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Arts & Culture

New Nasher Exhibit Asks Visitors To Get Ready For A New Art Experience

Stacy Lynn Waddell's work, 'Self Portrait.'
Stacy Lynn Waddell, photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion.
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Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University

Historically underrepresented, overlooked, and excluded artists are the focus of the latest exhibition at The Nasher Museum in Durham. The museum has been collecting art centered on diversity and inclusion since it opened its doors in 2005.

But in “People Get Ready: Building a Contemporary Collection,” it brings together new pieces alongside staples from its standing collection to highlight its longstanding mission to showcase the work of typically overlooked artists. The exhibition features art dating from 1970 to 2018.

Host Frank Stasio previews the exhibit with Trevor Schoonmaker, deputy director of curatorial affairs and the Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Curator of Contemporary Art at the Nasher Museum. Artists Stacy Lynn Waddell and Pedro Lasch join the conversation to talk about their works featured in the exhibition. Waddell is based in Durham and Lasch is a research professor of art, art history, and visual studies at Duke University.

Pedro Lasch's work 'Memory Shift' from the Black Mirror series
Credit Pedro Lasch / Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
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Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
Pedro Lasch, Desplazamiento de la memoria (Memory Shift) from the Black Mirror series, 2008. Cibachrome print, edition of 5, 50 1/8 x 24 7/8 inches (127.3 x 63.2 cm). Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Anonymous gift in memory of Anne Schroder.

Waddell’s piece is a self-portrait made with a wood-burning tool and silver leaf. Lasch’s work is part of a series called “Black Mirror” that combines ancient art, dark mirrors, and paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries. “People Get Ready: Building A Contemporary Collection” will be at the Nasher Museum in Durham until January 6, 2019.

Interview Highlights

Schoonmaker on how the Nasher’s mission for inclusivity and diversity sets them apart:
Most [art] institutions have been collecting work by predominately white male artists over the years, and we're able to sort of do the inverse and give a platform and a voice to other artists.

Waddell on the relationship between “Self Portrait” and her life:
It's a layered process to create a life as an artist, and so that self portrait is something I think that represents the sort of coming into being. And I'm reaching a sort of 10-year mark of being a professional artist. And so all of those kinds of things about marking time and thinking on what it means to be where I am now and how I see myself moving forward as an artist from this sort of in-between space: just far enough from graduate school to not have that matter anymore, but somewhere in the middle where I'm not quite at mid-career. So how do you get up the hill? How do you move forward?

Lasch on the importance of recognizing underrepresented artists:
The majority of the artists in the show are actually internationally exhibiting artists now ... We don't want to stay in the shadows. And, in fact, the show is evidence that people have come out of the shadows.

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