Art Auction To Preserve Nina Simones Childhood Home Kicks Off May 12, CoCurated By Venus Williams
Popular singer and activist Nina Simone, whose art has taken the world by storm, grew up in a modest three-room clapboard apartment in Tryon, North Carolina.
In 2017, after years of inactivity and setbacks, four black artists — conceptual artist Adam Pendleton, sculptor and artist Rasheed Johnson, co-creator and director Ellen Gallagher, and abstract artist Julie Mercy — teamed up to buy Simon's childhood home. , for $95,000. Buy dollars. Save from collapse. It has since been designated a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is now the subject of a charity auction held at the Pace Gallery.
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The Nina Simone Orphanage Charity Auction features 11 contemporary works of art, and the Nina Simone Orphanage Preservation Project is managed by the African American Heritage Action Fund through the National Historic Preservation Program. The auction was led by Pendleton and tennis champion, businesswoman and philanthropist Venus Williams. Sotheby's is holding an online auction from May 12 to 22, while the works will be on display at New York's Pace Gallery from May 12 to 20, with the gallery merger closing on May 20.
“I am thrilled to be part of this massive project that celebrates the life and legacy of Nina Simone, who has been an inspiration to so many,” Williams said in a statement. “Each of the artists we selected for the auction has a powerful voice. We are touched by their generosity and enthusiasm for this important cause.” Cast: Cecily Brown, Gallagher, Johnson, Robert Longo, Mercy, Pendleton. , Martin Pourier, Sara Xie, Mary Weatherford, Stanley Whitney and Annika Yee.
The gala will include a live performance by Oscar and Grammy-winning musician HER (who will sing one of Simon's songs) and a ticketed dinner from James Beard award-winning chef JJ Johnson. Southern goods with French technology.
“When Adam approached us with his idea for this benefit, we jumped at the chance. Through his paintings, drawings, and other work, Adam creates spaces of interaction, often using indexical or documentary processes, and this entire project demonstrates the breadth of that vision. The African American Heritage Action Fund is thrilled to be partnering with this incredibly talented and influential artist to raise awareness for Nina Simone's orphanage conservation project. The Action Fund is doing such an important job of preserving black historic sites, and we're thrilled to have Brent, a leading architectural historian and conservationist, partner in this important initiative.
Brent Leggs, Executive Director of the African American Heritage Action Fund and Senior Vice President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is committed to using architecture as a means of reclaiming national identity. Leggs founded the foundation in Charlottesville, Virginia after the cultural count of 2017, "a time when our country's social values were nowhere to be found," as he told the Hollywood Reporter , to show in American society.
First, the architectural historian and conservationist said he and his team planned a five-year, $25 million building conservation campaign. In their fifth year of existence, they have raised over $90 million and supported over 200 conservation projects across the country.
“We have revolutionized the American security profession,” says Leggs. "And a national program dedicated to the sustainability of African American Historic Sites is a joy to restore and restore historic preservation to expand American history."
This particular project to restore Simon's birthplace to preserve black history and ensure sustainability began when Leggs and Pendleton met five years ago.
“He and I had a shared vision and belief that Nina Simone deserved a physical place where her memory and her legacy could live,” says Leggs. In a formal partnership under the initiative, the Action Fund has raised $500,000 for conservation planning activities and design services "to understand how to intervene carefully and appropriately in the restoration of a historic building." Now the house is open, but the official start of construction is scheduled for this summer.
Ticket sales for the Pace Gallery gala cover the cost of the event, but proceeds from the art auction (minus the percentage left by participating artists) go towards fundraising. “We will use these dollars to develop short-term and long-term strategies for Nina Simone's childhood home,” says Leggs.
The Action Fund is currently working to protect other African American monuments, including the Roberts Temple of God Church in Chicago (the burial site of Emmett Till in 1955) and the home of John and Alice Caltrane in New York City. Leggs says: “We see these as demonstration projects, creating a model that can be replicated in communities across the country. We are not only preserving these historical sites for the moment, but we are also working to preserve, protect and revive these places for present and future generations.
The dilapidated and time-forgotten home where Simon spent his childhood is a constant reminder that shelter and shelter was often a common place for African Americans. For Simon (whose mother was a Methodist minister) and many others, there is a belief in the private home (as a structure) and the church is also the home of the community. And while it's natural to remember Simone in public - New Jersey nightclubs, Montgomery paraded - the thought of her being within the four walls of her small town adds another record to her legacy.
“Their home is a memorial and a reminder of their deep cultural heritage,” says Legs. “The building and landscape together embody Simon's art, ideas, movement and spirit. And they tell a fascinating story about the key moments of his life.
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