Magnolia: An Intimate Conversation with Nekisha Durrett and Endia Beal Addressing Systemic Racism, Justice Reform & Gender Equality through Art
Thursday, January 21 • 6pm
presented by Cody Gallery
Register here to attend.
In collaboration with the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Cody Gallery presents Magnolia: An Intimate Conversation with exhibiting artist Nekisha Durrett and artist and Independent Curator, Endia Beal. The conversation with be held on Zoom. To attend, please click here to register.
This event will be held on the occasion of Nekisha Durrett’s solo exhibition MAGNOLIA at Cody Gallery, on view from January 21 to March 19, 2021. Durrett seeks to hold space for Black women to not only be seen, but celebrated as worthy of justice, gender parity, and inclusion in the narratives they so profoundly inform. Durrett’s work often materializes on a monumental scale through public art and installations addressing marginalized communities and their histories. In this exhibition, the artist presents a more intimate experience, calling viewers to engage with the stories and lives of 30 women murdered by law enforcement, using the Magnolia leaf as metaphor.
Nekisha Durrett (American, b. 1976) currently lives and works in Washington, DC, where she creates bold and playful large scale installations and public art that aim to make the ordinary enchanting and awe inspiring while summoning subject matter that is often hidden from plain sight. She earned her BFA at The Cooper Union in New York City and MFA from The University of Michigan School of Art and Design as a Horace H. Rackham Fellow. Durrett has exhibited her work throughout the Washington, DC, area at the US Botanic Garden, West End Library, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library, Flashpoint and Hillyer Art Galleries, and Arlington Arts Center. Nationally, she has exhibited at Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, AZ; Diaspora Vibe Gallery, Miami, FL; Rush and Corridor Galleries, New York. Durrett has been named one of 40 Under 40 Washingtonians to Watch by Washingtonian Magazine, received multiple project grants from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and was an Artist-in-Residence at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT. Durrett was a finalist in the National Portrait Gallery’s prestigious Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition and was featured in “The Outwin 2019: American Portraiture Today” exhibition. Her most recent installation titled Up ‘til Now, a freestanding, solar powered sculpture that evokes the history of Washington’s landscape and architecture, can be found in the city’s Dupont Circle neighborhood. She recently completed a permanent installation on the glass-walled vestibule in the newly renovated Martin Luther King, Jr. Library in Washington and is currently in production on a wall mounted public sculpture in the Liberty City community of Miami, Florida, in collaboration with conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas.
Endia Beal (American, b. 1985) is a North Carolina based artist, curator, and author. Beal’s work merges fine arts with social injustice. She uses photography and video to reveal the often overlooked and unappreciated experiences unique to people of color. Specifically, Beal’s first monograph, Performance Review, brings together work over a 10-year period that highlights the realities and challenges for women of color in the corporate workplace. She lectures about these experiences, which also addresses bias in corporate hiring practices. Beal is featured in several online editorials including The New York Times, NBC, BET, Huffington Post, and National Geographic; she also appeared in TIME Magazine, VICE Magazine, Essence, Marie Claire and Newsweek. Her work has been exhibited in several institutions including the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University in Durham, NC; The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, MI, and Aperture Foundation in New York, NY. Beal’s photographs are in private and public collections, such as The Studio Museum in Harlem in New York, NY, Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago in Chicago, IL, and Portland State University in Portland, OR. She is a fellow of the Center for Curatorial Leadership and completed residencies at Harvard Art Museums, the Center for Photography at Woodstock and McColl Center for Art + Innovation. Beal received grants from the Magnum Foundation and the Open Society Foundation, among others. Beal holds a dual BFA in art history and studio art from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an MFA from Yale University.