The Play I Had to Write About the Murder That Haunted Me

To Forget Is to Remain Trapped in Purgatory, but Reimagining Horror Can Bring Catharsis

Mary Turner.

That name is forever etched into my memory … into my existence, as an artist, a writer, a woman, a mother, a human being.

On May 19, 1918, in Valdosta, Georgia, Mary Turner and a group of black men were killed in a mob-driven manhunt. Hampton Smith, a white landowner, known for being a harsh boss to his Negro employees, was shot and killed by a young black man named Sidney Johnson. Because they had met Sidney at their home, the crime was linked to Hayes and Mary …

What Saudi Arabia’s Vibrant Art Scene Says About Its Internal Struggles

Artists Are Using Ambiguity to Probe the Fault Line Between Modernity and Conservative Islam

When I first saw Ajlan Gharem’s video, “Paradise Has Many Gates,” at an art studio in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, I was amazed.

It opens with a small single-story structure made …

Empathy’s Evolution in the Human Imagination

What Began as an Aesthetic Response to Art Is Now a Highly Complex Neurochemical Reaction

Empathy seems to be one of the most “natural” emotions, but before 1908, no one in the English-speaking world had heard of it.

And when it did appear, “empathy” was …

Our Exhibition Embraced Selfies, Snapchat, and Shopping Malls—and Went Viral

In the Overheated Art World, Social Media Give Millennials New Tools For Engagement

Even a few years ago, galleries and museums that showcased their collections via Instagram were a minority. Now Instagram is ubiquitous. Cellphone cameras have officially replaced sketching among museum-goers. …

Dancing in New Orleans to Overcome Division

A Crescent City Transplant Creates a Diverse Non-Profit, and Finds a New Home

Five years ago, I moved from New York to New Orleans. The reasons included a need to escape from the New York grind, a lover’s terminal brain cancer, and a …