Two Charlotte museum exhibits explore the effects of police involved shootings. The Levine Museum of the New South, explores this tragedy through it’s exhibit K(No)w Justice, K(No)w Peace. The McColl Center for Art + Innovation unveiled The World is a Mirror of My Freedom curated by artistic director Nicole J. Caruth.
Caruth, who recently joined the museum, talked with Radio One Charlotte about the exhibit which closes on March 25.
What inspired you to create The World is a Mirror of My Freedom?
I started working on this exhibition last summer, as an independent curator. Lisa Hoffman, former associate director at McColl Center, invited me to organize an exhibition that would present the work of Jason Woodberry and Marcus Kiser, current artists-in-residence, alongside works by a few of McColl Center’s alumni artists of the African diaspora. That’s where it started.
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How did you come up with concept of such mixed protest themes from pop culture to boxing?
Around the time I started working on the exhibition, Alton Sterling was shot and killed by police in Louisiana followed by Philando Castile in Minnesota two days later. I was compelled to respond, to use the platform that I had been given as a curator to amplify the voices of artists who are addressing these recurring tragedies and related issues. I found myself drawn to the artists and artwork included in this exhibition: Dread Scott, Shaun Leonardo, and Charles E. Williams, in addition to Woodberry and Kiser.
Why was it important to specifically explore black masculinity in this exhibit?
Police killing Black men and women with impunity is increasingly visible in news and social media due to cellphone footage, dash cams, and other tools. However, this is not a new issue and it was never secret. Recent footage confirms what Black people have been saying for centuries about racial disparities in the criminal justice system.
Did you ask the artists to create works specifically for this exhibit or were these works already created?
Most of the works had already been created and were curated into the context of the exhibition. One work created by Shaun Leonardo earlier this year focuses on the killing of Keith Lamont Scott here in Charlotte. It’s a small but powerful work on paper, a series of three charcoal drawings, that must be seen.
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