Triad Black Art Itinerary

By Any Means Necessary: Owens Daniels
Through February 28, 2022 • Delta Arts Center • Free admission

Art has always affected social change, and Delta Arts’ social justice series will serve as a reminder of this. With the return of The People’s Gallery @ Delta Arts Center, we invite you to join us as we embrace the role of the arts in social justice.

Black@Intersection: Contemporary Black Voices in Art
Through April 17, 2022 • Southeastern Center of Contemporary Art • Free admission, suggested $10 donation

Black@Intersection features Black and African Diasporic artists from North Carolina and beyond. The artists simultaneously exemplify and defy—yet continue to redefine the perceived norms around concepts of Blackness as we see it in our world. They resist the nullifying commodification of blackness into a type of monolith and do so by creating works that reify the world on their own terms.

This exhibition is guest curated by Duane Cyrus, a Bessie Award nominated performer and a professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Donations are encouraged.

[Featured Image: Destinie Adelakun, “Adé – Crown of Oshun and Oya”, 2019.]

Lorraine O’ Grady: Both/And
Through April 30, 2022 • Weatherspoon Art Museum • Free admission

Lorraine O’Grady: Both/And, on loan from the Brooklyn Museum in New York, is the first comprehensive overview of the work of Lorraine O’Grady (born in Boston, 1934), one of the most significant figures in contemporary performance, conceptual, and feminist art. O’Grady is widely known for her radical persona Mlle Bourgeoise Noire, and has a complex practice that also encompasses video, photomontage, concrete poetry, cultural criticism, and public art. The artist has consistently been ahead of her time, anticipating contemporary art world conversations about racism, sexism, institutional inequities, and cultural oversights by decades, and her prescience has inspired younger generations of artists.

Raised in Boston by middle-class Jamaican immigrant parents and educated at Wellesley College, O’Grady spent years working as an intelligence analyst for the US government, as a translator, and as a rock music critic before beginning her career as a visual artist in the late 1970s at the age of 45. Throughout her work, O’Grady has called attention to the deeply segregated nature of the art world while also continually imagining her own history, body, and relationships, within a cultural landscape that often makes it difficult for Black women to speak for themselves.

These parallel threads—of outward critique and inward reflection—are some of the many binaries that O’Grady’s work addresses. By putting seemingly contradictory ideas together, O’Grady questions the power attached to such oppositions as Black and White, museum and individual, self and other, West and non-West, and past and present. The exhibition’s subtitle Both/And, emphasizes the artist’s ambitious goal of dismantling either/or thinking in favor of broader possibilities.

Image: Lorraine O’Grady, Art Is . . . (Girl Pointing), 1983/2009. Chromogenic photograph in 40 parts, 20 × 16 in. (50.8 × 40.64 cm). Edition of 8 plus 1 artist’s proof. Courtesy of Alexander Gray Associates, New York. © Lorraine O’Grady/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Sheena Rose: Pause and Breathe, We Got This
Through April 30, 2022 • Weatherspoon Art Museum • Free admission

For the Weatherspoon’s atrium, UNCG MFA ’16 alumna and artist Sheena Rose is creating a large-scale mural rich in colors and patterns, each of which she links to a particular thought about our current moment in time. A multidisciplinary artist working in animation, drawing, painting, and performance, Rose’s vibrant and energetic work is at once anchored in her Caribbean heritage and expansive in its explorations of culture and human experience.

While working on the commission, she said she’s been thinking about such concepts as: “reflection, future, new era, anxiety, fears, positivity, new movement, new language, innovation, creative, flexible, observant, listen, meditation, pause, and breath.” The last two words from this list provide the work’s title: Pause and Breathe, We Got This.

Due to the difficulty of traveling during the pandemic, Rose and the Weatherspoon staff worked together on a new creative approach involving the digital translation of multiple paintings and drawings. Rose says she is excited by “how the digital process is adding more to my concept and to my questions about this new era we are living in. It is like a new language, new habits, and a new norm. The work feels very relevant to this current time—from the painting and drawing in Barbados, to the emails and Zoom calls, to the computer programs and machinery that will allow the work to exist in North Carolina. #DigitalMagic.”

Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite
February 5–May 8, 2022 • Reynolda House Museum of American Art • View admission details

Throughout the 1960s, Kwame Brathwaite used his photography to popularize the transformative idea that “Black is Beautiful.” This exhibition—the first dedicated to Brathwaite’s remarkable career—tells the story of a central figure of the second-wave Harlem Renaissance. In addition to his work in photography, Brathwaite co-founded two key organizations: the African Jazz-Art Society and Studios (AJASS), a collective of artists, playwrights, designers, and dancers, and the Grandassa Models—the subject of much of this exhibition’s contents—a creative collective of Black women, founded to challenge white beauty standards.  

Exhibition organized by Aperture Foundation, New York and Kwame S. BrathwaiteThe exhibition Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite and the accompanying Aperture publication, are made possible, in part, with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Photographic Arts Council Los Angeles.

International Civil Rights Museum

Thoroughly examine the complex tapestry of American history through the struggle for justice and equality. Guests can witness the restored lunch counter in its original location, plus thirteen galleries with vivid photography, artifacts, video re-enactments, and interactive exhibits.