Arts and Entertainment
|Harvey Gantt Center hosts new exhibits to launch 45th year|
|Community opening on Nov. 2|
|Published Friday, November 1, 2019 11:41 am|
|STACY LYNN WADDELL|
|“Family Portrait’ by Stacy Lynn Waddell, compostion gold leaf on canvas.|
New exhibitions arrive at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture this weekend.
The Gantt, which is celebrating its 45th anniversary and first decade of the current facility, has been closed since Oct. 20 for the installation of “…and justice for all” and “Painting Is Its Own Country,” as well as an update to “Welcome to Brookhill.”
They will host a free community opening on Nov. 2 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., which will feature guided tours, workshops and artist talks. The exhibits will run through April 12, 2020.
Dexter Wimberly, who curated “The Future is Abstract” at the Gantt in 2017, also oversaw this fall’s signature exhibit, “Painting Is Its Own Country.” He selected works from 26 emerging and established artists. At 2:30 p.m., he will share how works by artists such as William Villalongo, Didier William, Jackie Milad, Stacy Lynn Waddell and Rushern Baker IV create space for self-expression, diversity and freedom through their given mediums.
A painting workshop will take place from 3:30-5 p.m. on the second floor in response to “Painting Is Its Own Country.”
A community mural on the third floor offers space for attendees to respond to each exhibit. Two 90-minute creative writing classes will be available, tying into “…and justice for all.”
Guerilla Poets teaching artist Shane Manier will lead a letter writing and poetry workshop. Said letters and poems will be sent to youth and parents of those incarcerated throughout Mecklenburg County.
Exhibiting artist Sherrill Roland will give an art talk and tour of “…and justice for all.”
The McColl Center for Art + Innovation artist-in-residence will share his work from the Jump Suit Project, which started as a yearlong piece performed at UNC Greensboro, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in 2017. Roland wore an orange jumpsuit until his graduation.
It stemmed from his wrongful incarceration in Washington, D.C. He has since received a bill of innocence, but continues to explore a subject that altered his existence.
“While I wore the orange jumpsuit, I operated under the same rules as the detention center I was housed in in D.C.,” Roland said.
He explained that the performance was designed for people to “feel the presence of this suit on campus,” as a means of getting a raw and honest reaction from the image of a black man in an orange suit.
“Artists can be deemed as pretty weird people, and for me as an African American to be like, ‘I want to wear an orange jumpsuit around campus for an entire year,’ doesn’t seem like the smartest idea,” Roland said.
Roland made a point of establishing a relationship with police officers at UNCG, who insisted that his performance piece should read as exactly that. His jumpsuit should not have numbers or letters—anything that would make the public think that the suit was the real thing. However, Roland wanted those who saw him to pause and ask questions. The goal is to have the conversation about incarceration.
“This is what I really wanted people to be in—just to question their experience or question their environment, and, ‘how am I reading this situation?’” Roland said.
For more information: www.ganttcenter.org/calendar/community-opening-110219/
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