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Virtual Hanes Visiting Artist Lecture: Carmen Neely and Antoine Williams

Carmen Neely, In an alternate reality, 2018, oil on canvas, faux flower crown, 81 x 63 inches

Virtual Panel Discussion: Carmen Neely and Antoine Williams (MFA alumnus) of NC Black Artists for Liberation

Zoom link: 

Each artist will discuss their work for 20 minutes and then engage in a conversation about their practices as artists with Q&A.

North Carolina Black Artists for Liberation is a collective of Black artists and art workers committed to building an equitable arts and culture sector in the state.

Collective member Carmen Neely’s (MFA, UNC-Greensboro, 2016) work—a combination of painting and found objects—is imbued with deep intention and awareness of her identity as a young black woman making art in the twenty-first century. “The mark”, revered and mythologized as the purest form of artistic intention in the art historical canon, becomes an act of subtle subversion in Neely’s paintings. Her own sexuality and female body appropriate the traditionally masculine gesture, and turn painting into an act of femininity. With each brushstroke, she pushes back against the status quo, inserting herself into a larger dialogue about signification in contemporary abstract painting. Carmen’s work has been exhibited at AIR Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Ghost Gallery, Seattle, WA; Jane Lombard Gallery, Chelsea, NY; Lump Gallery, Raleigh, NC; MX Gallery, New York, NY; New Gallery of Modern Art, Charlotte, NC; Plank Gallery, Seattle, WA; Untitled Art Fair, Miami, FL; Setareh Gallery, Dusseldorf, DE; and at Vacation Gallery, New York, NY. Neely has been a resident artist at Sparkbox Studio, Ontario, Canada, Vermont Studio Center and McColl Center for Art + Innovation. Her work has been featured in Art in America, Hyperallergic, ArtFCity,and TimeOut New York.

Collective member Antoine Williams’ (MFA, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2014) mixed-media work investigates his cultural identity by exploring themes of power and humanity. Heavily influenced by his rural, working-class upbringing in Red Springs, North Carolina, Antoine has created his own mythology about the complexities of contemporary Black life. He helped start the God City Art Collective in Charlotte, where he participated in a number of socially engaged, community-based art projects, such as pop-up art shows, afterschool art programs, underground rap shows, and film festivals. He has exhibited in a number of places, including at the Mint Museum of Art, Michigan State University, Columbia Museum of Art, Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, 21c Museum, as well as many other venues. He is also a recipient of the 2017 Joan Mitchell Award of Painters and Sculptors. Williams is an assistant professor of art at Guilford College.

An endowment established in 1983 through the generosity of Nancy and Robin Hanes supports the Art Department’s Visiting Artist Series. This important program brings both established and emerging artists to campus to discuss their work in public lectures and to offer individual critiques to our M.F.A. students.  The Hanes Visiting Artist series greatly enriches both our academic programs and our outreach to the wider community.  All lectures are free and open to the public.

Artist website:

Image credit: Carmen Neely, In an alternate reality, 2018, oil on canvas, faux flower crown, 81 x 63 inches

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