TNM Studios April 2022 Newsletter
Substack from here on out...
TNM Studios is now on Substack. Had to make the move as Mailchimp was not vibing with how I wanted to share things with you all. April is here and I am thankful as March was quite a brutal shift on my end. It is finally feeling like Spring may actually happen. The pandemic is easing its hold on how we are able to see each other and be with each other. I’ve personally been working on a reset for my body and health and have managed to shake off and drop all of my pandemic weight and am feeling healthier and stronger for the first time in a very long while. One thing that I wanted to center in this newsletter is my desire to talk about real things and not just the celebrations and exhibits. So this is where we will start in this new place.
I started this month’s newsletter while on a flight from Zurich, Switzerland + finished it at my home desk in North Philadelphia.
This month is Autism Acceptance Month and it is my third year celebrating and acknowledging this. I have shared starting in 2019 that I am autistic and was diagnosed as an adult at 37. Part of this delay had a lot to do with resources, shame, and financial hardship as a diagnosis for adults is $$$$. I had first been made aware that I may be on the spectrum back in 2001 during a therapy session while in college as I had been dealing with what I came to learn was extreme sensory issues that caused me to endure some hardships. As a young Black girl, many signs that would be otherwise flagged were overlooked. The road to my diagnosis has been one that I have navigated privately and decided to disclose in 2019 with the presentation of my exhibition Hold on, let me take the safety off, 2019 because it felt right and the material and conceptual framework were just as much a self-study as much as a way to bring the interior to exterior. I am currently in the process of writing about this in more detail for what will become a memoir of sorts and will be sharing more on my blog – so be on the lookout. This is also the first year that I will bring this part of myself into my artist biography as it exists online. The decision has been in the works for a while and now after a few years of dedicated practice to unmask and confront how this part of my identity has affected and influenced my life and work, it feels right.
GO GAMECOCKS! The University of South Carolina Gamecocks Women’s Basketball team have won the Final Four last night! Dawn Staley is the first person ever to win the Naismith Award as both a player and a coach. I’m a basketball fan and while working out at the gym I’ve been able to reignite this fandom by running while watching the NCAA games. Staley is special because she is the first Black coach in men’s or women’s Division I basketball history to win multiple national championships She is the only coach to defeat UConn coach Geno in the big game. She is a legend. And I am completely thrilled as I wait for the arrival of my Gamecock merch. I was raised in SC from elementary to high school and played basketball from middle school onward. Staley was someone that many of us women ballers looked up to because she was soooo fast and could handle that ball unlike anyone else on the court. From NCAA – Olympics – WNBA she and others allowed many of us to think about what a career post-college ball could be. And now as a coach, she is opening up the possibilities even more about how basketball can stay the foundation of your life as a coach. I encourage you all to check out her episode on Netflix’s The Playbook. Dawn Staley: A Coach's Rules for Life
Announcements + Exhibitions + Events + and all else...
- Real things. Last month I took 2.5 solid weeks off to myself to rest and reflect and get into some deep repair for my body, health, and spiritual work. This section is usually for work but the work I had to was tending to my ancestors and preparing for this summer as there are some significant things ahead.
- I traveled to Switzerland last week to take a look at some architecture this week for an upcoming presentation and also shared that the first monograph for artist Armando Alleyne, A Few of My Favorites published in 2021 was awarded the Most Beautiful Swiss Book Award from the Swiss Culture Awards which I wrote an essay for. This monograph was published by Edition Patrick Frey. I wanted to share an excerpt of that piece here for you all;
I am attracted to artists who go to great lengths to establish a new language with their work. One that is only able to read by them, yet feels familiar, prompting a new form of study. Armando shares with me his use of his own hieroglyphic writing in our meeting. He associates this form with the time spent running around 1980s New York City with graffiti writers and taggers.
I grew up in a small city, Greenville, South Carolina. The first art that I saw in the South was art displayed on the sides of roads and at flea markets by older Black folks. They were consistent in their offerings. Rain or shine. This is my art they would say. No teeth and deep Southern drawls of language that sound like molasses. Lively colored clothing and often smelling of alcohol. I believed this. I believed the stories they shared about the work. How they got there. And then there was God, there was always a god present for them.
God told me to do this…..
Later on, in other spaces, I would be told that this kind of art is called “folk art” or “outsider art”. The artists, poor, Black, and elderly are rarely present alongside their works. In these spaces, there are only white walls, white spaces, and white people showing other white people this magical negro art. I listen…
Oh she never even went to high school.
She started this at 56. God told her to paint…
I found him selling art on the side of the road on the hottest of all day.
I bought these painting for a couple of dollars can you believe it??
Sis Gertrude Morgan was one of these folk artists. I listen, but these people cannot tell me what I see. Alleyne makes a painting called Sis Gertrude Morgan (2010) …I see everything. EVERYTHING. I am reminded of this. What I saw then and see now.
- April 2nd was the closing of David Zwirner London’s – Vessels curated by Director Galuh Sukardi. My work A.B. 5_Dull 1299, 2021 was featured as a part of this group exhibition.
- [ Cf. ] Conceptual Fade has its first exhibition of the year up now for view. Black Interior Space a project by curator and great thinker Ladi’Sasha Jones is up now and available for viewing. Reservations are now only available via email – just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to make a 90 min reservation for a viewing + study session. When I’m in the studio the [ Cf. ] lights are on!
Music that I’m listening to – Last month I went to three concerts – fully masked of course. I was able to catch BADBADNOTGOOD perform their latest album. I saw the amazing L’Rain perform work from her album and I was left stunned by Khruangbin’s live performance with Nubya Garcia as their opener. I’ve been to vinyl to bring into my home and studio as the acoustics feel a bit better for the tone I’ve been looking to set these days. Plus the changing of the sides is a way to check in with your body. Focused and relaxed has been the goal as of late. Here are a few tracks that have been standouts for me as of late FIELDNOTES PT II by Ego Ella May; Ghost Song by Cecille McLorin Salvant; What it Means To Be King by King Von (RIP); and Texas Moon by Khruangbin
Books I’m currently working through – A ton. I had the chance to attend this year’s AWP Conference for one day only which was held in Philadelphia and aside from a few panels, I went to check out their amazing bookfair. At this book fair, I picked up all of the Harmony Holiday books I could find and Kamau Braithwaite’s genre-defying books, and a few other texts that center Black poets. These have all been placed in the [ Cf. ] NFS Library for visitors to read as well.
Films, Shows + Videos I have enjoyed lately – The Eyes of Tammy Faye – an odd one I know, but I grew up during the time of televangelical chaos as a young person in Greenville, SC. So, while PTL was major the offshoots of the local and regional prayer broadcast game were truly a part of Southern culture that rivaled the psychic hotlines. The Oscars…not much else to share as everyone and their mama have written think pieces on what occurred. If anything hopefully this will give people pause on who they chose to pick on in public spaces, especially regarding chronic illness, and also a lesson on how to hold both things together. What is appropriate vs inappropriate based on location is always about perspective. Top Boy and ATLANTA are back. Abbott Elementary is so golden and Bel Air has been a surprise, so thoughtful, and is amazingly well written and done- a remake/extension I can get behind for once. Both shows reference Philadelphia and are timely and solid.
I’ve been reading mostly scripts as I navigate writing my own for new projects. I have also re-invested for the first time in a long time in a diaristic writing practice that I am hoping to keep to daily as it is a great way to sort through thoughts directly through the hand as a way to remember myself in real-time. This practice has also made me acknowledge the time it takes to do this is necessary and a form of self-care.
See ya’ll in May.