For Community and Campus Audiences
Voices in American Art

Created in support of TJC's mission to increase understanding of the role that Southern art plays in the larger context of our national history, Voices in American Art invites prominent arts professionals from across the country to Spartanburg for annual lectures.
February 28, 2019

VIAA Keynote Speaker

Dr. Tuliza Fleming, Curator of American Art at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), Smithsonian Institution, recently visited Spartanburg as the 2019 Voices in American Art distinguished speaker. The sixth annual edition of the educational series was held on Thursday, February 28 at Chapman Cultural Center in downtown Spartanburg.

Dr. Fleming received her MA and PhD in American art history from the University of Maryland, College Park (1997 and 2007) and her BA from Spelman College (1994). During her tenure at the NMAAHC, she worked to build the museum’s foundational American art collection, and supervised the creation of a collection-based multi-media interactive presentation. She also co-curated the traveling exhibition Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment, curated Clementine Hunter: Life on Melrose Plantation, and served as the lead curator for the museum’s inaugural exhibition Visual Art and the American Experience. Formerly, Dr. Fleming served in the position of Associate Curator and head of the Department of American Art at the Dayton Art Institute in Dayton, Ohio.

Since 1996, Dr. Fleming has curated over twenty exhibitions and workedNMAAHC.jpg and/or consulted for a variety of museums and cultural institutions. Her publications include, “Visual Art and the American Experience: Creating an Art Gallery in a History and Culture Museum,” Art and Public History: Approaches, Opportunities, and Challenges (Rowan and Littlefield, 2017); “Cover Stories: The Fusion of Art and Literature During the Harlem Renaissance,” Dream a World Anew: The African American Experience and The Shaping of America (Smithsonian Books, 2016); “The Convergence of Aesthetics, Politics and Culture: Jeff Donaldson’s Wives of Shango,” AfriCOBRA: Philosophy (The University of Chicago, 2013); “It’s Showtime! The Birth of the Apollo Theater,” Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment (Smithsonian Books, 2010); “The ‘Museum Baby’ Grows Up: Being a Curator of Color in a Monochromatic Art Museum World,” Museum News (July/August 2005); and, Breaking Racial Barriers: African American Portraits in the Harmon Foundation Collection (Pomegranate Press, 1997).

Lifelong Learning

Established in 2014, Voices in American Art brings distinguished arts leaders from important national institutions to Spartanburg for annual presentations. In addition to an evening keynote lecture that is open to the public at no charge, visiting speakers meet with college students for informal master classes on career paths.

The 2018 installment featured Ruth Erickson, Mannion Family Curator at The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, and was held on Thursday, March 1, at AC Hotel Spartanburg. Dr. Erickson's lecture, "Experiments in Art, Education, and Democracy: Black Mountain College 1933-1957," focused on the art and artists of Black Mountain College, the avant-garde interdisciplinary arts enclave that operated in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina between 1933 and 1957.  Previous VIAA speakers include Sylvia Yount, Lawrence A. Fleischman Curator in Charge of the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2017); Jane Panetta, Associate Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Jan Postma, a Spartanburg native and Chief Financial Officer of the Museum of Modern Art (2016); Elizabeth Pochoda, editor of The Magazine Antiques (2015); and in 2014, Sarah Cash, associate curator of American and British paintings at the National Gallery of Art and former Bechhoefer Curator of American Art at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.