How Black Contemporary Art’s Founder Kimberly Drew Amplifies Black Artists | SEEN | NowThis

(upbeat music) I like to say that I’m
a curator of experience, in that I really think a
lot more about environments than objects. I wanna make sure that
the rooms that I’m in are as diverse as possible. I wanna make sure that the
exhibitions that I attend are as diverse as possible. The portfolio of
institutions that I support are as diverse as possible. It really is about
making sure that there’s an experience of community, a momentum that’s created
if I’m doing something. I grew up around art but I never really thought about it as a professional option for me. But it was interning at the
Studio Museum in Harlem, that I became aware of how
vast the museum world can be. And that vastness could
provide an opportunity for someone like myself. And when I got back to college, I immediately switched to art history because it was kind of this
awakening moment for me, this understand, like, this is an industry that I wanna be in. In the first semester, was so excited to know
that I was kind of like, on this life path. Like any true millennial, I went into social media digging for something
that could activate me in the same way that
the Studio Museum had. On Black Contemporary Art, I work alongside several editors to put out as much art by
Black artists as possible. Like, it’s a very simple mission. It started with, really
five posts that I posted. But, when I was really starting the blog I didn’t know much. And so being able to grow along with them and inform my practice as a researcher, as an art historian, and then also to see them grow and ebb and flow and have babies. It just became so much deeper than a blog. ‘Cause it is an industry that is opaque, and intimidating, and exclusionary, it’s really important for, for me personally, to make sure people know that there’s just so many points of entry. There’s lawyers. There’s registrars. There’s conservators. There’s guards. And it’s so cool to know all of them. And I feel responsibility to share them. But when it comes to being a
part of the art world really, that first post inserted
me into the art world. Like, immediately. The way that social media, it like thrust up against, and is in this bump and grind with art, it affords so many of us, who otherwise would be
silenced opportunities, to have a voice. To join a chorus, as well. You have Black artists who are starting their own organizations. You have Black artists
working at the intersection of art and social justice. You have Black artists who
are on a traditional like, white chip gallery path. But what I would say that
I see more and more of, is just like, more examples. Right, more opportunities. The proliferation into pop culture again. ‘Cause it’s not just about the galleries. It’s not just about the museums, or just the studios. It really is about the proliferation. It’s not just for the privileged, it’s not just for people who just have an art history degree. It’s very much all of ours. I have been a witness
to so much evolution. But there has been so many ways that I’ve seen in my
short time change happen. And then also, of course, arriving and surprising people in rooms. You know. Other Black people in rooms. Other women in rooms. Where they’re like, “Wow. “It’s so nice to see you here.” In my lifetime I’ve had people that I’m deeply inspired by,
and 100 percent wanna be. I have people who I absolutely hate. Equally (laughs) inspiring. You know? ‘Cause I’m like, “I’m tired
of seeing you do it this way.” It inspires me to continue to go. I think for myself, I
represent so many identities, and I advocate for them all full stop. I am a Black woman, first and foremost. It’s my favorite one of my identities. It’s the one I feel most
honored to wear everyday. I am a nerd. I am queer. I, in my time, have been
extended and afforded the opportunity to be all those things by a matrix of people. And so I take it upon myself
to make sure that other people and their own respective identities have those same opportunities
at every turn possible.

9 thoughts on “How Black Contemporary Art’s Founder Kimberly Drew Amplifies Black Artists | SEEN | NowThis”

  1. "- Have you ever seen a black woman do anything?"
    "- Its art."
    Just because a black woman is doing it, its art? Lol

  2. While I really believe in what she is saying, there is no exclusion in art or in the art community. So many voices and ideas are expressed in art all around the world. To say that people of color are snuffed out and that social media helps them out of it indicates that this is a uniquely American problem.

  3. I love that she taking pride in making art as a black person, we DEFINITELY need more diversity in art. I'm glad NowThis is giving her a platform to speak on and more exposure to black artist.

    But to answer her question, "Have you ever seen a black woman do anything?"


    Oprah Winfrey, Regina Hall, Beyonce, Michelle Obama, Destiny 's Child, Iyanla Vanzant, Tamela Mann, Erica Cambell, Mary, Mary, Gabriella Union, Taraji P. Henson

    And Kara Walker who is also a black artist.

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