Gerard Sekoto, 1913–1993, South Africa, Boy and the Candle 1943, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution (Courtesy of Franko Khoury)
Blogs

Visitors Share Their Take on Artworks in Dialogue

For more than a year, visitors at the Smithsonian National Museum of Art have had the opportunity to talk about the connection between African and African-American history. They’ve done so through “Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue,” an exhibit that highlights various interpretations of African and African-American culture. Spirituality counts among those topics that bridges the gap between the two groups. [read more…]

R&B artist Kelela (Courtesy photo)
Blogs

Kelela Pushes R&B in New Direction

Singer and songwriter Kelela is one of R&B’s new rising stars. Two years after releasing her critically acclaimed EP “Cut 4 Me,” she’s back with “Hallucinogen.” In half a dozen tracks, she lets her personal tastes and that of her collaborators distance herself from the mainstream contemporary R&B pack all the while rooting herself in the tradition. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, she said that she focuses more on “resonance than on sound [unlike others]” to balance out her own individuality with that of the feature artists. Her rhythms, melodies, and lyrics cause us to hallucinate, as great R&B has always done. [read more…]