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Lauren Haynes and Teka Selman. Photo: Derrick Beasley.

Lauren Haynes and Teka Selman to Curate Inaugural Tennessee Triennial for Contemporary Art

The Tennessee Triennial for Contemporary Art has announced that Lauren Haynes, the curator of contemporary art at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, and Teka Selman, an independent curator based in Durham, North Carolina, will cocurate its first edition, which will be staged across a number of art venues spanning four cities—Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, and Chattanooga—from February 5, 2021 to May 2, 2021.

Organized by Tri-Star Arts, the nonprofit organization that also operates Locate Arts, the triennial will present the work of emerging and established artists working in the United States. Tri-Star Arts founders Carolyn Jobe and Brian R. Jobe said that Haynes and Selman were invited to curate the exhibition after they participated in Locate Arts’ Visiting Speaker Series.

Triennial director Andrea Zieher said: “I have admired the work of Lauren and Teka for many years and have previously interacted with them as a gallerist. I am thrilled to now have the opportunity to be on a team producing this innovative state-wide experience, and I am so pleased that the Tennessee Triennial will provide the first opportunity for them to engage in an artistic partnership.”

In addition to her role at the Crystal Bridges Museum—where she co-organized the exhibition “The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Art” (2018) and is currently cocurating the next iteration of “State of the Art”—Haynes serves as curator of visual arts at the Momentary, a new contemporary art satellite space opening in Bentonville in 2020. She also curated the Focus section of this year’s Armory Show in New York.

Selman’s curatorial projects include “Southern Oracle: We Will Tear the Roof Off” (2019) at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh; “The Citizen,” her roving exhibition of moving-image works in Durham; “Present Tense Future Perfect” (2013–14) at Jazzar Contemporary in Miami; and “Configured” (2012) at Benrimon Contemporary in New York. Prior to her work as an independent curator, she was the founding associate director of the Experimental and Documentary Arts MFA program at Duke University.

Commenting on the upcoming exhibition, Selman said: “I’m so excited to be a part of this new endeavor and have the opportunity to work with the arts community in Tennessee, as well as bring artists from outside the state to collaborate with us. I hope that the Triennial will spark engagement that is long lasting and generative. It is particularly thrilling to be working with Lauren, whose projects and ideas I have long admired.”

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