Three Black art exhibitions to see in Richmond, VA

JORDANNAH ELIZABETH | 7/25/2019, 12:11 p.m.
The city of Richmond, Virginia has a long, complex and evolving history.

By JORDANNAH

ELIZABETH

Special to the AmNews

The city of Richmond, Virginia has a long, complex and evolving history. It has been particularly consistent in highlighting African-American artists and exhibitions since its 150 year commemoration of the Civil War. Richmond was named the capital of the Confederacy in 1861, and has worked to make the 2011 commemoration more inclusive by acknowledging African-American contributions. The city continues to create space for African-American excellence in arts and tourism. Here are three current art exhibitions to view in Richmond, Virginia:

Cosmologies from the Tree of Life: Art from the African-American South, Virginia Museum of Fine Art (200 N Arthur Ashe Blvd)

Showing: June 8, 2019–Nov. 17, 2019

Cosmologies is a breathtaking Black contemporary group show exhibiting a collection of previously marginalized work that was considered “folk art” or “outsider art” made by self-taught African-American artists. The show grabs your attention and keeps you entranced by the entangled metal sculptures, re-sewn quilts and found object installations that push your imagination to stretch itself and go on a journey into a world created by Black artists expresseing themselves without

conceptual boundaries.

The group show includes art by Jessie Aaron, Louisiana Bendolph, Thornton Dial, Lonnie B. Holley, Ronald Lockett, Rita Mae Pettway, Jimmy Lee Sudduth, James “Son” Thomas, Mose Tolliver, Purvis Young and others.

“Monument,” 2018 by Rahid Johnson

The Chicago born contemporary artist Rashid Johnshon shows his Monument installation at the yearly commissioned ICA exhibition series Provocations. Johnson’s towering work is made of myriad shelves that house dozens of potted plants. The large installation is built with an entrance for viewers to walk inside the piece and sit amongst the numerous shelves and greenery prompting people to become a part of the piece. Johnson’s piece is interactive, thought-provoking and a stellar example of a large work by an African-American artist.

Determined: The 400 Year Struggle for Black Equality, Virginia Museum of History and Culture (428 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd)

Showing: June 22, 2019–March 29, 2020

Determined is an extensive historical exhibition that highlights 400 years of trials and triumphs of Virginia’s most influential Black figures in American culture from humanitarian, Mary Peake (1823 - 1862) and healer and slave emancipator, Jane Minor (1792 - 1858) to Virginia natives, rapper and producer Missy Elliott and 11-year -old activist Naomi Wilder who spoke at March for Our Lives in March 2018. This densely informative collection of historical figures guides you through Virginia’s rich history and celebrates the bravery, selflessness and empathy of Black people, past and present.