The Art of Being Black: Conversation and Experience

January 11 to April 17, 2021
This show came about in response to the protests for racial justice that took place in the spring and summer of 2020 across the country – and here in Danville.  It was grounded in our belief that having conversations can bring people together and foster a better understanding of our lived experiences. In this show, artists from throughout Kentucky have shared their artistic interpretations in the hopes of encouraging community dialogue and self reflection. 

The show was divided into three inter-related exhibits. You can browse virtual galleries of the work in each exhibit below. Read some final thoughts on the impact of the show on our blog.

A recorded virtual field trip of the show – along with printed exhibit booklet – will be available for educators beginning in the fall of 2021. Teachers may contact Kate Snyder (kate@artcenterky.org) to find out about using these materials in their classroom.

CONVERSATIONS: illustrating the african american experience in danville

In the fall of 2020, Dr. Andrea Abrams hosted a series of conversations among Black community members, who were invited to share their experiences, memories, and stories. The conversation topics ranged from what it was like to grow up in Black neighborhoods, to the experiences of school integration, to memories of social clubs and church barbecues. Artists Ashley Cathey, Sandra Charles, and LaVon Williams listened to the conversations and created artwork in response to what they heard.

momentum: an interpretation of civil rights photographs

Artists Tomisha Lovely-Allen and Frank X Walker were asked to respond to civil rights photographs of their choosing – either historic or contemporary. The result is a powerful visual through-line of the ongoing struggle for racial justice.

call and response: reflections on the african american experience

The artwork in the third exhibit was submitted in response to an open call for artwork by Kentucky artists that addressed the theme of the Black experience. The pieces were juried by our exhibit committee.