From 'Simone Leigh: The Waiting Room' at the New Museum.
From ‘Simone Leigh: The Waiting Room’ at the New Museum.

Black Women Artists For Black Lives Matter
[In Association with Artist-In-Residence, Simone Leigh] The New Museum
235 Bowery, NYC 10002
September 1st, 4:30 – 8:30pm

On September 1st at the New Museum, the collective known as Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter (BWA for BLM) will hold a free public event in solidarity with Black Lives Matter from 4:30 – 8:30. The event will feature healing workshops, performances, digital works, participatory exchanges, displays, and the distribution of materials throughout the New Museum Theater, Lobby, Fifth Floor, and Sky Room. It will be held in association with current artist-in-residence, Simone Leigh.

BWA for BLM was formed on July 10th when more than 100 black women artists gathered at the New Museum. Led by Leigh, the collective formed in response to the inhumane institutionalized violence against black lives in the U.S. Leigh’s exhibit, “The Waiting Room,” is the first show in the Department of Education and Public Engagement’s annual research and development residency and exhibition program that foregrounds the New Museum’s year-round commitment to community partnerships and to public dialogue at the intersection of art and social justice.

“Simone Leigh: The Waiting Room” exhibition and residency continues the artist’s exploration of female blackness and demands that “the concerns, roles, and rights of women of color be recognized as central, rather than pushed to the margins.” Within “The Waiting Room” she pays homage to the late Esmin Elizabeth Green who died in the waiting room of Brooklyn’s Kings County hospital center after trying to see a doctor for 24 hours.

Leigh’s work at the New Museum probes the failings of the U.S. public health care system for minorities, not purely with criticism but by offering past and present examples of alternative medicines – from herbalist apothecaries and muthi (medicine) markets in Durban, South Africa, to meditation rooms and movement studios. She offers the hypothesis that these non-mainstream methods of healing are not an upper class luxury as they are often seen but actually a necessary solution for those ignored by our current healthcare system.

“Simone Leigh: The Waiting Room” is on view through September 18th, 2016 and also involves a variety of public and private workshops and healing treatments that the artist refers to as “care sessions.” Tickets for the Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter event are free and are available through RSVP.

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