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Howard University Brings HBCU Influence to Art Week in Miami with Bison at Basel

Howard students, faculty, and staff traveled to Miami Art Week in 2022 with support from Microsoft

WASHINGTON – Howard University’s Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts is championing diversity, representation and economic justice in the art world as it prepares to host a series of events during Miami Art Week.  

For one week in December, Miami and Miami Beach are the epicenter of the art world as many turn their gaze toward this incredible art scene. Hosting events from December 7 - 10, the Howard University Department of Art is adding to the artistic whirlwind with events that center Black artists and the institutions essential to their development: HBCUs.  

On Friday December 8, the College will host “The Art of Influence: An Artist’s Journey” a collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami where Howard alumna Jamea Richmond-Edwards' (MFA ‘12) Afro-futurist exhibit “Ancient Future” is currently on display. 

The bedrock of Miami Art Week is Art Basel Miami Beach, an art fair that brings hundreds of premier international art galleries to the Miami Convention Center each year. In 2017, an estimated $3.5 billion in art was bought and sold during the world-renowned art fair which attracts the wealthiest of buyers and more casual art consumers alike.  

Howard’s art department took a small group of students to the quintessential event for the first-time in 2022. This year, the department is returning with the intention of representing HBCUs and a vision to serve as an anchor for the role of Black art institutions during Art Basel and beyond. 

“The College has played such a significant role in developing Black artists and our presence continues to have long-lasting influence on African and African American art,” said Denise Saunders Thompson, assistant dean of the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts. “We would be remiss in not touting the important role that Howard, and other HBCUs, have played in training and celebrating Black artists in this important space that generates billions of dollars. As the institutions who invest in the development of these influential Black artists, there should be a presence and an opportunity for us to be part of both the economic advancement and contributing to the vision of mainstream art spaces, particularly as it pertains to the representation of art from the African Diaspora.” 

Howard University will host "The Art of Influence: An Artist's Journey" at the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami on December 8 Howard University will host "The Art of Influence: An Artist's Journey" at the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami on December 8

Most of Howard’s events this week will be held at the Cadillac Hotel and Beach Club, a prime location on Miami Beach. Among the events hosted by the College of Fine Arts will be an art exhibit featuring work from Howard University students, faculty and alumni artists. The College is bringing an interdisciplinary group of campus experts to Miami to share their perspectives as it hosts panel discussions on topics like the influence of HBCUs on the next generation of artists, how to thrive as an “artrepreneur,” and the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on creativity.  

Jacoby DuBose (B.A. ‘06), lecturer in the department of art, traveled with Howard students to Miami in 2022 with support from Microsoft. DuBose says his interest in the art week piqued when he realized that it represented an ecosystem wherein art institutions, artists, corporations, and local businesses come together.  

He recognized the need to infuse representation and racial justice in the space, not just on behalf of the artist community, but for the Black community at-large. DuBose will travel to Miami again this year and is a part of the move to create an ongoing HBCU presence at Art Basel. 

“I was so amazed to see Rev. Al Sharpton speak to a crowd of tech writers during Art Basel,” said DuBose. “His point was, you’re here supporting this art, now we want you to put your money where your mouth is in terms of real engagement in the mission of racial justice. As companies started making pledges in the face of a racial reckoning, it really propelled me to better understand this space as a driver of economic power that we should be involved in.”  

At the convention center and beyond, hundreds of events, art fairs, exhibits, auctions, discussions, and parties are hosted throughout the city. With invitation-only spaces and the cost of standing up events in venues around the city during art week, exclusivity and expenses are a barrier for some. 

“The expense of attending already separates who can be there, and that higher price tag starts to eliminate people who look like us,” DuBose continued. “While there is a push to slowly engage more Black artists, I can’t help but wonder, how much of this is truly benefitting Black institutions, artists, collectors, and communities? What are we actually building from these events? That’s the lens Howard can bring to the space.” 

While Black artists engage in the exhibits and serve as artists, experts, and special guests for these events, the Howard community believes that creating spaces for and by Black artists, gallerists, and collectors is critical. Bison at Basel will create an intentional space for Black artists, students, collectors and others to reflect on the legacy and the role of HBCUs. 

For a full list of events and to register for Bison at Basel, click here. 

Media Contact: Misha Cornelius; misha.cornelius@howard.edu

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About Howard University 

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 14 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced two Schwarzman Scholars, four Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African American PhD. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu