December 2, 2015 — The exhibition Common Ground: African American Art from the Flint Institute of Arts, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and the Muskegon Museum of Art, will be on view at the Muskegon Museum of Art December 10, 2015 through March 20, 2016. Drawn from three Michigan museum collections, the exhibition will highlight some of the most important African American artists from the 19th century to present day. This exhibition will survey African American art through 60 works of art in various mediums, including painting, sculpture, and works on paper.
On Thursday, December 10, the MMA will celebrate the opening of the exhibition with a reception and lecture by Dr. David C. Driskell, one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject of African American art and a National Humanities Medal recipient. The reception will be held 5:30 to 7:00 pm. Driskell’s lecture, “African American Art in Review,” will begin at 7:00 pm. The event is free and open to the public.
The Flint Institute of Arts, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and the Muskegon Museum of Art are three of the most prestigious art museums in Michigan. While each institution is distinguished by its own unique holdings, collecting strengths shared in common inspired this collaboration. Common Ground celebrates the museums’ mutual dedication to collect works by African American artists. This display of more than 60 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper—from the 19th century to the present—chronicle a cultural journey of nearly 200 years.
This exhibition is divided into five thematic areas that give a broad overview of the history of African American art, showing its diversity as well as its commonality. The coming together of these Michigan collections will allow visitors to see works in a new context. With several artists in the exhibition being from Michigan, this exhibition encourages engagement with art and fosters a sense of community in diverse areas of the state.