Thursday, October 1, 2020

Culture Type: a vital resource on Black Art

Artwork: Jordan Casteel's "Miles and Jojo," Amy Sherald's "The Make Believer (Monet's Garden)," and Kehinde Wiley's "Anthony of Padua (2013)."

My schedule was already too packed this semester with my 3/3/ teaching load, but I still somehow said, "yes," when a student asked to do an independent study course with me. I knew I wanted us to cover the subject of black visual representation. 

Among other issues, we're taking a look at artwork by Kehinde Wiley, Jordan Casteel, Amy Sherald, and Kadir Nelson. Learning more about these and other Black artists of course means that I'll be delving even deeper into the site Culture Type, where the site's founder and editor Victoria L. Valentine has, for some time, been producing an expansive body of commentary on "the published record on African American and Black Diasporic art with a focus on the intersection of art, history, culture." 

In addition to continually publishing up-to-date news on the worlds of Black art, Valentine publishes an annual pieces on the Best Black Art books and the best in Black Art each year. There's information about auctions and exhibitions. Culture Type is an excellent gateway and destination, providing extensive information on art in an accessible way. 

My own experiences writing about African American books over the years makes me really appreciate an endeavor like Culture Type. I know first-hand had challenging it can be to keep up the pace, documenting developments and writing about large numbers of creators, always realizing that there's never enough time to capture everyone and everything. 

I used to read Culture Type just for fun, but lately, I have been thinking more about how vital the site is as a resource for materials that I will introduce to students.

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