Wave Pool—the Cincinnati-based contemporary art center built on the ethos that art intersects with community—is taking the lead on employing and empowering local refugee and immigrant women in Ohio through art. Their latest initiative, Welcome Editions, invites nationally recognized artists to design a limited edition art object and then work with refugee and immigrant women to fabricate the pieces. Final works are artist approved and signed, and all profits are then fed back into the growth of the project.
The first round of artists to take part in Welcome Editions include Caroline Woolard, Pedro Reyes, and Chris Johanson and Johanna Jackson. Woolard’s work explores the intersections of art and the solidarity economy. After spending a year collaborating with Wave Pool, she worked with the women (the full list of names of whom are available here) to create functional ceramic cups that can also be used as a vessel for a flower, candle, or water-clock. Pedro Reyes’ limited edition continues his practice of creating instruments out of dismantled guns: the artist created a series of flutes made from gun barrels. The edition of seventeen debuted at the March For Our Lives in Cincinnati and a portion of the proceeds will also support the nonprofit Everytown for Gun Safety.
With the imperative to be functional, affordable, and collectible, Welcome Editions thinks beyond the established binary of the art market to demonstrate how the art community can be a greater catalyst for social engagement, while simultaneously cultivating artistic development and enabling meaningful means of employment.
While browsing Welcome Editions, be sure to check out Art21’s first-ever silent auction featuring work generously donated by nine past and future Art21 artists including Sarah Sze, Raul de Nieves, and Katharina Grosse.
News of the Week
- Forty sculptures made by Jack Whitten over the span of five decades have taken center stage in the much-anticipated exhibition Odyssey: Jack Whitten Sculpture, 1963 – 2017. The show opened yesterday at the Baltimore Museum of Art and runs through July 29, before traveling to the Met Breuer in September.
- Tomorrow, Robert Adams is releasing two new books: Robert Adams: Our Lives And Our Children, a new edition to the celebrated photo book that has been out of print for nearly three decades, and Robert Adams: Cottonwoods, an expanded and enlarged edition of his 1994 publication with the Smithsonian.
- Jason Moran opens a solo exhibition at the Walker Art Center on April 26. On view through August 19, the show will feature selected past works and collaborations with artists including Lorna Simpson and Glenn Ligon, as well as a new sculptural commission that takes inspiration from the historic New York jazz venue Slugs’ Saloon.
- Manufacturing Mischief: A Puppet Play by Pedro Reyes is being staged at MIT to sold-out audiences on April 26 & 27. Marketed to both kids and adults, the play uses comedy to address political discourse and the dilemmas that Artificial Intelligence and late capitalism pose in the modern era.
- Ursula von Rydingsvard: The Contour of Feeling opens at the Fabric Workshop & Museum in Philadelphia on April 27. On view through August 26, the exhibit will focus on von Rydingsvard’s work since 2000 and feature approximately 20 sculptures—many of which have never been exhibited in the United States.
- Natalia Almada’s film Todo lo demás—featured in the artist’s Season 8 segment—will be screening at Cinema Village in New York May 4-10. Almada will be there for a discussion after the 7 p.m. screenings on May 4 and 5.
- Agora, a group exhibition examining the role of art in defining, creating, and using public space, opened last week on New York’s Highline. Tackling topics like immigration, the environment, mass incarceration, and more, the exhibition features installations by artists Maria Thereza Alves, Andrea Bowers, Mariechen Danz, Pope.L, Duane Linklater, Naufus Ramirez-Figueroa, Marinella Senatore, Timur Si-Qin, and Sable Elyse Smith.
Over the weekend, Pepón Osorio gave the Lifetime of Artistic Practice Lecture at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Known for his large-scale installations that tackle topics such as access to education, incarceration, and immigration, Osorio stated in Season 1 of Art21’s Place episode, “My principal commitment as an artist is to return art to the community.” Staying true to that commitment, Osorio continues to create works that challenge us to consider art’s potential to enable social engagement.