If you haven’t visited the Birmingham Museum of Art, please make your way there. The regular exhibitions are awesome; but I had the privilege of viewing both Black Like Who? and Rising Up: Hale Woodruff’s Murals at Talladega College last night. Both are moving exhibits that provide visual, social and cultural commentaries relevant for today.
I can’t remember the last time I walked into a museum and wanted to cry, just because something in the art connected with me so deeply. Okay, I’m a known crier anyway, but the pieces just grab you! Although I’d definitely heard of Hale Woodruff’s murals, nothing prepared me for the beauty, dignity and triumph in the bold paint strokes he used to depict the Amistad case as well as the building of Talladega College.
And as for Black Like Who?, if you don’t walk out seriously contemplating identity and beauty–you may have missed the point totally. The collection includes works by renowned Elizabeth Catlett, as well as two with Alabama roots.
Go. Soak it up. Come out changed. I’m already figuring out when I can go back. The museum has ArtBreaks, lectures and public tours scheduled throughout the month of August. And if you stay for lunch at Oscar’s, attending selected events on certain days will get you a free dessert!
Rising Up closes September 6; Black Like Who? closes November 1. And don’t forget: Art on the Rocks is this Friday!
Photo of mural via the Birmingham Museum of Art’s Instagram account. All other photos taken by AEB.