In conjunction with the 2012-13 Campus Community Book Project, the Nelson Gallery will feature an exhibition on migration that opens Thursday, March 28, and continues through May 19. The exhibit is designed to extend community dialogue and interaction with the selection of Isabel Wilkerson’s “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Greatest Migration.”
Community members are invited to an opening reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 28. The gallery is in Nelson Hall (the former University Club).
“Views on Migration” showcases two art collections from the community as well as the work of local artist Michael Stevenson. Sarah D. Gray has lent prints of Jacob Lawrence’s “Toussaint L’Ouverture Series” created in 1986-97 based on a series of paintings completed in 1938. This series uses events in the life of Toussaint L’Ouverture as symbols of revolution, emancipation and civil rights for African-Americans.
Also on view will be a slide show of Jacob Lawrence’s “Migration” series from 1940 to 1941. These works explore his community’s stories of African-Americans who journeyed from the rural South to the urban North between the world wars.
Melvin and Felicenne Ramey of Davis share their collection of prints by Elizabeth Catlett, an artist known for her linocuts and whose work drew on her experience as an African-American woman who had come of age at a time of widespread segregation. Her intergenerational portraits, specifically images of mother and child, make personal both the vitality and struggle that Lawrence depicted in his images of community.
Stevenson’s contributions to the exhibition include his sensitive homages to these two pioneering artists.
The Nelson Gallery will feature two lectures during the exhibit’s run:
* April 11 , 6:30 to 8 p.m.: A lecture by Cherise Smith, Ph.D., from the University of Texas on ”Immigration Series of Jacob Lawrence” ; and
* April 18 , 6:30 to 8 p.m.: A panel discussion on “African-American Migration Histories of Local Residents” with Sarah D. Gray, Joyce Gordon, Kevin Mitchell and Joseph Singleton ; moderated by Felicenne Ramey.