Prospect.4 Impact Overview
From the large turnout for the Opening Weekend Celebrations, with more than 2000 visitors from all across the globe, including 27 museum and foundation groups, and many more art world colleagues; to the Closing with the much-anticipated Kara Walker presentation, that brought additional museum and foundation groups and colleagues; the participation during the run of the exhibition met and exceeded our expectations, surpassing well over the 100,000 visitors.
Prospect was pleased to once again welcome several student groups from art programs at universities from around the country -- groups from Princeton University and University of Alabama among many others --for tours of the P.4 exhibition, artist lectures, and artist-led workshops which, together with the local education and public programs, helped us fulfill our educational mission.
In addition, a special course at Tulane University dedicated to Prospect; a lecture series with Prospect.4 artists at Loyola University; and the employment of several students from Xavier University as project assistants furthered Prospect’s close relationship with the arts departments of the city’s universities and colleges.
Taking into consideration the city’s Tricentennial celebration in 2018 and New Orleans’ strategic location on the Gulf of Mexico, Prospect.4 directed a strong focus southward. The exhibition placed emphasis on connections with art and artists from the Caribbean, Latin America, Native America, Africa, and the European powers (France, Spain and Great Britain) that colonized the region. Although previous iterations have always had ample representation of the Americas, Schoonmaker’s vision positioned Prospect as among the preeminent recurring contemporary art events of and about the Global South, in addition to the Sao Paulo and Havana Biennials.
Prospect.4 was one of the most diverse exhibitions in the country, with 73 participating artists representing 25 countries. 10% of participating artists were local. Many of the projects intentionally weaved historical references into contemporary issues, converging past with present, speaking to how New Orleans history and present offer opportunities and examples of how we can positively respond to the challenges of our time.
The P.4 Press Junket featured an extraordinary group of critics for opening weekend from both art journals and general press. We are particularly proud of Prospect’s contribution to the successful marketing of New Orleans in the Tricentennial year, with the impressive number of articles promoting visiting New Orleans with Prospect.4 as a major attraction. Please see the attached 270-page media recap which can also be viewed and downloaded here.
This represents by far Prospect’s biggest presence in the media thus far, a result both of an investment in a marketing and public relations team (helmed locally by Bond Moroch) as well as simply the function of an increased profile locally, nationally, and internationally.
For the fourth iteration of the Prospect triennial, Prospect New Orleans published an accompanying catalogue. The publication features more than 150 color illustrations of works by all 73 artists and arts collectives and essays by P.4 Artistic Director Trevor Schoonmaker, author Ned Sublette, and curator Miranda Lash. Prospect alumni artists William Cordova, Wangechi Mutu, and Ebony G. Patterson contributed with illustrations and artwork and more than 40 local, national, and international curators and writers contributed to the artist pages, furthering our aim to support and engage young curators and thinkers.