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

The Weatherspoon Art Museum at UNC Greensboro enriches the lives of diverse individuals and connects multiple communities, both on and off campus, by presenting, interpreting, and collecting modern and contemporary art. In recognizing its paramount role of public service, the Weatherspoon fosters an appreciation of the ability of art to positively impact lives.

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, which included prints and bronzes by Henri Matisse and other works on paper by American and European modernists, helped to establish the Weatherspoon’s permanent 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 considered to be 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 also is 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
Located in North Carolina’s third largest city, UNC Greensboro is among the most diverse, learner-centered public research universities in the state, with nearly 18,000 students in eight colleges and schools pursuing more than 150 areas of undergraduate and over 200 areas of graduate study. UNCG continues to be recognized nationally for academic excellence, access, and affordability. UNCG is ranked No. 1 most affordable institution in North Carolina for net cost by the N.Y. Times and No. 1 in North Carolina for social mobility by The Wall Street Journal — helping first-generation and lower-income students find paths to prosperity. Designated an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, UNCG is a community-engaged research institution with a portfolio of more than $67M in research and creative activity. The University’s 1,100 faculty and 1,700 staff help create an annual economic impact for the Piedmont Triad region in excess of $1B. For additional information, please visit and follow UNCG on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Weatherspoon Art Museum
UNC Greensboro
1005 Spring Garden Street
Greensboro, NC 27412, (336) 334-5770,

For more information or press images, contact:
Loring Mortensen, (336) 256-1451,