An Update From NIAD//

Like every year, the NIAD studio is preparing for its annual Harvest Festival.    Usually this means two turkeys (or more) are cooking in the NIAD kitchen, roaster pans of brussels, stuffing, and mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, greens, and princess rolls, and every different kind of pie you can think of are waiting in the wings.  The studio tables are cleaned and cleared and invitations have gone out to volunteers, family and friends to join us around the table. Last year’s was the biggest ever.    This year, we’re Zooming in – literally and figuratively. We’ll be together next Read More …

The Latest From NIAD//

Each year on November 11, NIAD gathers with Creative Growth and Creativity Explored, our neighboring progressive art studios, for a day of in-service learning. While there are many ways our communities collaborate, this day offers staff a moment to reflect on the work we do, supporting artists and the culture of long-term mentoring and shared creative practice. In response to requests by staff at NIAD and Creative Growth, this year’s training combined an emphasis on self-care with somatic tools for working with trauma and resilience – many of them in use already at NIAD, CG, and CE. Given that many Read More …

Online Exhibition: Necesito Más Flores, Selected by Maria Radilla//

Yo tuve una tierra, pero ahora tengo flores en el techo. Habían muchas flores en la tierra donde yo crecí, allá, en México. Afuera, habían flores rojas cerca de mí, y mi papá había sembrado cempasúchil, la cual, regaba agua tres veces al día… Si, necesito más flores. I used to have land, and now I have flowers on my ceiling. There were many flowers on the land where I lived in Mexico when I was growing up there. Outside, there were red flowers in the fields close to me, and my dad had potted cempasúchil marigolds that he would Read More …

Interesting Reading: Jacob Lawrence Painting, Missing for Decades, Is Found by Met Visitor//

Today’s long read: The panel by the renowned Black artist, part of his “Struggle” series, was last seen in 1960. But someone had a hunch where it was. (by Hilarie Sheets) “The painting has been hanging in my living room for 60 years untouched,” one of the painting’s owners said, adding that she bought it with her husband when she was 27. She said the pair had initially put off contacting the Peabody Essex Museum early in the year because they were traveling to Florida. A child of immigrants, the owner said she grew up in the South Bronx and Read More …

Interesting Reading: When Turning 13 Is Not the Typical Rite of Passage//

Today’s long read: “When Turning 13 Is Not the Typical Rite of Passage” by Alysia Abbott in the New York Times “When I saw him for his birthday, I brought him a new shirt from the Gap, a seasonal toy from CVS — the same presents I bought him last year and the year before. We got him a cake and lit candles, but it was not clear whether he knew it was his birthday, or even what this means. That is, that he is special. That’s what birthdays are about, to focus attention on our beloveds, their specialness. I Read More …

New Music: Dorian Reid’s My Special Magic Place//

We’re delighted to announce Dorrie Reid has a new double album out now on our music label NIAD Sound Recordings. A blend of spoken word, stories and reminiscence, as well as original songs and covers of some classic folk tunes, My Special Magic Place offers you a lyrical and lively look into Dorrie’s world and history. Today, Bandcamp is sending all royalties directly to the artists (they usually keep a percentage), so maybe wait until tomorrow to add this to your music collection. And while you’re there, Jonathan Velazquez’s EP and Eddie Braught’s solo debut album are still available.

The Latest From NIAD//

NIAD artists work – with few exceptions – every weekday of the year. Since 1982, artists have persisted in activating NIAD’s Community, Studio, and Exhibitions programs – several of those first studio artists are still practicing at NIAD today. In general, this community’s continual, long-term search for what is sustainable leads us. What seems to work is to maintain creative dialogue – to navigate the tension between rage and hope, a held breath and the reminder to breathe, and to persist in building relationship between seemingly opposed feelings, tendencies, and perspectives. But we can’t do it alone, and we can’t Read More …

Online Exhibition: Transforming Forces, Selected By Gülşah Mursaloğlu//

…Through this pandemic and its effects, we’re realizing that we have built so many structures and modes of behavior that are detrimental for many of us and the other species we share the planet with. In this selection, I tried to pick works from the collection that allude to transforming forces; whether it is a light connecting people and shadows, a blender creating a cacophony in its orbit or a beak devouring the mound nearby. View the show.

