chickadees, the Massachusetts state bird, and a blue heron.

The artwork helps to present a connection between cannabis culture and art and honor both communities, said Sussman, the RISE Amherst community outreach coordinator.

“At a time in the country where everybody is so divided and there is so much strife in people’s lives with the virus and everything that’s going on, giving back to the community in kind of a different way and putting up a piece of public art that can really help people, just taking

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what next for the great art galleries of the North?

Squeezed between successive waves of lockdowns and restrictions, galleries in the north of England are being forced to rethink their business models. For institutions such as Manchester Art Gallery, or Bluecoat in Liverpool, the Culture Recovery Fund has provided a temporary lifeline, but questions remain as to what will happen after March.

Even prior to this second national lockdown, visitor figures had been restricted to accommodate social distancing: Baltic in Gateshead, which would welcome 3,000 on a good Sunday, hit capacity last weekend at 500. The entrepreneurial culture of the last two decades, under which arts organisations were encouraged to generate significant income from commercial activities, now appears unsustainable.

“What we’re seeing is a complete collapse of our income model,” explains Sarah Munro, director of Baltic. Support from Arts Council England, Gateshead Council and Northumbria University accounts for about 60 per cent of the gallery’s budget. Until this year, car

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