About: Artstuffmatters

Artstuffmatters is the project name that
La Tanya S. Autry uses for her explorations, advocacy, and organizing of public culture in the arts. She focuses on public art, photography, landscapes, museums, and more. You can find Artstuffmatters on WordPress, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, and Pinterest.

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Service Announcement:
Several people assume that I give talks on inclusion. I do not.
My abolitionist ethos involves dismantling the ideology of white supremacy in institutions. This orientation calls for a dismantling of antiBlackness and colonialism. It is a deep structural liberatory project unlike the inclusion paradigm.
Please do not invite me to participate in, lead, or promote any inclusion machinations.

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As a cultural organizer in the visual arts, La Tanya S. Autry centers social justice and public memory in her work. In addition to co-creating The Art of Black Dissent, an interactive program that promotes public dialogue about the African-American liberation struggle, she co-produced #MuseumsAreNotNeutral, an initiative that exposes the fallacies of the neutrality claim and calls for an equity-based transformation of museums and the Social Justice and Museums Resource List, a crowd-sourced bibliography.

La Tanya has curated exhibitions and organized programs at Yale University Art Gallery,  moCa Cleveland, Artspace New Haven, Mississippi Museum of Art, Tougaloo College, and the Crane Art Center. Through her graduate studies at the University of Delaware, where she is completing her Ph.D. in art history, La Tanya has developed expertise in art of the United States, photography, and museums. Her dissertation The Crossroads of Commemoration: Lynching Landscapes in America, which analyzes how individuals and communities memorialize lynching violence in the built environment, concentrates on the interplay of race, representation, memory, and public space.

The Art of Black Dissent, introductory video (1 minute)
Museums Are Not Neutral campaign – T-shirts

Publications

26 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Allison  |  April 22, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Hello La Tanya,

    I am the blogger from Art21. I have completed my posts on Detroit for now, but would be delighted to continue the conversation via email.

    My best,
    Allison

    Reply
    • 2. artstuffmatters  |  April 22, 2011 at 5:49 pm

      Hi Allison,
      Thanks for the reply and the posts you wrote. I’m sorry to hear that you won’t be writing more about Detroit. But I’m happy that I now know about Imagination Nation. I’ll have to remember to check them out in a few months to learn more about the results of their project. I just might contact you about these art organizations in Detroit. I’m very interested in the social and political implications of art. Thanks again and good luck with your work.

      Reply
  • 3. Monica Octavia  |  January 28, 2015 at 7:58 am

    Hi LaTanya,

    My name is Monica Montgomery, I am a Historic House museum director, #MuseumAnarchist, and cofounder of Museum Hue. I’d like to get in touch with you about reading your recent poetic piece My Art Museum Mission at our upcoming launch on 2.20.15 at MoCADA in Brooklyn. We were so moved by it and would love to explore synergies between our work. Cheers!
    Email me directly at: museumhue@gmail.com
    Find us on Facebook / IG / Twitter @museumhue

    Reply
  • 4. Val Rose  |  March 18, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Dear LaTanya,

    I noted with interest that you are presenting a paper on ‘Disruptive Bodies: Remembering Lynching in Public Space’ at the forthcoming SAH conference. I think this – part of your PhD research? – would make the basis for a very interesting and valuable book and would be delighted to discuss this with you at the conference. I hope to hear from you and, hopefully meet up in Chicago.

    Reply
    • 5. artstuffmatters  |  March 19, 2015 at 5:34 am

      Dear Val,
      Thanks so much for reaching out to me. Yes, this research is part of my dissertation. Unfortunately, due to a scheduling conflict, I won’t be attending the SAH conference this year. But I’d be happy to chat with you sometime if you’re interested. You can reach me by email at artstuffmatters @ yahoo.com.
      Many thanks!

