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I understand that all it could have taken was the wrong cop to turn the corner. So many things had to go right for me to sit here. It's not 'oh you're more hardworking' or 'you're more intelligent.' It’s like, nah, a lot had to go right. I had to have a lot of support.

Artist Antoine Williams

About this Podcast

Welcome to the Nasher Museum Podcast! This episode features artist Antoine Williams, who was born in Red Springs and lives in Greensboro, N.C., and whose paintings are part of Reckoning and Resilience: North Carolina Art Now. He is in conversation with Dasan Ahanu, a poet and performance artist, cultural organizer, educator, scholar and emcee based in Durham. More episodes will be added  throughout the exhibition, on view through July 10, 2022.

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The transcript is available below.

About Dasan and Antoine

Dasan Ahanu is an award-winning poet and performance artist, cultural organizer, educator, scholar and emcee based in Durham, N.C. He is an Alumni Nasir Jones Fellow at Harvard’s Hip Hop Archive and Research Institute, resident artist at the St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation/Hayti Heritage Center, and visiting lecturer at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He has performed across the country, appeared on national radio and TV, published three books of poetry, been featured in various periodicals and released numerous recordings. He works with organizations and institutions to develop effective arts strategies to enhance their work in the community. He swings a mean pen and represents the SOUTH. — from the artist’s bio

Antoine Williams is an interdisciplinary artist who is heavily influenced by speculative fiction, history and his working-class upbringing in Red Springs, N.C. An artist-educator, Antoine earned a bachelor’s degree in fine art at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and a MFA at UNC Chapel Hill. He helped start the God City Art Collective in Charlotte, where he participated in a number of socially engaged, community-based art projects. He has shown his work at the Mint Museum of Art, Michigan State University, Columbia Museum of Art, Smack Mellon Brooklyn, 21c Museum, Elsewhere Museum, Prizm Art Fair, The McColl Center of Art and Innovation, the California Museum of Photography and more. He has taken part in residencies at The Center for Afrofuturist Studies and The Hambidge Center, and in 2022 is slated to attend the Joan Mitchel Residency in New Orleans. Williams was also a part of the 2021 Drawing Center viewing program. He is also a recipient of the 2017 Joan Mitchell Award for Painters and Sculptors and the 2018 Harpo Foundation Grant Award. His work is in the collection of the Mint Museum and the North Carolina Museum of Art. He’s given talks at Auburn University and UNC-Chapel Hill. Williams is an associate professor of art at Guilford College. — from the artist’s bio

So many, especially so many of the older writers, are like, 'I write a certain amount of time every day.' But my process is very much the same as you talk about the collage. The piece guides me and so I have a lot of started things so that I'm continually progressing, but it's done when it says it’s done. And then the artist in me then edits and massages and makes the decisions and adjustments.

Spoken Word Artist Dasan Ahanu

Podcast Transcript

Dasan Ahanu
My name is Dasan Ahanu and I am a Durham-based, North Carolina born and raised cultural organizer, artist, and educating curator. I’m excited to be here, especially with Antoine. Antoine, if you can introduce yourself?

Antoine Williams
Antoine Williams. I am in Greensboro, but I consider myself from all over the state of North Carolina and I’m an interdisciplinary artist.

Nasher Podcast Team

J Caldwell, staff photographer, videographer, social media manager, Nasher Museum

Wendy Hower, director of engagement & marketing, Nasher Museum

Dani Yan, Duke Class of 2022, marketing intern, Nasher Museum

Organization and Support

This exhibition was organized by the Nasher Museum’s curatorial department: Molly Boarati, associate curator; Adria Gunter, curatorial assistant; Melissa Gwynn, exhibitions and publications manager; Lauren Haynes, Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Senior Curator of Contemporary Art; and Marshall N. Price, Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Chief Curator and Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.

Reckoning and Resilience: North Carolina Art Now is generously supported by Bank of America.

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Additional support provided by the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation; The Duke Endowment; Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family Fund for Exhibitions; Frank Edward Hanscom Endowment Fund; Janine & J. Tomilson Hill Family Fund; J. Horst & Ruth Mary Meyer Fund; John & Anita Schwarz Family Endowment; Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans Foundation; Katie Thorpe Kerr and Terrance I. R. Kerr; Lisa Lowenthal Pruzan and Jonathan Pruzan; and Kelly Braddy Van Winkle and Lance Van Winkle.

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