National Gallery to host Bermuda Biennial

  • Kimberli Gant (Photograph supplied)

    Kimberli Gant (Photograph supplied)

  • Melissa Messina (Photograph supplied)

    Melissa Messina (Photograph supplied)


The 2020 Bermuda Biennial opens on the 6th March at The Bermuda National Gallery. The exhibition, which runs until October, showcases the dynamism of local and international artists living on the island, bringing them the opportunity to engage in an internationally juried process.

Sponsored by Bacardi Limited, the exhibition, now in its 14th iteration, continues to represent the excellence of Bermuda’s contemporary art and serves as an educational resource and a platform for programmes on art, culture and dialogue.

The theme this year, Let Me Tell You Something, is inspired by a quote from the late American author and Pulitzer Prize winner, Toni Morrison.

“You are your own stories and therefore free to imagine and experience what it means to be human […] The theme you choose may change or simply elude you, but being your own story means you can always choose the tone. It also means that you can invent the language to say who you are and what you mean.” Toni Morrison

As a member of the International Biennial Association, this important exhibition engages established international jurors, both independent and from prominent art institutions. This year’s jurors are Melissa Melissa Messina and Kimberly Gant.

Melissa Messina Melissa Messina is an Independent Curator and Curator of the Mildred Thompson Estate. Her exhibitions, site-responsive projects and public programs have been presented throughout the U.S. and abroad. In 2018, she was the consulting curator on the exhibition “Mildred Thompson: Radiation Explorations and Magnetic Fields” at Galerie Lelong & Co., New York, and co-curated “Mildred Thompson: Against the Grain” at the New Orleans Museum of Art. In 2017, Messina co-curated “Magnetic Fields, Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today,” an intergenerational exhibition celebrating abstraction by black women artists that toured from Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C., and the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Art, FL. In 2016-17 Messina was the guest curator for the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, VA, and served as the first Artistic Director of Flux Projects in Atlanta, GA.

Melissa was formerly the Interim Executive Director and Senior Curator of the SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, GA; the National Program Director for ArtTable, NY; and a founding staff member and then guest curator at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum. She is the recipient of a Creative Time Warhol Foundation Art Writers Grant, the Camille Billops and James V. Hatch Fellowship at the Stuart A. Rose Library at Emory University, and will be a Fall 2019 Tyson Family Fellow at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR. Messina was also the co-curator of the 2018 Bermuda Biennial.

Kimberli Gant Kimberli Gant, PhD is the McKinnon Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, VA. She was previously the Mellon Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Arts of Global Africa at the Newark Museum, in Newark, NJ. She has held curatorial positions at UT’s Warfield Center for African & African Diaspora Studies (2013), The Contemporary Austin (2012), and the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art (MoCADA) in Brooklyn, New York(200510).

She has curated numerous exhibitions including Wondrous Worlds: Art & Islam Through Time & Place(2016),De-Luxe(2012),There is No Looking Glass Here: Wide Sargasso Sea ReImagined(2010), and Johannesburg to New York(2008). Kimberli received her PhD in Art History from the University of Texas Austin(2017), and holds both a MA and BA in Art History from Columbia University (2009)and Pitzer College (2002).

Kimberli’s scholarly work is published in academic books, such as Anywhere But Here: Black Intellectuals in the Atlantic World and Beyond (2015), art publications such as NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art, Art Lies and African Arts, and exhibition catalogues for The Newark Museum, The Contemporary Austin, the Studio Museum of Harlem, MoCADA, Paris Photo, and the Centre for Contemporary Art Lagos.

The jurors will be hosting a talk about the 2020 Bermuda Biennial on Monday, January 20th at the Bermuda National Gallery at 5.30pm.

The show opens on to the public on Saturday, March 7th.

For further information please contact Eve Godet Thomas, Director of Programming and Engagement at the Bermuda National Gallery at programming@bng.bm or call 295 9428.

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Published Jan 16, 2020 at 2:41 pm (Updated Jan 16, 2020 at 2:41 pm)

National Gallery to host Bermuda Biennial

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