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David Yager is President at UArts, Lily Yeh is cabinet minister at US Department of Arts and Culture, PAFA buys $2M of art, Plus William Williams, Indigo Arts, The Pope, Edward Snowden, Goncalo Mabunda, Angela Washko and More!

News today rounds up happy stories of a new top hire at UArts and artists in shows here and there, and also problem stories about wrongly-confiscated art by US Customs. - Artblog editor



David Yager new President University of the Arts
Incoming University of the Arts President, David Yager, starts Oct. 1, 2015.

Congratulations, UArts, on your new president! David Yager, Dean of Arts Division at University of California, Santa Cruz, will take over as President of University of the Arts on Jan. 15, 2016, the school announced. Yager is a professor of art and affiliated member of the Digital Arts and New Media program at UC Santa Cruz. According to UArts, the new president is an accomplished visual artist, with an extensive background as an academic, a researcher utilizing design to improve the health care space, an entrepreneur and a business executive. More information:

Albert Bierstad painting Niagara 1869
Albert Bierstadt
Niagara, 1869
Oil on paper laid on to canvas
19 x 27 in.
Courtesy of Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

PAFA beefs up its collection. Using money from a previous sale of an Edward Hopper painting and funds earmarked for new purchases, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts has purchased $2 Million in works ranging from Hudson River painter Albert Bierstadt’s Niagara (1869) to etchings by Sue Coe, an oil painting by Katherine Bradford and David Lynch’s first video, “Six Men Getting Sick,” shown, memorably, at Lynch’s retrospective at the museum in 2014. More information:

In case you missed it. Edward Snowden volunteer sculpture in Brooklyn was quickly brought down by NY city powers that be.  They have no sense of humor, or sense of what’s important.  More info:

Two From Tony Fisher of Indigo Arts

Retablo St. Francis of Assisi painted wood
Indigo Arts is celebrating Pope Francis’s arrival here by showing off its St. Francis retablos, like this one. Nice job!

On the upbeat Philadelphia is beset with Pope Francis-fever this month. And Indigo Arts is not going down the commercial road with that. But, they do want to say check out the retablos of St. Francis of Assisi they have on their website or in the gallery.

Goncalo Mabunda War Throne sculpture with decommissioned weapons
Confiscated art made with decommissioned weaponry by Mozambique artist, Goncalo Mabunda

On the downbeat Fisher wrote:

I just received some disturbing news from my friend Adam Solow, a local immigration lawyer who is a serious collector of contemporary African art.  He recently purchased a sculpture entitled “War Throne” from one of the leading contemporary African sculptors, Goncalo Mabunda of Mozambique.  Like all of Mr. Mabunda’s work, this piece is constructed of decommissioned (and clearly unusable) weapons from Mozambique’s long civil war.  His art has been exhibited in museums and galleries all over the world, including the DeYoung Museum and, currently, at the Brooklyn Museum, and was just featured at the Venice Biennale.

Mabunda’s work is a powerful statement against war, as should be completely apparent to any who see the work.  But when the artwork arrived in Camden it was seized by US Customs and referred to the ATF.  The ATF will not release the sculpture and has directed that it be destroyed!  Their reason, of course is that it is composed of pieces of guns, shells and other weapons, though of course none could function.  Adam has pointed out that it is perfectly legal to purchase an AK-47, which really could kill many, just a few blocks from his office. Indigo Arts does sell African art but does not represent Goncalo Mabunda, and was not in any way involved with Adam Solow’s purchase of the work. More info:


via Phennd
University of Pennsylvania
Saturday Science Instructor, Upward Bound
Posted on September 8, 2015
The University of Pennsylvania Upward Bound Program is looking for a dedicated and experienced educator to serve as the Saturday Science Instructor for 2015-2016.  Upward Bound is a federally funded college preparatory program that prepares high school students to enter and succeed in post-secondary education.  The academic program runs from October to early-May. For a full position description, please visit UPENN Upward Bound website: Resumes and cover letters should be submitted to Karletta Poland at no later than September 18, 2015


Lily Yeh with students Village of Arts and Humanities
Lily Yeh, center, founder of Village of Arts and Humanities, with the Artblog ASR class last spring.

Lily Yeh is a cabinet member of the (non governmental) US Department of Arts and Culture! Congratulations!  This group, which sounds like it’s spun from the same matter as Occupy Wall Street, is having a new public action soon, Oct, 10-18, called “Dare to Imagine,” in which they are inviting groups and individuals to set up “imagination stations,” for the public to participate in.

Congratulations, William Williams, who has photographs included in National Gallery of Art show Tell It with Pride

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Wagner, the Gallery is mounting an exhibition celebrating its magisterial Shaw Memorial by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. This monument, on long-term loan to the Gallery from the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Park Service, and the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, honors Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, one of the first regiments of African American soldiers during the Civil War. The exhibition features daguerreotype, tintype, and carte de visite portraits of the soldiers, the people who recruited them, including Frederick Douglass, Charles Lenox Remond, and Sojourner Truth, and the women who nursed, taught, and guided them, such as Clara Barton, Charlotte Forten, and Harriet Tubman. Letters, a recruiting poster, and the Medal of Honor awarded to the first African American soldier who earned this distinction, Sergeant William H. Carney, are also displayed, as is work by such 20th-century artists as Lewis Hine, Richard Benson, Carrie Mae Weems, and William Earle Williams, who have reflected on the continuing importance of the 54th, the Battle of Fort Wagner, and the Shaw Memorial.
Organization: Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Tell It with Pride: The 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ Shaw Memorial
September 15, 2013–January 20, 2014More information:

Temple Alum, Angela Washko, participates in Temple’s Beyond the Page Artist Residency

Fall 2015, November 5 and 6
Angela Washko
Temple alumna Angela Washko is an artist, writer and facilitator devoted to creating new forums for discussions of feminism in the spaces most hostile toward it. She is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon University. In 2012, Washko founded The Council on Gender Sensitivity and Behavioral Awareness in World of Warcraft as an ongoing intervention on communal language formation inside the most popular massively multi-player online role playing game of all time. In an attempt at radical empathy, she recently interviewed the web’s most infamous misogynist. A recent recipient of The Franklin Furnace Performance Fund Grant, a Creative Time Report commission, a Rhizome Internet Art Microgrant, a Danish International Visiting Artist Grant and the Terminal Award, Washko’s practice has been highlighted in Frieze Magazine, Time Magazine, The Guardian (UK), ArtForum, ARTnews, VICE,Hyperallergic, Rhizome, the New York Times, The Creator’s Project, Dazed and Confused Magazine,Digicult, ArtInfo, Bad At Sports and more. Her projects have been presented nationally and internationally at venues including Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art (Helsinki, Finland), Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Moving Image Art Fair (London and NYC), the Rotterdam International Film Festival, Institute for Contemporary Art Boston and Foundation Vasarely (Aix-en-Provence, France). Washko’s work will be featured in the upcoming book “Mass Effect: Art and the Internet in the 21st Century” from The New Museum and MIT Press.