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June 28, 2024

University of Michigan Museum of Art Amplifying Black Art and Culture with 2024 Event Series

Carrie Mae Weems (b. 1953), Color Real and Imagined, 2014, archival inkjet print with silkscreen color blocks, 54 3/4 x 38 3/4 in. Spelman College Museum of Fine Art. Gift of Laural Shackelford.

Events Presented in Conjunction with Silver Linings Exhibition Showcasing 100 Years of Black Art Collecting by Spelman College

Ann Arbor, MI—June 28, 2024—The University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) announced today a partnership with local activist, Yodit Mesfin Johnson, to present a series of dynamic public programs this fall curated by Mesfin Johnson to celebrate Black art, culture, and community. Presented alongside the exhibition Silver Linings: Celebrating the Spelman Art Collection, the events feature a diverse range of programs designed to uplift the legacy of HBCUs, celebrate the multiplicity of Black creativity, and invest in the regional Black art ecosystem.

Silver Linings will be on view at UMMA from August 24, 2024 until January 5, 2025. This landmark exhibition celebrates the 100 year history of the Spelman College art collection and the 25th anniversary of the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art. The exhibition features works by renowned artists such as Betty Blayton, Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Faith Ringgold, Charles White, and more.

Among the events is a private brunch to honor Black women, a vibrant Family Day, which centers Black art, culture, and features hands-on art making activities, gallery tours, a panel discussion about HBCUs, and a salon-style afternoon celebrating Black Brilliance In The Arts designed to inspire connection and investment in Black artists and culture workers.

Mesfin Johnson said she aimed to create a series that would feel like a love letter to Blackness, offering homage, inspiration and opportunities for connection with the art in Silver Linings and with the community. She notes that “I am pleased that UMMA is opening its space in this way given the histories of museums as largely white and exclusive spaces. It is a delight to collaborate with them, our advisors and participants to celebrate the legacies of past and contemporary Black artists, our historically Black colleges and universities, and to build memorable and catalytic community connections.”

Featured Events:

Silver Linings Love Letter to Black Women: Private Yemaya Brunch

  • Date: Sunday, September 8, 2024
  • Time: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Description: This intimate gathering honors the inner worlds, divinity, and shared humanity of Black women and femmes. The event features an opportunity to experience the Silver Linings exhibition, sound meditation, and soulful charcuterie by Chef Nina Love.
  • Note: This is an invitation-only event.

Silver Linings Family Day: Black Art Is Divine

  • Date: Saturday, October 5, 2024
  • Time: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
  • Description: A family-centered celebration of Black art, culture, and HBCU traditions. The event includes drum processions, gallery tours led by Ypsilanti youth, storytime with Black Men Read, hands-on activities, and a panel discussion on the legacy of HBCUs.

Silver Linings Black Brilliance: Growing Black Artistic & Cultural Futures

  • Date: Friday, December 6, 2024
  • Time: 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
  • Description: An afternoon of salon-style engagements designed to inspire connection and investment in Black artists and culture workers. The program includes an artist roundtable, table talks, and gallery conversations, culminating with a performance of “Negro, Spiritual” created by and starring Detroit-based artist Supercoolwicked.

Supercoolwicked’s “Negro, Spiritual” Performance

  • Date: Friday, December 6, 2024
  • Time: 8:00 PM – 9:15 PM
  • Description: A culminating performance of “Negro, Spiritual” by Detroit-based interdisciplinary artist Supercoolwicked. “Negro, Spirtual” is a stunning musical performance in the style of southern church revivals that evokes homage and ancestral veneration while exploring the emotions and social landscape of Supercoolwicked’s personal journey to emotional maturity and freedom.

Collectively, these events create a platform for celebrating Black creativity and building community connections through art. They offer diverse opportunities for engagement, learning, and joy, enriching UMMA’s ongoing efforts to highlight the contributions of and support Black artists and cultural workers.

The Silver Linings event series is generously supported by Art Bridges.

Betty Blayton (1937 - 2016), Vibes Penetrated, 1983, acrylic on canvas, diameter: 60 3/4 in. Spelman College Museum of Fine Art. Spelman College Purchase. © Estate of Betty Blayton

Related Exhibition

Silver Linings

August 24, 2024 — January 5, 2025

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