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Prospect.4 exhibitions are full of surprises -- like Easter eggs

A Prospect.4 exhibit at the New Orleans Museum of Art.(Photographer: Michael Smith)

By Pelican Bomb, Story by Cameron Shaw:

"Curator Dan Cameron conceived Prospect New Orleans, whose first iteration opened in November 2008, as an international contemporary art biennial in the tradition of Venice, Istanbul, and Sao Paulo. These famed mega exhibitions around the world draw art-world jetsetters and cultural tourists to their host cities every two years.

Art biennials find their roots in the grand expositions of 19th-century Europe, and to the average New Orleanian the concept might feel equally remote.

With "Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp," which opened to the public Nov. 18, this year's curator Trevor Schoonmaker delivers a triennial (Prospect has since moved to a three-year schedule) that is relatable to general audiences. Critics in several national publications have cited a lack of curatorial risk in Schoonmaker's vision, but they miss the fact that there have been only a handful of museum-quality group shows in New Orleans including international artists since Cameron's original exhibition."

Continue Reading on the Times Picayune.

In Prospect New Orleans, a Curator Guides 73 Artists Toward Higher Ground

Trevor Schoonmaker, the artistic director of “Prospect.4,” near Jennifer Odem’s “Rising Tables,” an art installation on a bank of the Mississippi River. Credit William Widmer for The New York Times

"NEW ORLEANS — Trevor Schoonmaker was hopping in and out of Uber cars recently as he raced around this soulful Southern city helping artists finalize works for the fourth edition of Prospect New Orleans, which has turned the entire city into a giant multicultural gallery. “The installation is the best part — you’ve been talking about the work for so long, and you’re finally seeing it in person,” said Mr. Schoonmaker, the sneaker-clad artistic director of the exhibition, titled “Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp,” on view through Feb. 25."

Continue Reading in the New York Times. 

The Uncertain Road Ahead for Culture in New York City

Cover of the CreateNYC Cultural Plan

By Michelle Coffey, Kerry McCarthy, and Michele Kumi Baer of the New York City Cultural Agenda Fund in The New York Community Trust

"With the unveiling of CreateNYC, New York City joins Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Louisville, and Madison as American cities with cultural plans. The New York plan (pictured above) is meant to be a powerful tool to, as it says, make sure “culture is for everyone.”

We had hoped that CreateNYC would not just propose strategies to follow this pledge but also commit to carrying them out. On the second point, the city falls short.

Thanks to the hard work of cultural advocates, community organizers, and the Department of Cultural Affairs staff, more than 188,000 New Yorkers participated in this unprecedented cultural planning process."

 Continue reading the article on the Huffington Post, here.