CINCINNATI -- With Black History Month around the corner, the Cincinnati Art Museum announced Thursday it will present an exhibition featuring many of the most important African-American artists of the last three decades.
The "30 Americans" exhibit will last from from March 19 to Aug. 28, focusing on issues of race, gender and historical identity in contemporary culture and exploring the powerful influence of artistic legacy and community across generations.
Approximately 60 works of art have been drawn from the Rubell Family Collection in Miami as well as the Cincinnati Art Museum’s permanent collection.
In describing the origins and development of the exhibition, Don and Mera Rubell, owners of one of the largest private contemporary art collection in North America, said, “As the show evolved, we decided to call it 30 Americans. ‘Americans,’ rather than ‘African-Americans’ or ‘Black Americans,’ because nationality is a statement of fact, while racial identity is a question each artist answers in his or her own way, or not at all.”
Brian Sholis, curator of photography for the Cincinnati Art Museum, said certain themes will arise organically as visitors browse through the open-ended exhibit.
“These include economic issues, in particular the commodification of African-American culture; the characters people play and how they are caricatured; and how individual rights are shaped by politics," Sholis said.
A community day to celebrate the show’s opening will be held April 2. Additionally, every Sunday during the run of the show, the Art Museum will host events dedicated to exploring the themes in the exhibition, starting at 2 p.m. March 20. A full list of programming will be available at cincinnatiartmuseum.org in February.
General admission to the Cincinnati Art Museum is always free. The museum is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday though Sunday.