Prospect New Orleans Celebrates 10 Years!

ProsPect.1 Map and Guide, 2008

ProsPect.1 Map and Guide, 2008

Leandro Erlich, 'Window and Ladder – Too Late for Help', 2008.

Leandro Erlich, 'Window and Ladder – Too Late for Help', 2008.

A Letter from our Executive Director:


It’s so tempting to become consumed by the daily tasks required to produce a major triennial like Prospect that we can forget the importance of perspective. This week marks the tenth anniversary of Prospect.1 in 2008, the exhibition that launched us. Prospect.1 now occupies a very significant place in contemporary art history. The projects were truly ambitious and P.1 artists were essentially forced to acknowledge a scarred, resilient local landscape as a frame for their thinking. 

Mark Bradford.  Mithra , 2008.

Mark Bradford. Mithra, 2008.

Here at Prospect, we will spend the week celebrating our tenth anniversary with a series of social media posts commemorating our history. Amazingly, Prospect is now the longest-running US biennial or triennial that activates the entire city as its campus. We also have an incredible group of alumni artists that has exhibited such eagerness to make artwork in and about New Orleans. Ultimately, a celebration of Prospect’s history is a celebration of these artists.

This moment is also a celebration of our future. P.5 Artistic co-Directors. Naima Keith and Diana Nawi are the first women curators of Prospect and the first team to assume the role. We are forging new relationships, collaborations, and partnerships. New Orleans is not the same city it was in 2008, and our mandate is to be responsive and to approach the city with eyes wide open. Almost everyone I speak to who knows of Prospect has their own unique Prospect story. Throughout this week, we’d like to invite you to share your Prospect stories with us on social media and to thank you for being part of our ten-year history.


Nick Stillman

Executive Director, Prospect New Orleans




NEW ORLEANS, La.—The fourth iteration of Prospect New Orleans’ international contemporary art triennial, Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp, closed in February of 2018 after four months of record-breaking  attendance by over 100,000 visitors. Prospect New Orleans Executive Director Nick Stillman and the Board of Trustees recently announced that Naima J. Keith, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the California African American Museum (CAAM), and Los Angeles-based independent curator Diana Nawi will co-curate Prospect.5, which is slated to open in the fall of 2020.

“I’m honored to work with Naima and Diana to build on Prospect’s past successes to create a significant global exhibition rooted firmly within the context of the city of New Orleans,” said Stillman. “This marks the 10-year anniversary since the initial Prospect exhibition, a huge accomplishment. Large-scale, place-based, recurring exhibitions like Prospect amplify culturally significant places like New Orleans. Naima and Diana are thoughtful and daring curators with an exciting rapport and history of working together. I couldn't think of better partners to create the P.5 exhibition.”

Stillman, former President & CEO of the Arts Council of New Orleans, was appointed as Executive Director of Prospect New Orleans at the close of Prospect.4, succeeding Interim Director Ylva Rouse.

Keith and Nawi are both based in Los Angeles and have a longstanding collaborative relationship; most recently Nawi organized the exhibition Adler Guerrier: Conditions and Forms for blck Longevity (2018) at the California African American Museum.

“Naima and Diana are established curators with unique perspectives on New Orleans and its many historical and cultural connections to the Global South,” said Chris Alfieri, Prospect New Orleans President and Board Chair. “Collaboration has been the model for Prospect since it began, so it’s no surprise that we have chosen dual artistic directors who bring diverse backgrounds and viewpoints to their curatorial partnership. We are eager to bring their collective vision for P.5 and New Orleans to the world in 2020.”

