In Conversation: Brad Anthony Bernard and 'B-Free' on Nari Ward’s Apollo/Poll
Time & Location
About the Event
Sculpture Talks brings together regional, national, and international cultural leaders to discuss artists included in Sculpture Milwaukee.
Nari Ward's Apollo/Poll is on view as part of Sculpture Milwaukee 2020. Nari Ward explores themes and imagery from African American culture, sports, politics, and place. Apollo/Poll, 2017, an homage to the famous Apollo Theater in Harlem, plays with visual tropes of outdoor structures: signage, lawn ornaments, playgrounds, and monuments. The sign reflects Ward’s rumination on the “...art of self-promotion, performance, originality, and the meaning of communal acceptance.”
While Ward’s sign refers to the past figures of the Harlem Renaissance, it also refers to Amateur Night at the Apollo, where the tough audience votes democratically for who will “be good or be gone.” This voting has resonance beyond the theater, pointing to political maneuvers to diminish voter participation by gerrymandering, voter i.d. laws, and other political procedural tactics. Ward suggests democracy has become pure theater in this work.
https://www.sculpturemilwaukee.com/nari-ward Social Media: @bFree2music | www.bfree2music.comB~Free Singer, producer & multi-instrumentalist B~FREE, is a Milwaukee native who has dedicated her life to music. Her training in flute, voice and piano has earned her degrees in musical studies from the Milwaukee High-School of the Arts, Lincoln University of Pennsylvania and VanderCook College of Music. The release of her latest self-produced sophomore album, the "Ode 2 A Luv Affair LP,” was hailed as the #1 Milwaukee Album by the Journal Sentinel in 2017.B~Free currently serves her musical community as a curator, educator, and artist of all sorts. Having performed in a number of venues throughout the country, Free has shared stages with a variety of artists and provided direct support as the opening act for Janelle Monáe's Milwaukee tour date at Summerfest 2018. Her treasure chest of talents continues to catapult her up the ladder of the music scene, as she remains hungry to give music what it’s been missing: a chance to B~Free.
www.bernardartstudio.comBrad Bernard Brad Anthony Bernard is a decorated arts advocate who has established himself as a community arts educator and muralist here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He began to pursue the career path of an artist and arts educator shortly after completing his education at MIAD (Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design) to receive his Bachelor’s in Fine Arts in 1993. Between 1993 and 2000, he helped to co-found the now-defunct Collaborative Effect Visual Arts Service along with Milwaukee filmmaker Brad Pruitt.In 2000, Bernard went to grad school at the University of Mississippi Oxford, achieving a Master’s in Fine Arts in 2003. Upon returning to Milwaukee in 2008, after teaching high school art for 5 years, Bernard landed a position in the Mount Mary University fine art department and taught there for nearly 7 years. He was selected as one of the 'Wisconsin 30' to exhibit work at the Milwaukee Art Museum in tandem with the celebrated '30 Americans' Exhibition featuring nationally and internationally renowned African American artists. In 2010 Bernard founded the Community Arts & Funk Festival and coordinated festivals in 2010 -'11 at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts Peck Pavillion and 2012-13' at Washington Park as an Arts & Culture Day events. He is now a professor at MIAD teaching within the First-Year Experience and New Studio Practice/Fine Art programs and is actively exhibiting his work while executing numerous private and public commissions.