Panel discussion at 5pm, followed by an opening reception from 6-8pm for the exhibitions Hank Willis Thomas: unbranded and Mary Frances Whitfield: Why?
HANK WILLIS THOMAS: unbranded
May 31 – August 10, 2019
Hank Willis Thomas’ 2005–08 series Unbranded: Reflections in Black by Corporate America 1968-2008 decontextualizes advertising images targeted toward African-American audiences in print magazines including Ebony and Jet. For this series, Thomas appropriates and removes all branding from 4 decades of advertising photography. The result is a deceptively simple but shockingly insightful commentary on the ability of advertising to shape our cultural development and perceptions. Using the years of Martin Luther King’s assassination and President Barack Obama’s election as start and end points, Thomas challenges viewers to distinguish between the messages conveyed through text and visual imagery.
MARY FRANCES WHITFIELD: WHY?
May 31 – November 23, 2019
Mary Frances Whitfield: Why? is a collaborative exhibition between the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.
Why? presents paintings by the artist that graphically depict horrific racial terror lynchings perpetrated against African Americans. This is the first time these works have been exhibited in Whitfield’s hometown of Birmingham, Alabama.
This exhibition was developed in conjunction with the Jefferson County Memorial Project (JCMP), a grassroots coalition of community leaders working with the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) to retrieve Jefferson County’s memorial from the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. The mission of the JCMP is to bear witness to the county’s painful past and change the historical memory of Jefferson County to better include its history of racial terror and the legacies of racial injustice. This exhibition will assist in creating the needed context to handle this difficult and painful topic.
Mary Frances Whitfield: Why? is co-curated by AEIVA Curator John Fields and Dr. Brandon Wolfe, Assistant VP of Campus and Community Engagement in the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at UAB.
Friday, May 31, 2019 at 5:00pm to 8:00pm
Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts
1221 10th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35205