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Fine/Folk: Modes of Representation in African American Art

Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art | Biloxi

March 12 - May 19, 2018

Sulton Rogers (Oxford, MS, 5/22/1922 - 4/5/2003, Oxford, MS), Two Blues Singers (detail), 1989, wood and paint. Collection of the Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson. Gift of Warren and Sylvia Lowe,1994.051.

This exhibition addresses the aesthetic influences of both folk art and Modern art on African American artists in the 20th century. The pieces included are derived from a variety of media yet are centralized around the notion of identity and self-representation. Artists like Gwendolyn Magee, Elizabeth Catlett, and Betye Saar took an activist approach in their art by using a vernacular voice to send their strong messages. Clementine Hunter, Mose Tolliver, and Sulton Rogers were self-taught artists whose styles are representative of the traditional folk art, and whose roots are present in the work of Romare Bearden and Jacob Lawrence. Finally, others, like Mark Gail and Roland Freeman, eschewed the folk aesthetic altogether through their choice of photography, a medium elevated to the fine arts due to its aesthetic capabilities. Though these works span almost 80 years, each artist’s aesthetic voice takes control of the figurative representation of African Americans that for too long was overlooked and under-represented.

Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art | 386 Beach Boulevard, Biloxi

MUSEUM HOURS: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 AM-5 PM

This exhibition is part of Art Across Mississippi: Twelve Exhibitions, Twelve Communities.

About Art Across Mississippi

To celebrate Mississippi’s bicentennial year, the Mississippi Museum of Art has curated exhibitions from its permanent collection for twelve host venues across the state. These exhibitions feature artworks by regionally acclaimed artists–past and present–including Walter Anderson, William Dunlap, William Ferris, Ke Francis, Marie Hull, Hystercine Rankin, and Sulton Rogers, among many others. Art Across Mississippi: Twelve Exhibitions, Twelve Communities provides residents throughout the state the opportunity to enjoy high-quality exhibitions from the Museum’s permanent collection in their own communities and reflect on the rich heritage of Mississippi’s visual arts while contemplating the meaning of the bicentennial moment.

Art Across Mississippi exhibitions are on view throughout the state at various locations between May 2017 and May 2018. These traveling presentations are companions to Picturing Mississippi, 1817-2017: Land of Plenty, Pain, and Promise, a landmark exhibition more than 175 artworks interpreting the state’s rich artistic legacy over two centuries, brought home to the Museum in Jackson. Picturing Mississippi will be on view Dec. 9, 2017-July 8, 2018 at the Mississippi Museum of Art.

The Mississippi Museum of Art and its programs are sponsored in part by the city of Jackson and Visit Jackson. Support is also provided in part by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Bicentennial exhibitions created by the Mississippi Museum of Art are supported by the Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation and the state of Mississippi, through the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Additional support is provided by