Around this time last year, I was files-deep into curatorial research and writing at the Museum of Art + Design, NYC, alongside Curator Lowery Stokes Sims, working on this super-cool, new exhibition that she was in the process of shaping.
The Global Africa Project was going to be major, she said, and I didn't doubt her one bit: I had already gone through thick piles of papers on art-world superstars like Kehinde Wiley, Esther Mahlangu and other wow-inducing visual artists who were definitely going to be in the show, and each day we kept digging up more information on stellar artists to include.
In my digging one evening, I happened upon the Alice Yard file and got excited and giddy with glee - this was an innovative contemporary initiative from Trinidad, and I'm from Trinidad! I suddenly felt like waving any red, white and black object I could find.
I knew Lowery was all agog over visual artist Christopher Cozier's work, and she also seemed very curious about Marlon Darbeau's designs ("Oooh - I don't know what the hell this rocking circle thing is, but it's cool!" she'd say), but I had no idea she was thinking of transposing the entire Alice Yard into the show as well...
Like the 'curators' and organizers of the yard, Lowery saw something unique, something special in their modern West Indian vernacular and in their explorations of contemporary design issues. The fact that the yard itself was also a work in progress didn't escape her; for the exhibition of their work to be meaningful, it had to be shown in the right context. Which was, of course, a context that involved the yard.