Jackson was invited as part of the Parrish Art Museum’s 2021 annual invitation to an artist to consider the entire Museum as a site for works that transcend disciplinary boundaries, encouraging new ways to experience art, architecture, landscape, and community.
Tomashi Jackson: The Land Claim focuses on the historic and contemporary lived experiences of Indigenous, Black, and Latinx families on the East End of Long Island, and how issues of housing, transportation, livelihood, migration, and agriculture link these communities.
Early in 2020, Jackson met with historians and community advocates from the Latin American Organization (OLA) of Eastern Long Island, Eastville Community Historical Society of Sag Harbor, Bridgehampton Child Care & Recreational Center, and the Shinnecock Nation.
For the Parrish exhibition, Jackson will develop a new body of work, including a series of large-scale paintings, site-specific drawings on the south-facing window façade in the Museum Lobby, and an outdoor sound installation. The work will be based on her research and will include archival images and documents from families, churches, and historical societies, and recent press articles.
The exhibition, postponed from 2020, will be the culmination of a 12-month phased project which includes a series of public talks with historians and community leaders; a digital archive including interviews, historical and contemporary photos and press articles; a publication; and learning material based on original drawings and transcripts of the interviews.
In an ongoing partnership with the Parrish, The Watermill Center has invited Jackson for a residency from May 12–June 11, 2021, as part of their Inga Maren Otto Fellowship for visual artists.
The juxtaposition of current and historical racial segregation in The Land Claim is similar to Jackson’s concept for the 2019 Whitney Biennial where she drew a parallel between the destruction of Seneca Village, a free Black community that was razed in the 1850s for the creation of Central Park, and contemporary practices of redevelopment in New York City that rely on the targeted dispossession of Black and Brown property owners through the Third Party Transfer Program.
The exhibition will serve as the basis for inquiry, discussion, and creative production in the Parrish’s educational programs. Exhibition themes will inform student and family workshops, adult docent tours, and gallery discussions.
Tomashi Jackson: The Land Claim is organized by Corinne Erni, Senior Curator of ArtsReach and Special Projects, with research assistance by Curatorial Fellow Lauren Ruiz.