      Best,
      La Tanya

      Reply
  • […] Check out this exhibition Let Us March On: Lee Friedlander and the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom at the Yale University Art Gallery curated by my former student, La Tanya Autry. […]

    Reply
  • 7. Yulia Tikhonova  |  January 19, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    Hello La Tanya,
    I was listening to your talk at FAU during the Decolonize Museums symposiums. Thank you for the references to great artist projects. I would love to hear your thoughts o Spelman’s new curatorial initiative with the Atlanta University Center to train African American curators. Do you think that this will change the world around. Thank you again.
    Yulia

    Reply
    • 8. artstuffmatters  |  January 26, 2019 at 5:18 am

      It was great to meet you, Yulia!
      While I don’t have much specific, detailed knowledge of Spelman’s curatorial program, I’ve heard good things about it. It’s especially good to see this focus from an institution committed to educating Black students. In general, I think the up-tick in similar programs across the U.S. is a good development. I would, however, also like to see much more critical attention and energy directed at disrupting the power dynamics that created the present day inequities in the museum field. There’s much more work to do!

      Reply
  • […] inspiration from the call to decolonize museums (like those made by Olga Viso), the Museums Are Not Neutral movement spurred by LaTanya Autry, and Uncomfortable Art Tours provided by art historian and […]

    Reply
  • 10. nkrom11  |  March 21, 2019 at 10:42 am

    Hi LaTanya – I’d like to inquire about a potential speaking opportunity. Is there an email I can reach you at? You can also reach out to me at nkrom@longwoodgardens.org. Thank you!

    Reply
  • […] La Tanya S. Autry exhibition Temporary Spaces of Joy and Freedom, opens on Friday January 31 at MOCA Cleveland. The exhibition honors the discussion that artist and scholar Leanne Betasamosake Simpson and Canadian poet and scholar Dionne Brand forged in their 2018 article of the same title reflecting on colonialism, anti-Blackness, Indigenous and Black liberation struggles, and the importance of ephemeral expressions and the arts in creating freedom (shared by Anna Freeman) […]

    Reply
  • 12. Stefanie Verish  |  February 18, 2020 at 12:10 pm

    Hi La Tanya,
    I am a naturalist with Cleveland Metroparks, and we are planning a “Paint the Lake” plein air event for the community surrounding Euclid Beach. I was wondering if you might be willing to collaborate, given the nature of your artistic mission. If you are interested, please contact me at your earliest convenience, and I would be happy to share more details with you. Thank you for your consideration.

    Reply
    • 13. artstuffmatters  |  February 18, 2020 at 11:26 am

      Hi, Stephanie,
      Thanks for reaching out. I’m interested in hearing more. You can reach me at lautry@mocacleveland.org.
      Cheers,
      La Tanya

      Reply
  • 14. dmf  |  March 6, 2020 at 11:10 pm

    hi La Tanya, thanks for coming to Iowa City I’m sorry that the conference hasn’t really been focused on sharing practices (successes and failures) and forming related alliances/commons, and I’m sorry that you own welcome contributions to the panel this morning somehow got recast in ways which negatively distorted what you had said and even came close to scapegoating you.
    peace, Dirk
    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/mar/05/brandon-taylor-author-real-life-interview

    Reply
    • 15. artstuffmatters  |  March 8, 2020 at 11:14 am

      Dirk,
      Thank you for being there. Overall, I enjoyed my visit to Iowa. I had hoped there would be much more forward thinking and imaginative energy at the symposium. Fortunately I did learn some new things and made some new friends through the experience.
      If we really want to consider “what can museums become,” we need to address how museums operate, who they serve, benefit, and exploit, organizational culture, its limits and structures of violence. I would love to hear more from artists and community organizers. They are the people who routinely imagine transformation and just futures.
      Cheers,
      La Tanya

      Reply
      • 16. dmf  |  March 8, 2020 at 4:21 pm

        “If we really want to consider “what can museums become,” we need to address how museums operate, who they serve, benefit, and exploit, organizational culture, its limits and structures of violence”
        indeed, tho of course for that to happen in an academic setting would require that faculty own how universities operate, who they serve, benefit, and exploit, organizational culture, its limits and structures of violence and that’s not going to happen in meaningful/constructive way.
        The blogosphere got tapped out in a lot of ways but I always thought it had more potential to become a kind of digital/remote undercommons for people to share practices/tactics/etc. something akin to https://righttothecity.org/
        glad some aspects of your trip here were affirming.

