• Bridget R. Cooks. Photo: Evelina Pentcheva

  • Erica Deeman

  • Mildred Howard. Photo: Chester Higgins

  • Naima Keith

Colloquium: Ethics of Care: Reflections on Blackness, Art, and the Institution

Anticipating the exhibition About Things Loved: Blackness and Belonging, this program aims for critical engagement around questions of belonging, curatorial possibilities, and the role of institutions. Coming together to discuss these issues are Bridget R. Cooks, Erica Deeman, Mildred Howard, and Naima Keith.

Bridget R. Cooks will contribute insights from her influential publication Exhibiting Blackness: African Americans and the American Art Museum, focusing on Peter Bradley’s Isom Dart I, which is featured in the exhibition. Cooks’s scholarship addresses representations of African Americans in visual culture, the history of African American artists, and museum criticism. She is an associate professor in the Departments of Art History and African American Studies at UC Irvine.

Artist Erica Deeman will discuss her photography featured in the exhibition. Deeman’s work visualizes themes of identity, gender, and race and explores the tradition of portraiture. With the portrait, she engages her audience to question how viewers evaluate the face through their own visual expectations and historical portrayals.

Mildred Howard, an installation and mixed-media artist and educator, will talk about her work, also featured in the exhibition. Howard is known for her large-scale installations invoking both collective history and personal narrative.

Naima Keith, deputy director of exhibitions and programs at the California African American Museum, will discuss how art can forge dialogues around history and consider possibilities for curating in the contemporary moment. Keith’s curatorial focus is art of the African diaspora; she was formerly associate curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem.