There are many events locally that are celebrating Black History Month that exploring the past, present, as well as the future. This informative programming often include a distinct focus on our local culture, as seen last weekend at the Grand Rapids Public Library's annual Taste of Soul, and in the future visions as we will see at UICA's Afro-futurist exhibitions, Translating Valence
(open now) and A Beautiful Struggle
(opening Feb. 21).
Starting on Feb. 20 and in recognition of Black History Month, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum welcomes a fine art exhibition by nationally-acclaimed artist Brian Washington.
“The Continual Struggle: The American Freedom Movement and the Seeds of Social Change,”
is an ongoing body of artwork from Washington whose 23 pieces on exhibit document the Civil Rights Movement and America’s historical struggle against segregation and other forms of race-based injunctions.
Washington is a graduate of Duke University, Washington and an award-winning Los Angeles-based attorney. But he is also known as a world-class self-taught artist whose artworks seek to honor those who fought for freedom and equal rights before him.
In 2003, Washington’s 11-piece first-edition series, formally titled “The Continual Struggle: The Civil Rights Movement – Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow,” was acquired in its entirety by the Smithsonian Institution, and placed in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian-affiliated National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Washington will welcome the public as the exhibit opens on Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. Following the short reception, he will lead a discussion about the exhibit with attendees.
And no worries if you cannot make this special artist discussion because “The Continual Struggle: The American Freedom Movement and the Seeds of Social Change” will be on display from Feb. 20 to May 31.
In honor of Black History Month, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum will be free to the public on Feb. 22 to 23, and Feb.29 to March 1.