Three stars of the contemporary art world to descend upon Easthampton

Sep 22 2017

Joan Young is head curator at the Guggenheim Museum, and Tom Friedman and Kambui Olujimi are artists whose work is shown around the world.

EASTHAMPTON — Three stars of the art world will appear in the latest iteration of “Grist for the Mill,” a salon-style speaker series hosted by Easthampton City Arts.

Joan Young is head curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Tom Friedman and Kambui Olujimi are artists whose works are shown in galleries and museums around the world.

The three will participate in a live, salon-style discussion on Friday evening, Oct. 13. They’ll discuss the role of artist and art institution in today’s complex and ever-changing cultural and political environment.

“We are incredibly lucky that Joan Young, Tom Friedman and Kambui Olujimia agreed to come to Easthampton,” said ECA director Pasqualina Azzarello. “This is big news.”

Young has been with the Guggenheim since 1995, and has organized many shows, including exhibitions by Hugo Boss Prize winners Tacita Dean, Emily Jacir, and Rirkrit Tiravanija.

Friedman’s works “inhabit the grey areas between the ordinary and the monstrous, the infinitesimal and the infinite, the rational and the uncanny,” an online biography states. “The artist Tom Friedman tends to blow our minds and then move on, rarely repeating himself,” said the New York Times.

Artist Olujimi “crafts potent social commentary from delicate wisps of myth and whimsy” and “transcends the political sphere, affirming its own autonomy,” according to the Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco.

Olujimi’s multimedia exhibition “Zulu Time” was recently at MassMOCA in North Adams. The show explores “the interlocking systems of power and invisible hierarchies that impact our daily lives.”

The Oct. 13 panel discussion will be moderated by Eva Fierst, educational curator at the UMass Amherst Museum of Contemporary Art.

Asquarello, who has been at the helm of ECA for about a year, launched Grist for the Mill last fall with a dual appearance by New York nightlife and society journalists Michael Musto and Mickey Boardman.

The speaker series features “culturally relevant discussions between contemporary thought-makers on a public stage, creating a dynamic platform that brings together a diversity of ideas, experiences, and new possibilities.”

Young will also offer two studio visits to Easthampton artists during her visit to the area. “Details will follow,” said Azzarello.

If you go:

What: Grist for the Mill: Joan Young, Tom Friedman and Kambui Olujimi Where: Eastworks West End Event Space, 116 Pleasant St., Easthampton When: Fri. Oct. 13. Cocktails at 6:30 p.m.; event at 8 p.m. Tickets: Sliding scale $8-$25; tickets may be reserved at Eventbrite.



May 2018