Carrie Mae Weems – Falk Visiting Artist

February 7, 2019 – 7:00 pm – Elliott University Center Auditorium

This event is free. No ticket required.


Through image and text, film and performance, and her many convenings with individuals across a multitude of disciplines, Carrie Mae Weems has created a complex body of work that centers on her overarching commitment to helping us better understand our present moment by examining our collective past. 

Through projects like Operation: Activate, an anti-violence public art campaign, Weems has taken a stand against violence and the perpetuation of a failing system in her Syracuse community.  In 2012 Weems established Institute of Sound and Style, a non-profit summer school program also in Syracuse, New York, the pays students (ages 15-21) from lower income families a stipend to learn skills for careers in the arts, music and fashion industries.

With her recent performance, Grace Notes: Reflections for Now, Weems has moved onto the live stage presenting a work that combines text, video, & photography, along with music, spoken word and dance.  The piece pays tribute to the Emanuel 9, and to the many young black men who’ve lost their lives during this period of escalating violence more specifically; the performance considers the role of grace in the pursuit of democracy.  Commissioned in 2016 Grace Notes premiered at the Spoleto Festival, has been presented at Yale University Theater, and will be presented in the fall of 2017 at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Weems has received a multitude of awards, grants, and fellowships including the MacArthur “Genius” grant; US Department of State’s Medals of Arts; Joseph H. Hazen Rome Prize Fellowship from the American Academy in Rome; the National Endowment of the Arts; and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, among many others.

Major solo exhibitions of Carrie’s work include Carrie Mae Weems: The Museum Series, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2014), and Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, and traveled to: Portland Art Museum, Oregon; Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio; Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Stanford University; Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2012 – 2014.

She is represented in public and private collections around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Tate Modern, London, England; the Museum of Modern Art, NY and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Weems is currently Artist in Residence at the Park Avenue Armory, NYC and Professional in Residence at Louisiana State University Baton Rouge under the prestigious Nadine Carter Russell Endowed Chair.  She lives in Syracuse, New York with her husband Jeffrey Hoone who is Executive Director of Light Work.

Weems is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.


“Weems has long been one of our most effective visual and verbal rhetoricians. When she tackles complex subjects in complex ways, the results are…deeply stirring.”

Holland Cotter, The New York Times

Dazed and confused by the possibilities of life, Catwoman turns to a friend and says: ‘What am I going to do with my life?’ and the friend replies, ‘Well you could always be an artist like Carrie Mae Weems’

Halle Berry as Catwoman

“…one of the most honored American artists of her generation.” “Weems asks inconvenient questions and comes up with unwelcome answers. For that alone, no contemporary artist’s work is more important.”

David Bonetti, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“One of the more interesting artists working in the gap between art and politics.”

Roberta Smith, The New York Times

“…it is Weems’s conviction that radicalism and beauty are complementary, not antithetical, that gives her work its distinctive edge.”

“…Weems positions herself as history’s ghost….”

Ernest Larson, Art in America

Nancy Princethal, Art In America

“Weems’s focus on masking and facades underscores the notion that social hierarchies result from a differential relations of power, not birthright.”

Susan Cahan, “Carrie Mae Weems: Reflecting Louisiana

“Her work speaks to human experience and of the multiple aspects of individual identity, arriving at a deeper understanding of humanity.”

Mary Jane Jacobs, “Ritual and Revolution”