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Arts Rundown: African-American Art At SLUMA, New Exhibits

Jazz Player II Acrylic on canvas. 1990. Artist: Wadsworth A. Jarrell
Provided by SLUMA

Art historian and curator Adrienne Childs will lead a discussion on the details and history of the artwork in “Tradition Redefined: The Larry and Brenda Thompson Collection of African American Art” at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 25, at the Missouri History Museum. She will also talk about the artwork at 11 a.m. March 25 at the Saint Louis University Museum of Art. The exhibit runs through May 18. Included in the exhibit are more than 60 works from such artists as Romare Bearden, Thelma Johnson Streat and Wadsworth Jarrell.

"Wadsworth Jarrell emerged on the Chicago art scene just as the Civil Rights Movement was rapidly escalating. As an African American artist, he felt compelled to produce relevant works that would not only echo the liberation movement, but influence the visual identity of black culture.”– International Visions, the Gallery

“Jarrell and fellow artists Jeff Donaldson and Barbara Jones-Hogu formed a collective called COBRA-Coalition of Black Revolutionary Artists, which later became AFRI-COBRA, the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists. AFRI-COBRA took as its central tenets black pride, social responsibility and the development of a new diasporic African identity.” – Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia

Jarrell talked about the idea behind AFRICOBRA in an interview for the blog, Never the Same:  “The purpose was, to create art that had a political slant that also included an esthetic. Most of the art during the sixties was labeled as protest art, especially art of African-Americans. We escaped that label because we focused on our heritage instead of protesting injustice meted out by mainstream America. We weren’t just a group of enthusiastic artists, making art. A lot of art made during that period had little or no esthetic qualities, and by artists with limited skills. We were all skillful artists, and our aim was to make an impression as a Revolutionary group by creating an African-American aesthetic.”


Opening Saturday at White Flag Projects will be Lena Henke’s “Geburt Und Familie.” The opening reception will be from 6-8 p.m., with the exhibit up through May 17.


The Hunt Gallery at Webster University is hosting the “first Midwest exhibition of contemporary Serbian art.” “Altered Connections” includes video, photography and textiles in a multi-artist show running through April 19. The opening reception is 6-8 p.m. March 21.


The Atrium Gallery's spring exhibit, "Intimate" runs through May 10. The opening reception for the small works by seven artists will be from 6-8 p.m. March 21.


The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts is hosting a symposium from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. March 22. People from various backgrounds will address the question “How does art make itself?” through conversation and performance.


For those look ahead, the Luminary has announced that it is accepting applications for summer and fall internships. Summer internships run from May 15-Aug. 1; fall internships from Sept. 1-Dec. 15.

Donna Korando started work in journalism at SIU’s Daily Egyptian in 1968. In between Carbondale and St. Louis Public Radio, she taught high school in Manitowoc, Wis., and worked at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the copy editor and letters editor for the editorial page from 1973-77. As an editorial writer from 1977-87, she covered Illinois and city politics, education, agriculture, family issues and sub-Saharan Africa. When she was editor of the Commentary Page from 1987-2003, the page won several awards from the Association of Opinion Page Editors. From 2003-07, she headed the features copy desk.