RING THE ALARM Returns on March 5, 2021

An Online Conversation

with Renee Cox and Shinique Smith

February 18, 2021Guild Hall announced today the continuation of the popular online program RING THE ALARM with a conversation between Renee Cox and Shinique Smith. This free program will be held on Zoom on Friday, March 5, 2021 at 6pm EST. The series, which began in 2020, is inspired by a forthcoming Guild Hall exhibition of black artists that Renee Cox, a new member of Guild Hall’s Academy of the Arts, will be co-curating for the summer of 2023. Previous conversations with Cox included Derrick Adams and Sanford Biggers, focused on empowerment, the black experience, and issues of contemporary life.


“I am very touched and honored to be part of the Guild Hall Academy.  I look forward to a great year of conversations on Ring the Alarm, exposing the Museum to a wider and more diverse audience,” said Renee Cox.


Guild Hall is thrilled to include Shinique Smith in this series. Shinique is a Los Angeles-based painter and sculptor known for her monumental abstractions of calligraphy, textiles, and collages. Smith’s personal histories and belongings intertwine with thoughts of the vast nature of “things” that we consume and discard and how objects resonate on an intimate and social scale. Over the last twenty years, Smith has gleaned visual poetry from vintage clothing and explored concepts of ritual through tying, writing and gestures inspired by her travels and her early graffiti roots in Baltimore. Through her process, Smith builds a complex material vocabulary that deftly interweaves brushstrokes, private narratives, and symbolism for the viewer to divine and intuit. Smith’s practice operates at the convergence of consumption, displacement and spiritual sanctuary, revealing connections across space, time, and place to suggest the possibility of constructing worlds renewed by hopeful delight.

“Guild Hall is very excited to present this first installment of Ring the Alarm for 2021. We believe now more than ever that the need for open dialogue on art, race and politics is timely and something that we as a community at large need to engage in more. The response to the first two talks with Derrick Adams and Sanford Biggers was truly inspiring and we plan to continue this series of conversations leading up to the 2023 summer exhibition that Renee Cox will guest curate,” noted Christina Strassfield, Museum Director/Chief Curator.


Renee Cox was born in Colgate, Jamaica in 1970. She received her BA from Syracuse University, (Syracuse, NY) and MFA from the School of Visual Arts, (New York, NY). Cox was a participant in the Whitney Museum of American Art, Independent Study Program, (New York, NY). Her work has been included in solo and group exhibitions at prominent institutions to include Tate Liverpool (Liverpool, UK), The New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York, NY), Brooklyn Museum (Brooklyn, NY), and Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) and the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY) to name a few. She received the Artists Fellowship Award, New York Foundations for the Arts, The MacDowell Colony, (Petersborough, NY) and the Aaron Matalon Award, The National Gallery of Jamaica (Kingston, Jamaica) among others. She is an associate professor at Columbia University and has lectured at Yale College of Art (New Haven, CT), New York University (New York, NY) and Parsons School of Design (New York, NY) to name a few. She lives and works in Manhattan and Amagansett.


For more than a decade artist Shinique Smith has extracted visual poetry from vintage clothing, fabrics and found objects – items that exist in the realm of what we call belongings, to highlight how we as a society identify ourselves and build worlds through what consume and discard. Smith has built a complex abstract vocabulary that deftly interweaves the energy of her broad calligraphic strokes with private narratives, memories and symbolism that she intuits within the materials and the world around her. She has exhibited over 20 solo presentations at institutions such as California African American Museum, The Frist Center, MOCA North Miami, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Studio Museum in Harlem. Her exuberant works are featured in many prestigious collections including Baltimore Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Museum, Denver Art Museum, Minneapolis Art Institute, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Whitney Museum. In 2020, Smith was awarded a Tufts Alumni Travel Fellowship and she has also received awards from Joan Mitchell Foundation Tiffany Foundation and Anonymous Was a Woman among others. Smith earned her BFA and MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art where she was also awarded the Alumni Medal of Honor.


This program is free of charge and participants can register on guildhall.org.


Ring the Alarm Media Partner: The Cerebral Woman

Museum Programming supported in part by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, an anonymous donor, Crozier Fine Arts, and funding from The Michael Lynne Museum Endowment, and The Melville Straus Family Endowment 
Free admission is generously funded by Dime Community Bank and Landscape Details.  


Guild Hall, one of the first multidisciplinary centers in the country to combine a museum, theater, and education space under one roof, was established in 1931 as a gathering place for community where an appreciation for the arts would serve to encourage greater civic
participation. For nine decades, Guild Hall has embraced this open-minded vision and provided a welcoming environment for the public to engage with art exhibitions, performances,and educational offerings. Art and artists have long been the engine of Guild Hall’s activities and the institution continues to find innovative ways to support creativity in everyone.

For more information about this and other programs, visit www.guildhall.org.




AAQ / Resource: Water Mill Building Supply