Lance L. Smith: In the Interest of Action
An exploration of diasporic systems of knowledge and their uses as tools for liberation.
November 9, 2020 to February 19, 2021
Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art
The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art and the Womxn of Color Arts Festival are proud to present In the Interest of Action, an installation of recent artworks by Las Vegas artist Lance L. Smith. With this exhibition, Smith introduces us to a new aspect of their practice by including video and audio pieces as well as the prints and mixed media paintings and drawings for which they are already known.
Work on the drawings and prints began while Smith was a resident artist at the Arquetopia International Artist Residency in Puebla, Mexico. Undeterred when the residency was struck by the pandemic shutdown in early 2020, the artist developed their creative process into an extended meditation on diasporic systems of knowledge and their uses as modalities of liberation.
The work in Interest of Action is characterized by — in Smith’s words — “The pouring, throwing, and concealing of liberatory practices.” Images of motioning hands are accompanied by intimate depictions of elemental objects that suggest light, growth, and endurance. A mixed media study of the medicinal Ipomoea purga vine hangs near sixteen drawings of cowrie shells, important tools of currency, adornment, and reflection whose cultural significance has spread around the globe.
Musing on the importance of “the hands’ place as a tool of creation and extermination,” the artist points out that a hand “can craft one's deliverance or be complacent in developing one's destruction.”
In the Interest of Action is part of a new partnership between the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art and the Womxn of Color Arts Festival, a curatorial collaboration that uses exhibitions and other art events to call attention to the underrecognized work of womxn artists of color in Las Vegas and beyond. The presentation includes an essay about the artist by Francisco Jose Guevara, Co-Founder, Co-Executive Director, and Programs Curator of the Arquetopia International Artist Residency. The exhibition runs from November 9, 2020, to February 19, 2021. Entry to the museum is free. Please see the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art website to read our safety guidelines and make a timed reservation before you visit.
The Museum would like to thank the Arquetopia International Artist Residency, The Rogers Foundation, Desert Art Supplies, and the Las Vegas Womxn of Color Arts Festival, for making this exhibition possible. The artist would like to thank Mark N. Rauls, Robert M. Macnamara Foundation, Francisco Guevara, Nayeli Hernández, Emmanuel Ortega Rodríguez, Ryan Reid, RC Wonderly, Uri Vaknin, Chloe Bernardo, Paige Bockman, Dan Hernandez, LeiAnn Huddleston, Alisha Kerlin, Emmanuel Muñoz, and DK Sole.
Support for this exhibition is provided by the WESTAF Regional Arts Resilience Fund which was established as part of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s COVID-19 response to sustain the arts and humanities.