This summer, one student organization is looking to celebrate Black artists in light of the recent protests surrounding racial injustice.
The MSC Visual Arts Committee (VAC) will be recognizing the many contributions of Black Texan artists in the exhibition “Black Artists Matter” in the MSC Reynolds Gallery from July 8 to Aug. 15.
On their website, the VAC describes how they gathered 12 pieces of artwork by Black creators from the Texas A&M University Art Collections and Cushing Memorial Library to “honor and bring awareness to the experience of Black lives and artists around the world.”
“In recognition of the Black Lives Matter movement and Black artists around the globe, The MSC Visual Arts Committee is proud to present ‘Black Artists Matter,’” the website reads.
For VAC Chair and visualization senior Emma Moorman, this exhibition is a good place to educate people on the many contributions, stories and struggles of minority artists.
“We believe that this show surrounds a topic that is relevant to many of our fellow Aggies during these trying times,” Moorman said. “We wanted to create a safe space to start these discussions in addition to providing a space students could come and look at the art and learn about the stories of these amazing artists from Texas.”
Among the pieces featured in the exhibition are works by East Texan and NASA artist Charles Criner, Texas Southern University art department founder John Biggers Ph.D. and Prairie View A&M professor Clarence Talley, Ph.D.
VAC program advisor Mary Compton researched the histories of the artists and helped choose the artwork that will be displayed in the gallery.
“There are some really fascinating artists in this exhibit. Researching their individual biographies has probably been my favorite part, personally.” Compton said. “We know that this is a very real issue for many Texas A&M students and we had the opportunity to make this a focus this summer.”
Exhibitions like “Black Artists Matter” can not only bring under-represented artists into the spotlight, but can also help students connect with the artistic and cultural side of current events, Moorman said.
“To create this exhibit we walked through [the] collections and came up with a theme we thought would be most relevant to our Aggie student body at this time,” Moorman said. “African American Artists and people of color are the least represented group in most major museums and galleries in the United States. We hope to highlight some inspiring and amazing art by various Texas artists of color.”
The exhibition will also be available for viewing virtually on the MSC VAC Facebook page after the opening.