Black art is American art. Black issues are American issues. The Black Lives Matter protests have resulted in powerful artwork derived from passion, grief, persistence, and the pursuit of justice. MFA invites all Black artists to enter their original 2-D or 3-D art to this online all-hang exhibition. All eligible work will be exhibited in MFA’s online Curve Gallery from August 5th to September 12th, 2020.
Juror: Thomas James, former MFA Exhibitions Director and current Curator at the Creative Alliance in Baltimore, MD.
It is an honor to serve as the juror for MFA’s Black Art Matters exhibition. As you walk up and down the Annapolis downtown area you see plaques and other historic markers chronicling Black history throughout the city; but unfortunately, there are no spaces dedicated to displaying predominately Black artists. So, with MFA being a staple arts establishment in the Annapolis community, their commitment to making space for Black artists through this exhibition is an important step towards racial equity in the arts realm – one that I hope other arts organizations in the area follow.
Due to the nature of MFA’s juried exhibitions structure, any piece of art has a chance to find a home here, and this exhibition is no different. Black Art Matters has an open-ended theme of “Black art is American art”, thus providing Black artists with the autonomy to interpret that in any way they choose. This resulted in artists submitting artwork showcasing a wide variety of mediums and conceptual interests. Additionally, the artists are all in different stages in their careers, thereby encompassing the diversity MFA prides itself on. On display are paintings depicting heroes in the Black community such as Maya Angelou, abstract paintings and collages, Black figurative sculptures and cut outs, Black sci-fi images, and photographs and paintings depicting everyday life.
From the difficulties of finding shows with themes relevant to the work they are creating, to being taken seriously as an artist, it can be challenging for Black artists to find their place in this world. Having organizations specifically seek out these artists is a powerful notion in itself. I would encourage more organizations to do the same. Black Art Matters.
The Lengths I’ve Gone To Be Like You, Victoria Walton, ceramic sculpture
Untitled #50, Ron Beckham, mixed media
See no Evil Hear no Evil, Qrcky Art, sculpture
Breathing Through the Years, Lloyd Gregory Wade,acrylic paint on canvas
“My Daddy Changed the World”, Raegan Thomas, pencil
A Little Hope, Sandra Dee Davis, mixed media