The Latest From NIAD//

We know that many people are holding their breath for the events of next week – we are too. But at NIAD, we’re staying present and excited for everything that is coming to fruition TODAY. At Thirsty Thursday tonight at 6PM, Ed Rymsha and Michelle Hamilt from Fenwick & West LLP will talk with Shana Harper, one of NIAD’s longest practicing artists.  Shana is the first artist to take leadership by talking about her work at Thirsty Thursdays, and NIAD couldn’t be better represented.  We hope you’ll join us.  And tonight after Thirsty Thursday, Shana and other members of NIAD’s Read More …

Online Exhibition: PODS, Selected By sam ho//

About the exhibition pod mapping: a tool designed for accountability, care and restoring harm. microcosms of community in daily life + in the time of pandemics and revolutions. mutual aid between two, twenty, two hundred, two thousand, and more. (thank you Mia Mingus of the bay area transformative justice collective for developing this term.)  About the selector sam ho is an oakland-based artist from taiwan and peru. their practice encompasses painting, sculpture and graphic design. as a queer, non-binary artist of color, they have found their art home and chosen art family at CTRL+SHFT collective.  View the exhibition. (image: Christian Vassell Read More …

Online Exhibition: Be Heard. Speak Up., Selected by Fenwick & West//

For more than five years, Bay Area based law firm Fenwick & West has partnered with NIAD to create a group exhibition of Art Center works in their five offices across the country. Tied into National Disability Employment Awareness Month, these shows traditionally took place in October. Always the exhibitions were a lively and lyrical selection of art — chosen by the law firm — with the sales directly supporting NIAD artists. Although the pandemic has changed many things in our lives, this now-annual exhibition is not one of them. From the vibrant self-portraits of Jonathan Valdivias to the Mexican Read More …

The Latest From NIAD//

Let’s go a little bit deeper. This week is a quieter week at NIAD – settling into a new schedule in our Virtual Studio, getting into the swing of Thirsty Thursdays. These are moments that allow us to deepen practices and reflect more. NIAD artists in the Virtual Studio now have longer circles of practice, focused on areas of specific interest – like the intersection of Art and Justice, or Film and Art-Making. Our staff get to bring their own expertise more fully into creative conversations with artists and with you – if you’ve been to Thirsty Thursday, you’ve been in Read More …

Online Exhibition: Cat As Muse, Cat As Fuse, Selected By Elena Passarello//

“This week, I perused NIAD’s deep online catalogue with three of my favorite creatures lounging nearby: Columbo, Spooner, and Q–my housemates, who happen to be cats. This trio is a far cry from any cave lion, but they are without fail the most artful component of my home. Each one is well-composed and eye-catching, but is also no stranger to brutalism. They pose like odalisques and then jet into the night with an abstract flash. I could stop writing about everything else and focus only on their antics for the rest of my life and never run short of inspiration. Read More …

Online Exhibition: The House That Jack Built, Selected By Stephen W. Evans//

“The House That Jack Built” is an exhibition that explores the collection of artist’s works in the NIAD Art Center’s shop and the relationships that exist among them. The title of the show takes its name from the folk song This Is the House That Jack Built, which tells the story of a house, built by Jack, that indirectly links many other people and things through a domino effect of chain relationships, that all circle back and initiate from the house that jack built. This selection of artists and their work examines ideas of place, dwelling, and structures, both formally and metaphorically, and Read More …

Interesting Read: Whitney Biennial Deferred to 2022//

From Artforum: “The Whitney Biennial, widely considered the United States’ premier survey of contemporary art, has been postponed by a year due to the pandemic. Instead of next spring, the edition will now take place from April 2022 to August of that year, the Whitney Museum announced on Thursday. The museum, which reopened on September 3, plans to prioritize exhibitions delayed due to the pandemic, such as Salman Toor’s first solo exhibition (opening November 13), a midcareer survey for Julie Mehretu, an exhibition featuring the Kamoinge Workshop (opening November 21), and a highly anticipated Jasper Johns retrospective (pushed from September Read More …

A New Recording Is Offered//

Perhaps, you’ve been at the Art Center during one of Jonathan Velazquez’s amazing reinventions. For years, he’s recreated numerous Michael Jackson classic music video performances — beat by beat, move by move — from Thriller to Smooth Criminal. It is a fantastic experience. Jonathan is also a prolific builder of mimetic musical instruments (yes, the one above is made of cardboard, leather, tape and marker). And most amazingly of all he is also a truly unique musician. NIAD Sound Recordings is honored and delighted to release an EP of ballads performed by Jonathan Del Norte (the Velazquez musical moniker). This Read More …