Venus Williams has joined forces with famed conceptual artist Adam Pendleton to help preserve the childhood home of the iconic Nina Simone.
On May 20, the legendary tennis star and Pendleton will throw a benefit gala in New York City’s Pace Gallery to raise funds to reconstruct Simone’s home in Polk County, North Carolina. The late music legend and civil rights activist grew up on Livingston Street, just a stone’s throw from downtown Tryon, according to ABC 13 News.
Nina Simone’s childhood home was in danger of demolition
In 2017, the quaint wooden house was in danger of being demolished. Still, Pendleton, Williams and several artists from New York City stepped in and purchased the home to help preserve the “Feeling Good” singer’s history and legacy.
The restoration effort was partly made possible by the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.
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According to Yahoo News, the exciting event at Pace Gallery will feature an in-person auction filled with work by esteemed artists such as Stanley Whitney, Mary Weatherford, Robert Longo and Cecily Brown.
There will also be an online auction following the benefit gala.
In a statement, Venus Williams thanked all of the artists for their commitment to the project.
“Each of the artists Adam and I have selected for the auction has a unique, powerful voice, and we’ve been moved by their generosity and enthusiasm for this important cause,” the Grand Slam champion said. “It’s been a privilege to collaborate with Adam in curating the auction.”
Pendleton, who has become a household name in the art world for his multi-disciplinary creations involving painting, silkscreen design and collage work, added, “Nina Simone is one of the most important musical artists of the 20th century. I’m inspired to be able to protect her legacy by preserving her childhood home. Her music, her vision, cannot be forgotten.”
Construction at Simone’s historic residence will begin this fall and is slated to open in 2024.