      • 17. artstuffmatters  |  March 8, 2020 at 4:24 pm

        ‘Tis true! You’re on it! 😉

      • 18. dmf  |  March 8, 2020 at 8:10 pm

        you’re kind I’m way out on the fringe of these conversations, would have liked us to get even more fundamental, to remember that arts were (and often are) literally woven/carved/inscribed into the fabric of daily/common life, into shelters, grounds, clothes, hair and skin, in all aspects of life from sacred rituals to courtship, clowning, sport, war and familial life, so what is this quasi-scientific practice of taking them out of these contexts, into sterile fields of white cubes and all, does this make them “fine” or re-fined or just cut off, cut out?

      • 19. artstuffmatters  |  March 8, 2020 at 9:23 pm

        I suppose to some I, too, am on the fringe. It’s all a matter of relationship or lack thereof. I also have a wider conception of art than many of the white cube family.

      • 20. dmf  |  March 9, 2020 at 11:57 am

        “It’s all a matter of relationship or lack thereof”
        absolutely so less perhaps about bringing people to art events/institutions and more about bringing art (including artistic sense-abilities and not just works/objects) to the people, I came up in the punk/hardcore DIY GenX 80′ scene of making/remaking our own clothes, zines, music, squats, etc and landed in NYC area when hip-hop was doing the same, graffiti on walls and trains, food-stalls and preachers on the street, boom-boxes on the stoop, etc., more in the mix of life from dusk til dawn, more making due with who and what is at hand…

  • 21. Peter Kayafas  |  January 6, 2021 at 8:56 am

    Hi La Tanya,
    It’s been a while since we worked together on the Friedlander exhibition. I hope that you are thriving. You likely saw the listing for the position at the Schomburg, but I just wanted to be sure, having thought of you the moment I saw it.
    https://jobs-nypl.icims.com/jobs/11380/curator%2C-photographs-%26-prints/job?mobile=false&width=750&height=500&bga=true&needsRedirect=false&jan1offset=-300&jun1offset=-240
    Very best,
    Peter Kayafas

    Reply
    • 22. artstuffmatters  |  January 6, 2021 at 11:01 pm

      Hi Peter,
      Thanks so much for remembering me.
      I appreciate the suggestion. I am definitely interested in the Schomburg. Something good to consider thankfully.
      Take care and good wishes,
      La Tanya

      Reply
  • 23. Nicole Scalissi  |  January 27, 2021 at 9:29 am

    Dear La Tanya,
    I write as a follower of your work, as well as of “The Art of Black Dissent.” I’d like to be in touch directly about an invitation to speak about your work (not about inclusion!) to students at UNCG. I’ve clicked on the link to your form for these kinds of conversations, but it’s not taking me to a form. May I ask that form to be sent to me (below) or for an email address so I might write to you?
    Thanks again,
    Nicole Scalissi (this me: https://vpa.uncg.edu/home/directory/bio-nicolescalissi/)

    Reply
  • 24. David Hinojosa  |  February 15, 2021 at 12:56 am

    Dear La Tanya,
    Im the founder of the Organization for the Democratization of the Visual Arts, a Berlin Non-Profit organization. Our aim is to create equality, diversity and democracy for the art world, applying alternative economy models and mechanisms of participation. I would like to invite you as a jury in our last project: The Equality and Diversity Certification for Art Institutions. We have many points in common and I want it to touch base with you to ask you for an appointment to find ways of collaboration. Please contact me at dhadmann (at) odbk.tk
    Looking forward hearing from you,
    David

    Reply
  • 26. Neutrality – The Decolonial Dictionary  |  March 3, 2021 at 8:00 am

    […] neutral spaces, see the Art Stuff Matters, Archival Decolonist and The Exhibitionist blogs run by La Tanya S Autry, Nathan Sentance and Alice Procter […]

    Reply

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