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Panel Discussion with Artist Rico Gatson & Scholar RaShell Smith-Spears

Saturday, September 7, 2019

2:30 - 4 PM

The Gertrude C. Ford Galleries for the Permanent Collection

On the opening day of New Symphony of Time, the Museum's new permanent collection exhibition, Museum Director Betsy Bradley will moderate a discussion with writer and Jackson State University professor Dr. RaShell Smith-Spears and Brooklyn-based artist Rico Gatson about creativity and movement across time as it relates to the themes of the exhibition.

Using his own work Four Stations as the basis for his dialogue, Rico will discuss his time spent in Mississippi and the surreal beauty of place that is so fraught with history, all of which shaped his work about the spaces associated with the murder of Emmett Till.

Smith-Spears, who has authored an essay for the new exhibition about the Margaret Walker poem, This is My Century, Black Synthesis of Time, which serves as an inspiration for the exhibition, will discuss the ways that writers and artists have used memory, place, and equality to connect humanity across time.

This event is free and open to the public.

A 4 PM happy hour for our opening day guests, courtesy of the Museum, will follow the panel discussion. MORE OPENING DAY EVENTS

About the Speakers:

Dr. RaShell Smith-Spears is an associate professor at Jackson State University, having earned her Ph.D in English from the University of Missouri. She has published extensively in literary journals, and her research interests include African American literature, 19th century literature, and identity politics.

Rico Gatson is a Brooklyn-based artist who has become known for his bold work based on significant moments in African American history. His most recent projects include My Eyes Have Seen, on view at the Ronald Feldman Gallery in 2018, and a series of mosaic murals in the New York City subway, featuring Bronx icons such as James Baldwin, Maya Angelou, and Reggie Jackson.