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Museum Announcement:

Weatherspoon Art Museum Announces Performing Arts Residency When We were Queens...


The Weatherspoon Art Museum at UNC Greensboro is pleased to announce its new performing arts residency When We were Queens… at the museum March 23–April 1, 2023.

When We were Queens… is a collaborative project between African French dancer/choreographer Murielle Elizéon and acclaimed African American musician Shana Tucker, who together seek to explore a shared ancestry of diaspora and violence through movement and music. Presented as a conversation between the artists and museum visitors, this work-in-progress illuminates both the singularity of experience and the resonance embedded in the bodies of women of color from different African diasporic communities. The artists’ presence in the galleries invites a triangular, embodied dialogue between performers as live “art objects/subjects,” museum visitors/viewers, and curators.

“We are thrilled to activate the Weatherspoon Art Museum’s galleries as a dynamic place where artists can create new work that then goes out into the world,” says Juliette Bianco, the Anne and Ben Cone Memorial Endowed Director. “Our role in this collaboration with Elizéon and Tucker is to offer the museum as a platform for this collaborative and process-rich creativity. The result of their residency will be specific to the time, place, and people who were engaged here.”

During the nine-day residency, students, faculty, and community members will have the opportunity to engage with Ms. Elizéon and guest artists through regular interactions in the galleries, open conversations, and performances in the museum’s spaces. Ms. Elizéon and collaborators will also explore the relationship between their presence in the physical space of the museum, the works on permanent and temporary exhibition, and the visitors who encounter them.

Visitors are invited to participate in the work-in-progress anytime during regular museum operating hours between March 23 and April 1 or join in a related scheduled event (additional information available on the Weatherspoon’s website).

The artists and museum curators will host a public conversation on Thursday, March 30, at 5:30 PM to discuss the work and its development and offer insight into the logistical collaboration it took to bring the performance into the museum’s galleries.

The residency will culminate in a work-in-progress showing on Saturday, April 1, at 3:30 PM at the Weatherspoon.

When We were Queens… is a Culture Mill Production commissioned by NC State Live and co-produced by the Wilson Center at Cape Fear Community College and the Weatherspoon Art Museum, UNC Greensboro.

Culture Mill is a 2022 NDP Finalist Grant Award recipient. Support was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts with funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to address continued sustainability needs during COVID-19 and in support of When We were Queens…

This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The When We were Queens… presentation at the Weatherspoon is generously supported by Nancy Hoffmann, WAM Council member.

Image: When We were Queens… Murielle Elizéon. Image credit: Sarah Marguier.
About the Weatherspoon Art Museum

Embracing its public service role, the Weatherspoon Art Museum at UNC Greensboro fosters the ability of art to impact lives and connect multiple communities.

The Weatherspoon Art Museum at UNC Greensboro was founded by Gregory Ivy in 1941 and is the earliest of any art facilities within the UNC system. The museum was founded as a resource for the campus, community, and region and its early leadership developed an emphasis—maintained to this day—on presenting and acquiring modern and contemporary works of art. A 1950 bequest from the renowned collection of Claribel and Etta Cone, including prints and bronzes by Henri Matisse and other works on paper by American and European modernists, helped establish the Weatherspoon’s permanent collection. During Ivy’s tenure, other prescient acquisitions included a 1951 suspended mobile by Alexander Calder, Willem de Kooning’s pivotal 1949-50 Woman, and the first drawings by Eva Hesse and Robert Smithson to enter a museum collection.

In 1989, the museum moved into its present location in The Anne and Benjamin Cone Building designed by the architectural firm Mitchell Giurgula. The museum has six galleries and a sculpture courtyard with over 17,000 square feet of exhibition space. The American Alliance of Museums accredited the Weatherspoon in 1995 and renewed its accreditation in 2005 and 2015.

Collections + Exhibitions
The permanent collection of the Weatherspoon Art Museum is one of the foremost of its kind in the Southeast. It represents all major art movements from the beginning of the 20th century to the present. Among the nearly 6,200 works in the collection are pieces by such prominent figures as Henry Ossawa Tanner, Edward Weston, Joseph Stella, David Smith, Jackson Pollock, Elizabeth Catlett, Louise Nevelson, Gordon Parks, Sol LeWitt, Robert Mangold, Cindy Sherman, Adrian Piper, Betye Saar, Amy Silman, Nick Cave, Jennifer Steinkamp, and Sanford Biggers. The museum regularly lends to major exhibitions nationally and internationally.

The Weatherspoon is also known for its dynamic exhibition program. Through a lively annual calendar of exhibitions and a multi-disciplinary educational program for audiences of all ages, the museum provides an opportunity for visitors to consider artistic, cultural, and social issues of our time—enriching the life of our university, community, and region.

UNC Greensboro
Led by Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr., UNC Greensboro is one of only 59 doctoral institutions recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for higher research activity and community engagement. Founded in 1891 and one of the original three UNC System institutions, UNC Greensboro is one of the most diverse universities in NC with 20,000+ students and 3,000+ faculty and staff members from 90+ nationalities. With 17 Division I athletic teams, 85 undergraduate degrees in over 125 areas of study, and 74 master’s and 32 doctoral programs, UNC Greensboro is consistently recognized nationally among the top universities for academic excellence and value. For additional information, please visit uncg.edu and follow UNCG on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Weatherspoon Art Museum
UNC Greensboro
Spring Garden and Tate Streets, PO Box 26170
Greensboro, NC 27402-6170, (336) 334-5770, weatherspoon@uncg.edu

For more information or press images, contact:
Loring Mortensen, (336) 256-1451, lamorten@uncg.edu

Free Admission + Free Parking

Tue-Wed-Fri-Sat: 10am-5pm
Thu: 10am-8pm
Closed Sundays, Mondays + holidays

Weatherspoon Art Museum
UNC Greensboro
500 Tate Street
Greensboro, NC 27402
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