ARTTABLE VIRTUAL BENEFIT
Annual Event Honored Barbara Tober and La Tanya S. Autry
Culminates 40th Anniversary Celebrating Women in the Arts
Monday April 16, 2021
Laureen Haynes, Wassan Al-Khudairi, Jami Powell, and Erin Christovale
A Message From The Guerilla Girls
ArtTable, the foremost organization dedicated to the advancement of women in the arts, honored philanthropist Barbara Tober and cultural organizer La Tanya S. Autry at a virtual benefit celebrating 40 years of advancing leadership of women in the visual arts. Hosted by Jessica L. Porter, ArtTable’s Lila Harnett Executive Director, who declared “ArtTable has always been a platform to collectively envision and then make possible a better art world, an art world that is just, equitable, sustainable, and relevant."
The event raised over $200,000 and hosted more than 200 guests. Beginning as a small, informal group of professional women in the arts, ArtTable has grown to a national network of over 1,200 women with chapters across the country and members worldwide, together fostering a stronger future for all women in the arts. This event saw so many women from high positions in the art world nationally speaking of the importance of ArtTable.
ArtTable’s 2021 Distinguished Service to the Visual Arts Award was presented to Barbara Tober, chairman emerita of New York's Museum of Art and Design (MAD). Artist Michele Oka Doner asked Tober, "You've been generous, you've had multiple careers, you've danced on the dance floor of life, what do you think about what you've built at the Museum of Arts and Design and others you've worked with?". "Education is terribly important. MAD puts an emphasis on this", said Tober "In philanthropy you have to settle on what you're most interested in; for me it's young artists. Anything where someone is just starting out and they need that extra push to get going. Buy their art. Help them sell it. Put it in your museum. I do what I can to make a difference in their life."
La Tanya S. Autry was presented ArtTable's 2021 New Leadership Award for curatorial work and for co-creating The Art of Black Dissent, an interactive program promoting public discussion about the Black liberation struggle and co-producing #MuseumsAreNotNeutral, an initiative that calls for an equity-based transformation of museums. "Without justice, there can be no love", Autry said quoting Bell Hooks, "Aligning my curatorial work with my social justice movement received some resistance from institutions feeling they shouldn't be political. I was done with this narrative and created the #MuseumsAreNotNeutral campaign".
The event also saluted the 2020 ArtTable awardees, bringing to a close the 40th Anniversary observances disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. ArtTable acknowledged 2020 recipient Susan Unterberg, photographer and founder of Anonymous Was a Woman, along with four anniversary New Leadership Awardees: Wassan Al-Khudhairi, Chief Curator, Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis; Erin Christovale, Associate Curator, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Lauren Haynes, Director of Artists Initiatives and Curator, Contemporary Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas; and Jami Powell, Associate Curator of Native American Art, Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, New Hampshire. Find more information on the 2020 Awardees here.
The 2021 benefit also debuted a set of exclusive limited editions supporting ArtTable’s mission and programming, including a Philanthropy Is Beautiful bracelet by Joan Hornig; a scarf produced by Alice Riot celebrating 25 years of Anonymous Was a Woman; and two untitled prints by New York City artist Sara Sosnowy.