On Tuesday, October 22nd, Kimberly Drew, writer, social activist, and curator of “black art and experiences” graced us with her presence to reflect on her experiences working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and her decision to leave that space to focus on writing her first book. Ever so accessible and attentive, she shared a meal with the group in attendance and exchanged a few words with all who approached her. While speaking about her work and that of black artists, she gave insights on the current state of black contemporary art and who she is inspired by. She also contextualized her journalistic practices within that realm. Drew was all at once charismatic, brilliant and bold, funny and insightful as she retraced her steps and closely examined what it felt like for an agent of change to work in a large world-renowned and highly hierarchical art institution. She commented on the lack of recognition, accessibility, and visibility for people of color working in institutions where a culture of privilege is deeply ingrained. As she related the experience of being invited to discuss controversial issues in social media, she underlined the importance of transparency and accountability and the challenges of navigating the slippery slope of being viewed as one of the most significant young voices in the Art world today who has a finger on the pulse of Black Contemporary Art (follow her @museummammy).
A great source of inspiration for all those in the audience, she underlined the importance of learning from whatever challenges we face in our relentless pursuit of creative expression and using fear and failure as sources of motivation. She shared with the audience of students, faculty, art lovers, and staff assembled that afternoon how to remain both whole and close to the core of one’s craft through rituals and self-care. The Q & A was moderated by the talented Idalis Ibrahim who seamlessly navigated between the spheres of the personal and the professional as she skillfully probed Drew on the subject of art practice. Idalis is a junior at Stanford majoring in Art Practice.
Kimberly Drew’s book entitled “This is what I Know About Art” will be available June 2, 2020. Click here to pre-order.