V&A Museum Seeks Swiftie for Hire—and More Art News


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THE HEADLINES

MUSEUM WOES. Washington State’s Bellevue Arts Museum (BAM) is in “dire financial crisis,” and faces the prospect of having to shut down if it doesn’t raise $300,000, according to the art center’s newly appointed executive director, Kate Casprowiak Scher, speaking to The Seattle Times. “We’re at the place where the straw breaks the camel’s back,” added Scher, who attributes current troubles to a combo of insufficient long-term funding, the Covid-19 pandemic, changes to visitor habits, philanthropic priorities, and debt. Plus, the center, which doesn’t have a permanent collection and never set up a significant endowment, has to raise money every year to host exhibitions, spurring a “doom loop,” added Scher. Without the structural funding of an endowment, “it’s like having a great big modern home and not planning for its future,” she said.

Related Articles

V&A Museum Seeks Swiftie for Hire—and More Art News

WANTED: SWIFTIE MUSEUM WORKER. London’s Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) is looking to hire a Swiftie – a Taylor Swift fan, for those not keeping up — before the Grammy-winning star begins her European tour later this year. The BBC reports the museum needs expert insights into the star’s fan culture, and specifically, the craft memorabilia that Swift enthusiasts collect, such as the eclectic friendship bracelets exchanged at concerts. The job is one of several niche “super fan advisor” roles the institution has been exploring, to diversify its “cultural knowledge” of design. Time to edit the old resume?

THE DIGEST

A group of parents are accusing a Montreal middle school teacher of printing their children’s homework drawings onto mugs and bags, and hawking them online. In a lawyer’s letter, parents are asking Montreal’s Lester B. Pearson School Board to suspend the teacher, Mario Perron, send an apology letter, and pay about $130,000 to $96,000 per impacted student “in accordance with the copyright act” and incurred damages. [Hyperallergic]

Two French organizations, art-cade and SINGA, are launching a fundraiser to bring 16 artists from Gaza and their families to France. The artists all participated in the 2023 exhibition, “What Palestine brings to the world,” at the Institut du Monde Arabe (IMA) in Paris, and some have died or lost loved ones, said IMA President Jack Lang. [Le Quotidien de l’Art]

The Australian Indigenous artist Tony Albert was named the inaugural First Nations curator fellow at the Fondation Cartier in Paris, filling a new role in the foundation’s two-year-old partnership with the Sidney Biennale. [The Art Newspaper]

The West Bank’s Palestinian Museum in Birzeit has reopened after four months of closure with a show titled “This is Not an Exhibition,” featuring over 280 works by 100 Gazan artists. Held in three galleries, the “artistic demonstration” is meant to “raise our voices loudly against the massacres and systemic destruction of our beloved Gaza,” said a museum statement. [Artnet News]

American abstract artist Joan Snyder joins Thaddaeus Ropac. The gallery will represent the 83-year-old painter in Europe and Asia. [The Art Newspaper]

The Los Angeles City Council voted to spend nearly $4 million to clean and secure an abandoned, unfinished skyscraper development project known as Oceanwide Plaza, which made headlines in recent weeks when dozens of floors were found covered in graffiti. The city hopes to make Oceanwide Holdings, the project’s developer, cover costs, but the Beijing-based company halted construction in 2019 due to a lack of funds. [The Los Angeles Times]

The artists who created the Little Amal puppet, which spread awareness of the migrant crisis, are launching The Herd, a new project comprising a herd of animal puppets who will travers the globe. The aim is to spark a “visceral engagement with the issue” of climate crisis, said Palestinian artist Amir Nizar Zuabi. [The Guardian]

THE KICKER

JAMES TURRELL GETS AN A+. The internationally acclaimed, light-wielding artist James Turrell has gone back to school. More accurately, one of his light and color installations was installed in a 20-foot-by-22-foot room on the sixth floor of the K-12 Friends Seminary private Quaker school in Manhattan. The immersive piece, called Leading, is one of Turrell’s Skyspaces, which number over 85, and it gives the impression of a “slice of sky [that] appears to float inside the installation,” per a description by Hilarie M. Sheets of The New York Times. While the school’s lucky students will get to spend time learning inside the art installation, the artwork is also accessible to the public on select Fridays starting next month, and Friends Seminary wants to share the piece with other schools and institutions. “It’s an opportunity to expose kids to how art functions in space and in real time outside of textbooks and talking heads,” commented the admirative artist Rashid Johnson.

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