Beloved Community: African American Artists in Atlanta Collections

Beloved Community: African American Artists in Atlanta Collections 2021-10-05T18:25:49-04:00

Feb. 11 – June 5, 2022

"Eve" by William Tolliver

William Tolliver (American 1951-2000) Eve, 20th century Acrylic and oil on canvas, Gift of Warren and Karen Steinberg, Collection of Oglethorpe University Museum of Art

“Beloved Community” promotes the rich diversity of Oglethorpe University students, 53% of whom identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color with 28% who identify as Black or African American.

With the goal of increased diversity among the permanent art collection, Taylor Roberts ’21, former Student Government Association president, led a student initiative in 2019 in partnership with SGA and Black Student Caucus which led to the acquisition of a major work of art by prominent contemporary African American artist Shanequa Gay.

Since this initiative, OUMA has continued to acquire works of art by prominent artists of color. Working in partnership with our neighboring peer institutions and private collectors throughout Atlanta, this exhibition includes works by great African American artists of the 20th century to include Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Hale Woodruff, Jacob Lawrence, and William Tolliver as well as contemporary artists such as Shanequa Gay whose work is now included in the permanent collection of OUMA. Many subjects examined in this exhibition relate directly and indirectly to past and present challenges for social justice in America.

This exhibition also illustrates Oglethorpe University’s ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Many of the artists included in this exhibition were deliberately excluded from seminal exhibitions curated by major American museums during the 1960s and 1970s. Those actions led to the formation of numerous organizations and museums which championed the work of artists of color in the United States. The exhibition places work by these artists in historical context and address the active and passive discrimination endured by such artists and their subsequent conquest of such discrimination.

 

OUMA is participating in Smithsonian magazine's Museum Day 2019 with free admission and special hours.

Visit OUMA Saturday, September 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.