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  • Hamlet Lavastida. Photo: Peter Rosemann.

    Hamlet Lavastida Freed after Three Months’ Imprisonment in Cuba

    Artist Hamlet Lavastida, a member of Cuban artist-activist group 27N who was arrested in June as he returned to Cuba from a residency at at Berlin’s Künstlerhaus Bethanien, has been released, Artnews reports. According to his girlfriend, writer, and activist Katherine Bisquet, he has been exiled to Europe, as has she.

    Lavastida had criticized Cuban authorities and had compared the conditions under which artists labor in Cuba to those of the Stalinist Soviet Union, characterizing Cuba in an April interview as a “police state.” He was ultimately detained on charges of “incitement to commit a crime”

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  • Detail from Vincent van Gogh’s The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring, 1884.

    Dutch Art Thief Gets Eight Years For Stealing Van Gogh, Hals Paintings

    A Dutch art thief has been found guilty and sentenced in connection with the night thefts last year of two paintings, by Vincent van Gogh and Frans Hals, respectively. Fifty-nine-year-old Norm M. of Baarn, Netherlands, was sentenced to the maximum eight years in prison for stealing the works, collectively valued at $25 million, from two different Dutch museums.

    A panel of three judges in a Central Netherlands court noted that the paintings were still missing and that “the suspect was not concerned about this and apparently only had an eye for his own material interests.”

    An April search of the

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  • Arizona’s Wupatki National Monument. Photo: Jarek Tuszyński/Wikipedia Commons.

    Getty Foundation Donates $1.3 Million to Preserve of Wupatki National Monument

    The Getty Foundation has awarded a $1.3 million grant to the University of Pennsylvania’s Stuart Weitzman School of Design that will fund a new conservation and management plan for northern Arizona’s Wupatki National Monument. The monument is one of three in the area—the others being Walnut Crater and Sunset Canyon Volcano—noted for their well-maintained archaeological records as well as for their geographic diversity and significance to the northern Arizona Indigenous community, which includes Havasupai, Hopi, Hualapai, Navajo, Yavapai, and Zuni, peoples. The Wupatki National Monument comprises

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  • View of Manal Al Dowayan’s Suspended Together, 2011.

    Saudi Arabia’s First Biennial Announces Participating Artists

    The Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale, the first event of its kind to be held in Saudi Arabia, has released a partial list of participating artists,The Art Newspaper reports. Among the international artists named are Saudi installation artist Manal Al Dowayan, Irish digital sculptor John Gerrard, Kuwaiti intermedia artist Monira Al-Qadiri, and Chinese printmaker and installation artist Xu Bing. Saudi talent will be attendant in full force at the biennial as well, with Land artist Zahrah Alghamdi, calligrapher Lulwah Al-Homoud, and tile artist Dana Awartani among those taking part. Also on display

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  • Kristy Edmunds.

    Kristy Edmunds Named Director of MASS MoCA

    Kristy Edmunds has been appointed director of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. Edmunds, who since 2011 has served as executive and artistic director of UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance (CAP UCLA), succeeds museum founder Joseph C. Thompson, who led the institution for more than thirty years before stepping down last August; Tracy Moore served as interim director while the museum’s board searched for a new permanent leader.

    A veteran of the art world, Edmunds brings to the institution as many decades of experience as Thompson left with, though of a considerably more diverse

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  • New York’s Queens Museum. Photo: Leo Chiou.

    NYC Awards Queens Museum $26.4 Million Toward Expansion

    The City of New York has awarded the Queens Museum $26.4 million for the institution to complete its expansion project, which includes plans for a children’s museum space devoted to Queens art and culture, more classrooms, secure artwork storage, and improved energy efficiency throughout the museum. The initial phase of the expansion, completed in November 2013, saw the institution add 50,000 square feet of gallery, event, and education space; the museum additionally upgraded its visitor amenities and facilities systems at that time.

    The funding is expected to cover the five components of the

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  • Jordan Carter. Photo: Lori Sapio.

    Jordan Carter Joins Dia Art Foundation as Curator

    New York’s Dia Art Foundation has announced that Jordan Carter will be joining the institution as curator. Carter, an associate curator at the Art Institute of Chicago since 2017, will assume his post at Dia in December, following the November opening of “Ray Johnson c/o,” which he co-organized with curator Caitlin Haskell at the Art Institute of Chicago.

    Prior to joining the Art Institute, Carter was a curatorial fellow at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and held positions at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, and at the Centre Pompidou Paris. He specializes in Fluxus and Conceptual art,

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  • Cameron Clayborn. Photo: Simone Subal Gallery.

    Cameron Clayborn and Hana Miletić Win 2021 Baloise Art Prize

    American sculptor Cameron Clayborn and Croatian textile artist Hana Miletić have been awarded the twenty-second Baloise Art Prize. The CHF 30,000 ($32,500) award is presented annually to artists exhibiting in the Statements section of Art Basel. The Baloise Group, which administers the prize in partnership with the fair, will purchase works by both artists and donate them to the Hamburger Bahnhof–Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, and Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg.

    Clayborn, who grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, recieved his MFA from the Yale University School of Art in New Haven. His

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  • Seena Hodges. Photo: Desireé Benton/Dash Collective.

    Seena Hodges Named Board President of Walker Art Center

    The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, has announced the election of Seena Hodges as president of its board of trustees. Hodges is the first African American and first person of color to helm the board. With the election of Karen Heithoff and D. Ellen Wilson as vice presidents, Sarah Lynn Oquist as treasurer, and Teresa Rasmussen as secretary, the Walker board for the first time its ninety-four-year history boasts an all-woman slate of officers. The September 13 meeting at which the officers were elected also resulted in the approval of a five-year strategic plan.

    Hodges, a veteran of the theater

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  • Dancer Ny’Aja of the Destiny Arts Center. Photo: Beatriz Escobar.

    Hewlett Foundation Awards $17 Million to Bay Area Arts Consortiums

    The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation on Monday announced that it will award $17 million to more than thirty San Francisco–area nonprofit arts groups. The money is part of the foundation’s Adaptation Grants program, and is aimed at assisting groups with implementing plans in support of future financial and structural stability. The awards respond to a recent study by Northern California Grantmakers showing that 48 percent of Bay Area nonprofits have reduced or ceased operations as the Covid-19 crisis continues to grind on. Additionally, arts organizations in the region must contend with

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  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Photo: Hugo Schneider/Flickr.

    Met to Deaccession $1 Million Worth of Prints and Photos to Make Ends Meet

    New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is to sell 219 prints and photographs to make up for a $150 million budget shortfall caused by the continuing Covid-19 crisis, according to Artnet News. Auction house Christie’s will handle the sale. The works, all duplicates of those in the Met’s collection, will be made available in three tranches beginning September 24, when a raft of Civil War photographs hit the block. The sale is expected to generate roughly $900,000 to $1.4 million and includes works by Robert Frank, Roy Lichtenstein, and Frank Stella. The museum confirmed that private dealer Tobias

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  • Hito Steyerl. Photo: Dominik Butzmann/Flickr.

    Hito Steyerl Rejects Top German Honor, Citing Country’s Pandemic Response

    Artist and documentary filmmaker Hito Steyerl on Wednesday said she would decline one of Germany’s most prestigious civilian honors, the Federal Cross of Merit. In a letter published in the German weekly Die Zeit, the Munich-born artist, who is known for her work investigating militarization, surveillance migration, and the global dissemination of images, pointed to the government’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis as the reason behind her rejection of the award, considered the equivalent of a British knighthood or the French Legion of Honor. Previous recipients of the award include art historian

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