By Howard Pousner
Atlanta artist Arturo Lindsay will be packing his bags for Cairo in January as part of a new U.S. Department of State and Bronx Museum of the Arts initiative.
smARTpower will send 15 American artists or collaborative teams to 15 countries for up to 45 days to engage in people-to-people diplomacy through the visual arts. The Panama-born Lindsay, who immigrated to New York at age 12 and later became a U.S. citizen, is a Spelman College professor of art and art history.
“This international exchange initiative harnesses the power of the visual arts,” Assistant Secretary of State Ann Stock said in a statement. “smARTpower engages people, especially youth, through visual art to address key issues of the day important to all communities.”
“Lindsay will establish a contemporary art theory and practice workshop that will provide participants with skills to create collaborative and interactive installation and performance works of art based on the concept of ‘bearing witness,’” according to the release. “Inspired by the youth of the Middle East who turned cell phones and social media into community building tools, the project will document extraordinary experiences in the lives of ordinary people.”
Following his trip, Lindsay plans to create an exchange between the Egyptian youth and students and emerging artists in Atlanta.
The Egyptian partner organization for Lindsay’s project is Medrar for Contemporary Art, which works with and supports young emerging artists in Egypt and encourages cross-cultural dialogue.