Carrie Mae Weems to headline deFINE ART, annual program of exhibitions, lectures, performances at SCAD


Carrie Mae Weems named SCAD deFINE ART honoree

Annual celebration to include fine art exhibitions, lectures, performances and public events, Feb. 16-19

SAVANNAH — Feb. 4, 2016 — The Savannah College of Art and Design announces its deFINE ART 2016 honoree, Carrie Mae Weems, for the university’s annual contemporary art showcase in Savannah, Atlanta, Georgia and Hong Kong. In Savannah, a major exhibition by Weems will be on view at the SCAD Museum of Art in the Walter O. Evans Center for African American Studies, opening Tuesday, Feb. 16, and running through Sunday, June 12. The exhibition, titled “Carrie Mae Weems: Considered”, will feature photography and video works from many of the artist’s iconic series. Weems’ keynote lecture will take place at Trustees Theater in Savannah at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17.

Also on view at the SCAD Museum of Art will be solo exhibitions by Daniel Arsham, Roberto Behar and Rosario Marquardt (R&R Studios), Steven and William Ladd, Cornelia Parker, Robin Rhode, Alec Soth and Corinne Wasmuht. Among these projects are many site-responsive installations and works commissioned by SCAD for this year’s showcase.

“For seven years, SCAD deFINE ART has presented the very best of
 international art, offering perspectives from the leading voices in today’s
cultural expression, and the 2016 showcase is no exception,” said Melissa
Messina, interim executive director of the SCAD Museum of Art and
Savannah exhibitions. “I can’t think of a more appropriate person for SCAD
to honor than Carrie Mae Weems, who, for more than three decades, has
pushed the boundaries of photography, video, sound and installation to capture complex facets of the human condition and spirit.”

SCAD deFINE ART is dedicated to presenting leading international artists alongside SCAD talent. Exhibitions of works by SCAD alumnus Lavar Munroe (B.F.A. illustration) and alumnus and Associate Dean of Academic Services Kent Knowles (B.F.A. painting) will be held in Savannah. A site-responsive installation by alumna Lauren Clay (B.F.A. painting) will be on view in Atlanta.

On Tuesday, Feb. 16, the SCAD Museum of Art will host a public conversation on the significance of the remarkable journey to freedom made by Ellen and William Craft. The university will dedicate a plaque honoring the life and legacy of the Crafts in the museum lobby. Art historian and curator Isolde Brielmaier, Ph.D., will moderate a dialogue with scholar and author Barbara McCaskill, Ph.D., and visual artist Xaviera Simmons.

Public programming at the SCAD Museum of Art will include an exhibiting artist panel discussion with Robin Rhode, Roberto Behar, Lavar Munroe and Rosario Marquardt, moderated by Gia Hamilton, director of the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17. A public lecture by Margery Arent Safir, Ph.D., president and director of The Arts Arena International Inc. and founder and artistic director of The Arts Arena in Paris, France, will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18.

SCAD FASH, the university’s new museum dedicated to fashion and film in Atlanta, will present “A Fashionable Mind: Photographs by Jonathan Becker” and “Be Yourself; Everyone Else Is Already Taken”, the first U.S. exhibition by London-based artist, stylist and designer Daniel Lismore. The first solo exhibition in the Southeast by artist Jeffrey Gibson also will be on view in Atlanta. Gibson will discuss his work during a lecture, titled 'one becomes the other', at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17, at SCADshow.

Celebrated French performance company Beau Geste will perform “Exceptional Transport: duet for a dancer and an excavator" in Atlanta on Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 5 p.m., and in Savannah at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19.

Hong Kong-born artist Kacey Wong, Ph.D., will share how he generates artistic concepts that reflect society during a lecture, titled "The Art of Resistance", at SCAD Hong Kong at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17.  

A full schedule of exhibitions, lectures, panel discussions and performances is forthcoming. For more information on deFINE ART 2016, visit

Image Credit: Image by Jerry Klineberg, 2012. 

Over the past 30 years, Carrie Mae Weems has developed a complex body of art that employs photographs, text, fabric, audio, digital images, installation and video. Her work has led her to investigate family relationships and gender roles, as well as the histories of racism, sexism, class and political systems.

In a review of her retrospective in The New York Times, Holland Cotter wrote, “Ms. Weems is what she has always been, a superb image maker and a moral force, focused and irrepressible.”

Weems has earned numerous awards, including the prestigious Prix de Rome and the U.S. Department of State’s Medal of Arts, as well as many grants and fellowships from organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts and Anonymous Was a Woman. In 2013, Weems earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and a MacArthur Fellowship or “Genius Grant.” Most recently, she received the Spotlights Award from the International Center of Photography and the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal from Harvard University.

She is represented in public and private collections around the world including those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City; The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. She has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions at major national and international museums including the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, all in New York City. In 2008, Weems collaborated with students, faculty and staff at the Savannah College of Art and Design to create “Constructing History”, a series of photographs and video exploring recent American events.

Weems has been represented by Jack Shainman Gallery in New York City since 2008.

Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram by mentioning @SCADMOA when posting about the exhibitions.

The Savannah College of Art and Design is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution conferring bachelor’s and master’s degrees at distinctive locations and online to prepare talented students for professional careers. SCAD offers degrees in 42 majors,
as well as minors in more than 60 disciplines across its locations in Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia; in Hong Kong; in Lacoste, France; and online through SCAD eLearning.

With more than 32,000 alumni worldwide, SCAD demonstrates an exceptional education and unparalleled career preparation. The diverse student body, consisting of more than 12,000 students, comes from across all 50 U.S. states and more than 100 countries worldwide. Each student is nurtured and motivated by a faculty of nearly 700 professors with extraordinary academic credentials and valuable professional experience. These professors emphasize learning through individual attention in an inspiring university environment, and the innovative SCAD curriculum is enhanced by advanced, professional-level technology, equipment and learning resources.

In 2015, the prestigious Red Dot Design Rankings placed SCAD in the top four universities in the Americas and Europe. Career preparation is woven into every fiber of the university, resulting in a superior alumni placement rate. In a survey of Spring 2014 SCAD graduates, 97 percent of respondents reported being employed, pursuing further education or both within 10 months of graduation.

For more information, visit

Katrina Weber Ashour, FITZ & CO

Yun Lee, FITZ & CO

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