Is it possible to consider all acts of art-making as collaborations, as works made in tandem with one’s-self, with others, with spaces, with objects, with ideas? Over the past few months, poets Natalie Diaz and Ada Limón — whose collaborations include a poetic correspondence titled “Envelopes of Air” — embodied this question as they searched WCMA’s online collection selecting and sharing works of art, and responding to each other’s discoveries. From their conversations emerged eight paintings and photographs on display in WCMA’s Reading Room. These works serve as the starting point for further collaborations, including student workshops and an ongoing written exchange between Natalie and Ada. This program will begin with a look at the selected works on view at the museum, followed by a conversation about artistic collaboration.
Ada Limón is the author of five books of poetry; her most recent, The Carrying, was recently awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award and was a finalist for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, and her previous volume, Bright Dead Things, was a finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry, the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Natalie Diaz was born and raised in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California, and is an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. A linguist and former professional basketball player, her first book, When My Brother Was an Aztec, was published in 2013. She is a MacArthur Fellow, a Lannan Literary Fellow and a Native Arts Council Foundation Artist Fellow.
This project is presented by the Williams College Museum of Art and the English Department.