The Armory Off-Site, the program of the Armory Show, collaborates with the United States Tennis Association to showcase sculptural work from the marginalized communities of five artists at the US Open.
The works will be exhibited outdoors at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in late August and early September.
The partnership is based on the Be Open Social Justice Campaign, led by Nicole Kankam, Managing Director of Marketing at the Tennis Association. With diversity, engagement and respect as the cornerstone of the campaign, the Tennis Association in 2020, which owns and operates the US Open, showcased the work of 18 artists who identify as black, indigenous or people of color on the front, empty seats. Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“It all builds around this one grounded statement: When you have an open mind, great things can happen in our sport and beyond,” Kankam said of the campaign.
The artists whose works will be on display this year include Jose Davila, featured in the Sean Kelly Gallery; Miles Nurse, represented by Half Gallery; Carolyn Salas, represented by Mrs. Gallery; Luzen Hill of K Art; And Gerald Chukwuma, with the Christine Hzelegerd Gallery. Each artist will create one work, some of the work contains several parts. (The work will be sold.)
Chukwuma, who combines elements of the Uli art tradition from south-eastern Nigeria in his sculptural works, uses his works to represent voluntary and forced global migration.
“For Africans and Africans, I think migration has done a lot,” Chukwuma, who is from eastern Nigeria, said in an interview. “It simply did not disperse us all over the world, it also took away our culture. It has reassured us of what we believe, it has reassured us of who we are. ”
Chukwuma intends to present a sculpture from his series looking at Igbo access: In the early 19th century, about 75 newly enslaved West Africans took control of a coastal ship, defeated a ship, and later sailed into the waters of the Danbar Creek. In Georgia, he committed mass suicide.
He said he is pleased that a display of the work is planned in the US. His series eventually consists of 75 sculptures, enslaved by Africans who rebelled. “So I think it’s wonderful,” he said. “There is a release.”
Three of the five artists created works specifically for the U.S. Open, including a sculpture by indigenous artist Luzen Hill. The work “Resurrection and the Beginning” consists of wavy columns, which symbolize the upward push of Cherokee sovereignty, which opposes its attempts to suppress it. Each column has a print piece in Cherokee syllabus to spread awareness about the written language.
“We are still here and we continue to rise,” he said.
Hill said in an interview that he had the honor and humility to have his work shown to a wider audience.
In partnership with the Tennis Association, Armory Off-Site seeks to reach people who may not be familiar with the annual Armory Show, said Nicole Berry, CEO of the Armory Show.
Armory Off-Site launched a mission in September last year to introduce international contemporary artists to a wider audience.
“Hopefully we will create art lovers from tennis fans,” Berry said, “and maybe vice versa.”