The new Mint Museum exhibit “Requiem for Mother Emanuel” commemorates the senseless murder of nine members of Charleston’s Mother Emanuel church. The exhibit opened last week and continues at the Randolph Road branch until Feb. 19.
The shooting deaths still wrings fresh here. We’re just down the street from Charleston. Our city son, Malcolm Graham, lost his sister in the shooting. Artist Leo Twiggs created the nine-painting cycle, which he described as dealing with one of the most difficult and important subjects he has ever undertaken. Twiggs, who lives and works in South Carolina, is one of the region’s most significant artists whose paintings have long dealt with the South’s difficult racial history, according to the press release.
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Furman professor Dr. Courtney Tollison Hartness, says Twigs sought to cope with “not only the horrors of the event,” but also to create an “outlet for his amazement as South Carolinians united in grief and the Confederate battle flag was removed from the State House grounds.”
Twiggs himself states: “My paintings are a testimony to the nine who were slain. But I also record another moment: our state’s greatest moment . . . a response that moved us from tragedy to redemption. For one shining moment we looked at each other not as different races but as human beings.”
The cycle was recently on view at The Johnson Collection in Spartanburg, S.C., where it drew national attention after its impact on the coaches and captains of the Carolina Panthers NFL team.
“I’m glad we had the opportunity to experience this. We know that seeing these paintings doesn’t change what happened, but I think it’s something that families can look upon and have a sense of relief knowing that they haven’t lost their family members in vain,” Panthers’ captain Thomas Davis noted said after viewing the exhibition in Spartanburg this summer.
ESPN produced a segment about the Panthers’ reaction to the exhibition which aired prior to the Panthers’ Monday Night Football broadcast on October 10.
Dylann Roof is charged with the fatal shootings that occurred on June 17, 2015 in Charleston. He was recently declared competent to stand trial.
Requiem for Mother Emanuel: Carolina Artists Responses
Wednesday, February 8; 6:30-8:30 pm
MMR; FREE and Open to the Public
Former NC Senator Malcolm Graham, whose sister was lost in the June 2015 tragedy at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, shares his response to it, the nine-painting exhibition Requiem for Mother Emanuel by Artist Dr. Leo Twiggs, and his personal loss. Then Carolina visual and performing artists will respond to the art to honor those lost in the tragedy with presentations of music, dance, photography, spoken word, mixed media art and paintings. Following the program, guests will have an opportunity to chat with the artists, view their artwork, see the exhibition, and respond themselves via interactive message boards.
Requiem for Mother Emanuel–Moving from Tragedy to Redemption—Church Day One & Two
Sundays, January 29 and February 19, 2-4 pm
MMR; FREE and Open to the Public
These church-day events are a response to South Carolina artist Dr. Leo Twiggs’ nine works of art in the exhibition Requiem for Mother Emanuel, which honors those lost to tragedy in June 2015 at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC. During these special Sunday programs, local churches will remember this time of mourning and redemption with vocalists, musicians, choir selections, bell ringing, and liturgical dance. Guests will have an opportunity to view the exhibition and respond themselves via interactive message boards.