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Virtual | Equity & Representation in Contemporary Art – A Panel Discussion for Black History Month

February 25, 2021 | 12:00 pm

12pm ET | 11am CT | 9am PT

Over the course of time in America, large swaths of art history have been omitted, erased, or ignored. This absence has created a significant void in the narrative around how people of African descent and people of color have contributed to the artistic canon.

The impact presents significant disadvantages for artists of color. From artists that have difficulty gaining representation, to art historians overlooking Black and Brown artists’ contributions, to collectors that do not have access to works they would like to acquire, the playing field has never been level. Bias shows up in art schools, in institutions, in hiring practices, in the primary and secondary art market, and in the critical voices that influence all of the above.

Recent news of high-profile curatorial appointments are a move in the right direction. However, there is significant work that remains to be done. What kind of new and inclusive art world can we as art professionals help to create ?

Join us for this interactive session on a very timely and important topic. The discussion will address questions surrounding this subject including:

  • What are the barriers to equity and representation and how can we, as leaders, make a difference toward that goal?
  • What does it feel like to be an “outsider” in the art world?
  • Why does diversity and representation matter?
  • How can institutions and art spaces be more accessible to all?
  • Black art is “hot” right now. Why?
  • How does diversity in art help us to understand each other in a complex multicultural society?

Panel Participants:

  • June Edmonds, Award-Winning Artist, Los Angeles, CA
  • Chela Mitchell, Art Advisor and Founder of Komuna House Global Arts Club, New York, NY
  • Dr. Kimberli Gant, McKinnon Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art at the Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA
  • Moderated by Lynne Toye, Founder of Art Unpacked, New York, NY

Please join us after the discussion for 10-15 minutes of virtual networking in Zoom Breakout Rooms! In pre-pandemic times, ArtTable programs were a time for members and non-members to connect with old friends and meet new people, and we aim to simulate that in the virtual realm!


  • Non-Members – $15
  • ArtTable Members – $10
  • ArtTable Circle Members – Free

Not a member? Join today!

Can’t make the program at this time? Register anyway to receive a recording after!

How to take part:

  1. Click here to Register for this program.
  2. Following registration you will receive call-in information in the form of a ZOOM link.
  3. Before joining a Zoom meeting on a computer or mobile device, you can download the Zoom app from the Download Center and select the “Zoom Client for Meetings” option. Alternatively, you will be prompted to download and install Zoom when you click a join link.
  4. For further instruction on how to use Zoom, see here.

Accessibility: Please note that this program will offer live closed captioning. If you require additional accommodations, please email

About the Speakers

June Edmonds was born in Los Angeles, where she lives and works. Edmonds received her MFA from Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, and a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University. She also attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and is the recipient of the inaugural prestigious 2020 AWARE Prize, which recognizes an outstanding solo presentation of work by a female artist at the Armory Show. Edmonds is also the 2020 Harpo Foundation Grant recipient and a recipient of the 2018 City of Los Angeles Individual Artist Grant (COLA). She attended the Paducah A.I.R. residency in Kentucky in 2017 and is slated to go to Vermont Studio Center Residency in 2021 or 2022. Edmonds uses abstract painting to explore how color, pattern, repetition, movement and balance can serve as conduits to spiritual contemplation and interpersonal connection. She has exhibited nationally and has completed several works of public art with the city of Los Angeles and the Department of Cultural Affairs, including an installation at the MTA Pacific Station in Long Beach, CA. Her paintings are held in collections throughout the United States including the California African American Museum, Los Angeles and the Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, Amherst, MA.

Kimberli Gant, PhD is the McKinnon Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art at the Chrysler Museum. She has held curatorial positions at the Newark Museum, The Contemporary Austin, and the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan
Art. She has curated numerous exhibitions including Brendan Fernandes: Bodily Forms, Multiple Modernisms, Wondrous Worlds: Art & Islam through Time & Place, and De-Luxe. Kimberli holds Art History degrees from the University of Texas Austin, Columbia University, and Pitzer College.


Chela Mitchell is an art advisor at CMA, a firm committed to helping collectors build diverse art collections. Chela has worked with some influential institutions, corporations and art collectors, informing their acquisitions in the emerging, mid-career and established markets. Chela has become a voice for change in the art world, actively fighting for equity of artists and art professionals. This work inspired the creation of Komuna, a global arts club with a special focus on artists and people of color.

Before devoting herself fulltime to the art world, Chela worked as a fashion stylist at Net-a-Porter, Barney’s, Intermix and Vogue Japan. She has worked closely with artists like Solange, Iman Omari and Young Paris.

Chela has been featured in Forbes, The Los Angeles Times, ArtNews, Artnet News, NR Magazine and 10 Magazine. She is a proud graduate of Rutgers University and lives in Manhattan with her husband, daughter and French mastiff, Harlem.

Lynne Toye is a curator, change agent, and artist advocate building a community of support for artists of color. She is focused on educating and cultivating new collectors and forming strategic alliances with stakeholders in the art market. She founded Art Unpacked in 2020 to provide access to the art market through curated events, lectures, studio visits and salons. She is on the African American Culture Committee of the Montclair Art Museum and also currently serves as the Chief Administrative Officer at Harlem School of the Arts. Lynne holds degrees from the University of Virginia and the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

Thank you to Lynne Toye for organizing this program exclusively for ArtTable.


  1. June Edmonds
  2. Dr. Kimberli Gant
  3. Chela Mitchell
  4. Lynne Toye


February 25, 2021
12:00 pm
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ArtTable National



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