Naima Keith, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the California African American Museum

Naima Keith, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the California African American Museum

In her role at CAAM, Keith organizes exhibitions and builds the collection, as well as guides the curatorial and education departments, and marketing and communications. Prior to joining CAAM in 2016, she was Associate Curator at The Studio Museum in Harlem. Recent exhibitions include Nicole Miller: Athens, California (2018), Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle: The Evanesced (2017), Genevieve Gaignard: Smell the Roses (2016), Rodney McMillian: Views of Main Street (2016), Artists in Residence 2014–2015 (2015), Samuel Levi Jones: Unbound (2015), Titus Kaphar (2014), Glenn Kaino (2014), Robert Pruitt (2013), The Shadows Took Shape (co-curated with Zoe Whitley, 2013), and Fore (co-curated with Lauren Haynes and Thomas J. Lax, 2012). Her historical survey, Charles Gaines: Gridwork 1974–1989 (2014), traveled to the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles spring 2015 and was nominated in 2014 for a "Best Monographic Museum Show in New York" award by the International Association of Art Critics (AICA-USA). She has lectured at the Zoma Contemporary Art Center, Columbia University, The Museum of Modern Art, LACMA, USC, MCA Denver, and Brooklyn Museum. Her essays have been featured in publications for The Studio Museum in Harlem, Hammer Museum, Pérez Art Museum Miami, LAXART, MoMA PS1, and NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art. Keith holds degrees from Spelman College and UCLA and is a proud native of Los Angeles. She is the 2018 ArtTable New Leadership Awardee and the 2017 recipient of the David C. Driskell Prize in recognition of her contributions to the field of African American art history.

“Following the successes of the first four installments of Prospect New Orleans, I am honored to be invited to serve as co-Artistic Director of Prospect 5. I am thrilled to embark on the journey of engaging the magnificent people and city of New Orleans, as well as visitors to New Orleans from across the country and around the world.”

Diana Nawi, Independent curator

Diana Nawi, Independent curator

Prior to her work as an independent curator, Nawi was Associate Curator at Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) for five years, where she organized major survey exhibitions and published accompanying catalogues including John Dunkley: Neither Day nor Night (2017), which is traveling to the National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston, and the American Folk Art Museum, New York; Nari Ward: Sun Splashed (2015), which traveled to the Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, and the Institute for Contemporary Art, Boston; and Adler Guerrier: Formulating a Plot (2014). She also organized projects including Haroon Mirza: A C I D G E S T (2017), John Akomfrah: Tropikos (2017), Matthew Ronay: When Two Are in One (2016), SUPERFLEX: Kwassa Kwassa (2016), Iman Issa: Heritage Studies (2015), Shana Lutker: Again Against, A Foot, A Back, A Wall (2015), Nicole Cherubini: 500 (2014), Yael Bartana: Inferno (2013), Bouchra Khalili: Speeches - Chapter 3: Living Labour (2013), and LOS JAICHACKERS: Night Shade/ Solanaceae (Julio César Morales and Eamon Ore-Giron; 2013). Prior to joining PAMM, Nawi worked as an assistant curator on the Abu Dhabi Project of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and served as a fellow at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams. Nawi's writing has appeared in publications for the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Marrakech Biennial, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Museum Villa Stuck, National Gallery of Jamaica, New Museum, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Studio Museum in Harlem, among others. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her masters from the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.

“I am delighted to be collaborating on this esteemed project as it continues to grow and evolve alongside this dynamic city. I look forward to engaging with the rich and complex specificity of New Orleans as we work with artists to research and develop new projects and collectively consider this critical moment.”

Prospect.5 will open in the fall of 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana.


Prospect.4: One for the Books!

Dear Friends,

Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp came to a close on February 25, 2018. The P.4 Team, and Artistic Director, Trevor Schoonmaker would like to thank all who supported this last iteration of the Prospect Triennial, especially the City of New Orleans and those who call this great city home, as well as out-of-town guests, venue and community partners, P.4 Prospectors, P.4 Ambassadors, and all of our sponsors and funders without whom we would not have had the overwhelming success that was P.4! Most importantly, we would like to thank and give a huge congratulations to our 73 P.4 artists and collectives! 

This iteration of the exhibition, one of our largest ever, attracted more than 100,000 visitors. Click HERE to check out a full media-recap of P.4. Thank you all for helping us paint the Crescent City Prospect pink! 

We are already gearing up for P.5 which will take place fall of 2020. We are elated to announce P.5 Artistic Director very soon to all of you!

Thumbnail Image: Kara Walker's Katastwóf Karavan on Algiers Point. Photograph by Miguel Luciano

Slideshow Images: P.4 Highlights by Jay Cadwell