Parrish Art Museum Receives NEA Grant for ‘Tomashi Jackson: The Land Claim’

Tomashi Jackson in her studio, Photo: Christopher Gregory
Tomashi Jackson in her studio, Photo: Christopher Gregory

The Parrish Art Museum has long served as a center for cultural engagement that fosters connections between the East End community, art and a diverse roster of artists. When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the institution to close the Parrish’s doors, its leaders were quick to rethink their programming and begin offering expansive online content. Seeking to support and promote their commitment to the arts during this time, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) recently approved a $25,000 grant for the Parrish’s upcoming 2020 Platform project Tomashi Jackson: The Land Claim, which will shine a light on the historic and contemporary lived experiences of Black, Latinx and Indigenous East End families.

“These awards demonstrate the resilience of the arts in America, showcasing not only the creativity of their arts projects but the organizations’ agility in the face of a national health crisis,” NEA Chairman Mary Anne Carter explained in a statement. “We celebrate organizations like the Parrish Art Museum for providing opportunities for learning and engagement through the arts in these times.”

Organized by Senior Curator of ArtsReach and Special Projects Corinne Erni, the exhibition of Jackson’s powerful work will reflect on how issues of housing, transportation, livelihood, migration and agriculture link the Black, Latinx and Indigenous communities in the Hamptons and on the North Fork. To portray these experiences with the utmost accuracy and authenticity, Jackson met with historians and community stakeholders from OLA of Eastern Long Island, Eastville Community Historical Society, Bridgehampton Child Care & Recreational Center and the Shinnecock Nation earlier this year.

Tomashi Jackson: The Land Claim, part of the Parrish’s annual Platform series, was originally slated to open in July, but it has been reworked to consist of digital and onsite projects throughout the summer, a physical exhibition at the Parrish in 2021, a comprehensive publication following the exhibition and many additional elements. The first of these is a livestream conversation between Erni and Jackson on Friday, June 12 at 5 p.m. “The Museum is tremendously grateful for the NEA’s support of this timely project,” Parrish Interim Director Chris Siefert said in a statement.

As the Inga Maren Otto Fellow at the Watermill Center, tentatively postponed to spring 2021, Jackson will develop a new series of paintings for the Parrish exhibition; an installation of photographs from family, church and historical society archives; and her own photographs of local sites that will be printed on translucent vinyl strips and suspended from the Museum’s angled rafters. The digital resource archive will include recorded stories, transcripts and new line drawings.

To register for the June 12 Fridays Nights Live! event and to learn more about Tomashi Jackson: The Land Claim, visit

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