Walking into the new HALL Arts Hotel is a visual treat.
Sun-soaked with natural light, bold-faced art names and emerging artists all have stories to tell,
PUBLIC PROWESS and they want to share them with you. Kathryn and Craig Hall tapped internationally renowned curator
and their own personal art advisor Virginia Shore to curate the common areas of the hotel, while Dallas’ own Patricia Meadows curated the rooms and hallways.
Having curated over 200 exhibitions for public and private collections around the globe, here Shore shares the defining points of the hotel’s inaugural collection.
Terri Provencal (TP): For United States embassies across the globe, in your former role as acting director and chief curator of the US Department of State’s Art in Embassies Program, you established and oversaw the first acquisitions program and the historic lending program.
I know it might be tough to choose, but were there any particular installations that were especially gratifying? Virginia Shore (VS): That is difficult! There were many incredible projects.
With each exhibition/collection you were learning about the culture of another country and identifying artists, issues, and themes that resonate in our country as well as in the host country.
I curated 54 new embassy collections and oversaw another 40 in 12 years.
You were constantly trying to find new ways to connect two cultures through art.
A few of the projects that will always stay with me were simultaneously the most challenging and rewarding: the new embassies in London, Beijing, Dakar, and Islamabad.
TP: Mark Bradford: End Papers is currently on view at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.
You commissioned the artist’s 32-paneled site-specific painting, We The People (2017), for the US Embassy London’s atrium.
What can you tell us about working with him on this monumental project? VS: He’s brilliant, focused, insanely clever, and has true grace.
The work is truly monumental. It is comprised of 32 canvases, each 10 feet by 10 feet. It is the largest commission ever installed for a US embassy.
Bradford, a gay black man, holds the most visible space,
and the work of three women surround: Jenny Holzer, Rachel Whiteread, and Eva Rothschild.
Two years into the London commission Mark was selected to represent the US in the Venice Biennale,
PUBLIC PROWESS and then he was approached by several museums regarding commissions and shows.
From the time we embarked on this journey to the time of installation, the world had changed.
The significance of the work, We The People, which is the text from the US Constitution,
went from a brilliant and breathtaking work of a historic document to a loaded subject reminding us of the unknown with some of our basic rights in flux.
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