Project: The Black Lunch Table

The Black Lunch Table, taking the lunchroom phenomenon of self-segregation as its starting point, seeks to reify the visibility of connections and dialogue that exist among contemporary Black artists. By providing a space to discuss critical issues, this project strengthens bonds that exist within this nebulous community and validates shared concerns through exchange. Valentine and Hart provide site, prompt and premise; participants fill these spaces with discourse, which will be archived online. The online archive will include information about participating artists and institutions, and will allow users to search by participant, location, event, genre or discussion topic. This site will eventually become an aggregator, cross-pollinating discourse among many individuals and institutions.

Awardee: Heather Hart

Emerging Fields, 2016

Heather Hart is a visual artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Each participant who engages with her work brings their perspective and ideas to mingle with the environments she offers as a catalyst. Through play, humor, interaction and medium, she wants to give her audience some responsibility in the art “viewing” process. She was an artist in residence at LMCC Workspace, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, Santa Fe Art Institute, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Fine Arts Work Center and the Whitney ISP. She has received grants from Joan Mitchell Foundation, Harpo Foundation, Harvestworks, Jerome Foundation, the Awesome Foundation and NYFA. Her work has been included in a variety of publications including ArtNEWS, Art in America, The New York Times, Seattle Times, The Stranger and TimeOut NY. She studied at Cornish College of the Arts and Princeton University, and received her MFA from Rutgers University.

Awardee: Jina Valentine

Emerging Fields, 2016

Jina Valentine is currently an Assistant Professor in the Art Department at UNC Chapel Hill. Her work addresses issues of legibility, translation and media saturation.  She has shown at such venues as The Studio Museum in Harlem, Marlborough Gallery, CUE Foundation and Elizabeth Foundation. She was in residence at Cité International des Arts, Skowhegan, Santa Fe Art Institute, Women’s Studio Workshop and will be in residence at Project Row Houses, the Frans Masereel Centrum in Belgium and the Joan Mitchell Center later this year. She was also project curator for Elsewhere Museum’s Southern Constellation series, and is one of the consulting fellows for the second iteration of “Open Sessions” beginning in 2016. Jina received her MFA from Stanford University and a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University.