New York artist Heather Hart, whose works are on exhibit at both Mount Mary’s Marian Gallery and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in September, is facilitating a number of events to help raise the profiles of underrepresented Milwaukee artists.
Hart is on a dual mission, to both extend the reach of a single artist, and to open up dialog on larger cultural issues, said Josh Anderson, curator of the Marian Gallery at Mount Mary University. These events include:
- Wikipedia edit-a-thon 5 to 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10, Haggerty Library, Mount Mary University
Because Wikipedia is a crowdsourced encyclopedia, underrepresented artists run the risk of leaving gaps in this evolving online historical record. This edit-a-thon is one of a number of sessions taking place around the country to engage the public in creating, updating and improving Wikipedia articles pertaining to the lives and works of minority visual artists. Hart has generated a list of local artists for participants to promote, although people are welcome to work on Wikipedia entries for artists of their choice. Limited computers are available, so bring a laptop if possible. Snacks and training will be provided. Visit the website for more information.
- Black Lunch Table for artists 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12 in the Marian Art Gallery, Mount Mary University
Visual artists and visual art workers with a connection to the Milwaukee area are invited to discuss their cultural histories and experiences around a dinner table. Dinner will be provided and conversations will be recorded and transcribed for an archive of oral histories that Hart is compiling and sharing online for future use by researchers and academics interested in these first-person accounts by black artists. Preregister by Monday, Sept. 4.
- Black Lunch Table community roundtable 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14 in the Marian Art Gallery, Mount Mary University
This Black Lunch Table session is open to the public. “This session will offer focused conversations on the divisions and connections that exist within our communities, while also laying out new productive relationships to continue the movement for dismantling institutional racism,” said Anderson. Dinner will be provided and conversations will be recorded and transcribed for the online archive. Preregister by Monday, Sept. 4.
The Black Lunch Table project is an ongoing collaboration between artists Heather Hart and Jina Valentine. Organized around literal and metaphorical lunch tables, Black Lunch Table takes the lunchroom phenomenon as its starting point. The roundtable sessions provide both physical space and allotted time for interdisciplinary and intergenerational discussions, bringing together a diversity of community members and fostering candid conversations.
Seating for the Black Lunch Table sessions is extremely limited, Participants will be chosen by lottery and notified afterwards. These events are sponsored in part by the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.
Hart’s exhibit of drawings at the Marian Gallery, “Remember This House,” is on display through October 6. Hart will also offer a lecture on her work at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13 on campus, followed by a reception from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Marian Gallery. For a list of hours and more information visit http://www.mtmary.edu/friends/marian-gallery.