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Black Contemporary Artists Exhibit

Celebrating black artists working today

Posted 02.01.18 by Allison Fischbach

To celebrate Black History Month, the Decker Library is highlighting works and publications by contemporary black artists from Baltimore and around the nation. From conceptual artists to painters, sculptors, photographers, singers, poets, writers, book artists, zine makers, and more. Featured are a wide range of works by and about black artists such as Clarissa Sligh, Joyce Scott, Kehinde Wiley, Nick Cave, Alison Saar, Chezia Thompson, Beyoncé, and Solange.

Many works focus on instigating social change and expressing the reality of the black experience in America in insightful and creative ways. One example is Tia Blassingame's Mourning/Warning: an abecedarian, which serves as "a method of honoring, mourning, and remembering the slain and wronged as well as teaching our children and ourselves to be vigilant and wary in hostile terrain, where your skin color makes you an easy target."

Other works are more playful, such as Kehinde Wiley's colorful and expressive portraits. This exhibit also features Wiley's "artist toy" - a three-part nesting doll, created as part of the publication Visionaire 50.

Also take a look at our featured zines and read about activism, self-care, and art by groups such as Black Lives Matter, United Diverse Artists, Black Youth Project, and more in our zine collection on the first floor.

We hope you learn from, and find inspiration in, these and other works from black artists creating today. If you have suggestions to expand and improve our collections, please ask a librarian or fill out our Recommend to Purchase form.

February 1 - 28, 2018.

Image Information:

Thumbnail: Kehinde Wiley artist toy on display, photo by Meredith Moore.
This Page: Special Collections items on display, photo by Meredith Moore.

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 49 states and 52 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. With art and design programs ranked in the top ten by U.S. News and World Report, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.

This page was last updated on 02/01/2018.