Art At Noon

Arts Criticism and John Rhoden

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General Public
Lori Waselchuk
image of collaged old and discolored newspaper clippings and an old typewritten note.

John Rhoden was an accomplished, world-traveled artist, but is underrecognized in American art history.  While coverage of his art, awards, and travels in international press and in leading Black magazines and newspapers made him well-known to several international and domestic general audiences, critical reviews of his exhibitions were rare. Join curators Brittany Webb and TK Smith as they consider how the press coverage and arts criticism impacted the careers of artists like John Rhoden and the careers of artists today.

The Art At Noon lectures are supported by the Lefkoe family, in memory of a beloved member of the docent corps, Mildred T. Lefkoe. 

Bio photo of TK Smith, a dark-skinned man with a chin beard, wearing black-framed glasses and a white hoodie. He looks like he is sitting in afternoon sunlight.

TK Smith is a curator, writer, and cultural historian. Currently, he is a doctoral student in the History of American Civilization program at the University of Delaware, where he researches art, material culture, and the built environment. He received his Master of Arts in American Studies and his Bachelor of Arts in English and African American Studies, with a certificate in Creative Writing from Saint Louis University. He has written for Art in America, the Brooklyn Rail, and ART PAPERS, where he is a contributing editor. In 2021, he was invited to be the inaugural writer-in-residence at the Vashon Artist Residency. In 2022, he was a recipient of an Andy Warhol Writers Grant for short form writing. Smith was Monument Lab’s 2022-2023 writer-in-residence. Most recently, Smith completed a curatorial residency on behalf of the Barnes Foundation at Yinka Shonibare’s G.A.S. Residency in Lagos, Nigeria.

Bio photo of Brittany Webb, a light-skinned person with braided hair pulled up into a bun on the top of their head. Brittany is wearing dark-framed glasses, a white blouse, and dark cardigan. Brittany is standing in front of relief sculptures.

Dr. Brittany Webb's most recent exhibition, Determined to Be: The Sculpture of John Rhoden, is a retrospective featuring 70 sculptures by artist John Rhoden (1916-2001) and is on view at PAFA through April 7, 2024. Before joining PAFA, Webb was a member of the curatorial staff of the African American Museum in Philadelphia. She holds a Ph.D. from Temple University and from the University of Southern California.