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Gantt exhibits celebrate southern experience
Three living artists explore the black experience in the South.
Published Thursday, April 4, 2013
by Michaela L. Duckett

The Harvey B. Gantt Museum of African-American Arts + Culture opened three new exhibits exploring the social experience of African

David Herman's "Ancestral Chullin" is on display at the Gantt Center as part of an exhibit on the lives of African Americans in the South.

Americans living in the South.

The exhibitions feature the works of Jonathan Green, David Herman Jr. and photographer Julie Moos. Each offers a unique and inspirational view of life in the South, celebrating characteristics unique to the region, including the Gullah Geechee Culture and the southern Baptist church.

“We’re excited to display the extraordinary work of these three living artists,” Gantt Center President and CEO David Taylor said. “Though their artistic expressions may differ, they each preserve and celebrate Southern culture.”

Green, a painter and creator of “A Spiritual Journey of Life,” has works in the John and Vivian Hewitt Collection of African-American Art, which is a part of the Gantt Center’s permanent collection.

The South Carolina native said he draws inspiration from his own personal experiences, family traditions and community life in the South. He looks to the familiar images of his Low Country birthplace and the Gullah culture for the subjects of his paintings. His appeal and perspective can be described as truly modern and cosmopolitan.

Herman, creator of “Etched in the Eyes,” has partnered with the Gantt Center in the past. He is the co-founder and creative director of Preservation LINK Inc., an education agency that works to educate youth through media arts and technology.

“Etched in the Eyes” is part of an ongoing initiative designed to document the African Diaspora of the Low Country and Sea Islands along the coastline of the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida.

As a son of the Gullah Geechee people, Herman has roots deeply embedded in the soil of South Carolina. He said he sets out to examine “the young, the old and the lives in between” of the unique Gullah/Geechee coastal culture. He communicates his perspective through multiple mediums, including photography, video and writing.

Moos, who created “I Got Freedom Up Over My Head: Portraits by Julie Moos from the Bank of America Collection,” is known for her approach to photography, which seeks to explore the world of opposites.

The Canadian photographer captured a generation of women who have been active citizens, church members and civil rights activists. Through a series of 14 large format photographs of the senior sisters of Birmingham, Ala.’s New Pilgrim Baptist Church, Moos utilizes her signature style to invite the viewer to compare individuals through an unrestrained formalism and see the equality of all people. Her photographs also serve as a historical documentation of a powerful group of women whose contributions to their community are not to be forgotten.

Moos is showing the bank’s collection of her series in its entirety for the first time.

“We’re excited to provide Julie Moos’ photography from the Bank of American Art in Our Communities program to add a distinctive perspective of the Southern experience,” said Charles Bowman, North Carolina and Charlotte-market president for Bank of America. “The Harvey B. Gantt Center continues to provide unique and insightful exhibits that enrich the cultural understanding of its visitors.”

All three exhibits opened March 30 and will remain on display until June 15.

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