WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Artist Carrie Mae Weems will join students from Williams College, Bennington College, and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts for an online public conversation at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 1.
The MacArthur Award winner and Syracuse University Artist in Residence will speak about her 2020-21 nationwide public art and public health project Resist COVID / Take 6!, which combines Weems’ photographs with messages that promote health and safety, offer hope, give thanks to frontline workers, and highlight the staggering death toll of COVID-19 and the disproportionate impact of the virus on Black, Brown, and Native American communities.
The museum members of the ArtCountry consortium—Bennington Museum, the Clark Art Institute, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), and the Williams College Museum of Art—teamed with Usdan Gallery at Bennington College, the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), and the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance at Williams College, along with the Town of Williamstown, to launch the Resist COVID / Take 6! campaign in the Berkshires. The regional campaign uses images drawn from Weems’ vast body of work on billboards, posters, bus shelters, lawn signs, tote bags, banners, street lamps, and postcards with messages like “Don’t Worry, We’ll Hold Hands Again,” “Life Is Beautiful,” and “Because of Inequity, Black, Brown, and Native People Have Been the Most Impacted by COVID-19; This Must Be Changed!” alongside basic reminders to keep a safe distance, wash your hands, cover your face, and get tested. Weems’ latest designs promote the safety and distribution of the vaccine. The artist says the project “is meant to be a public service awareness campaign that in some small way helps to save lives, as a constant reminder of what needs to be done as we push through this pandemic and its extraordinary effect on us.”
Through image and text, film and performance, and her many convenings with individuals across a multitude of disciplines, Carrie Mae Weems has created a complex body of work that centers on her overarching commitment to helping us better understand our present moment by examining our collective past. Weems has received a multitude of awards, grants, and fellowships, including the MacArthur Award; the U.S. Department of State’s Medal of Art; the Joseph H. Hazen Rome Prize Fellowship from the American Academy in Rome; National Endowment for the Arts awards; and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, among many others.
Major solo exhibitions of Carrie’s work include Carrie Mae Weems: The Museum Series, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2014), and the traveling exhibition Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video, organized by the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville (2012), and also shown at: Portland Art Museum, Oregon; Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio; Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Stanford University; and Guggenheim Museum, New York, (2013–2014).
She is represented in public and private collections around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Tate Modern, London, England; the Museum of Modern Art, NY; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Weems’ work is a treasured part of the collection of the Williams College Museum of Art, where it is often selected by faculty for display in the Object Lab hybrid gallery-classroom space and was recently featured in the 2020 photography survey exhibition Landmarks.
“Carrie Mae Weems in Conversation” is co-sponsored by the Davis Center at Williams College, the Class of 1960 Scholars and Fellows, the Office of Special Academic Programs, and the Williams College Museum of Art. WCMA also thanks the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance, Usdan Gallery at Bennington College, the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and THE OFFICE performing arts + film for their partnership.
Register for this free online program here: Zoom registration. Capacity is limited to 500 persons. Live captioning will be provided. The program will be recorded and available in the future on our YouTube channel. Please contact us via email at [email protected] if you have any accessibility needs that we can support.