Farrell: Even though overseeing the exhibition program at the SCAD Museum is a new area of responsibility for me (in addition to running SCAD’s eighteen galleries in Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia; Lacoste, France and Hong Kong), I have advised on the acquisition of works by artists Nicholas Hlobo, Yinka Shonibare MBE, Abrie Fourie, Youssef Nabil, Wangechi Mutu and Zander Blom (listed chronologically) for our permanent collection. While a few of these acquisitions were outright purchases, others were donations, or gifts from artists in exchange for commissioning and producing new work. SCAD has state of the art printmaking, photography, fibers, sculpture, and film and television facilities that are made available to invited artists willing to participate in educational activities with students. Museums may find that partnering with art and design institutions may serve great mutual benefit to visiting artists and students. SCAD’s collection is by no means encyclopedic, but we do hope to grow the collection in specific areas as the Museum building is expanding to nearly 65,000 square feet (due to open later this year).
As a related tangent, in October 1999 The Museum for African Art hosted a panel discussion in conjunction with the Liberated Voices: Contemporary Art from South Africa exhibition. The panelist included artists Mbongeni Richman Buthelezi, Samson Mnisi, Brett Murray and was moderated by Frank Herreman. Near the end of the session an audience member posed the question, “If the Metropolitan Museum could acquire one work from each artist on this panel where would they like to see their work exhibited? In the galleries dedicated to African art, or 20th century art?” Without hesitation the artists responded that their work absolutely belonged in the 20th century galleries. Granted these responses were given more than eleven years ago it remains a professional courtesy to consult with artists when possible and deemed appropriate.