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Birmingham Museum of Art Birmingham Museum of Art
Birmingham, AL

Birmingham Museum of Art
2000 Rev. Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd
(Formerly 2000 8th Ave. N)
Birmingham, AL 35203
T: 205.254.2565
F: 205.731.9425

July 27, 2018 - November 25, 2018
Arrington Gallery

Featuring just a single work of art, Waterline is an immersive exhibition experience that reflects artist Marianne Nicolson’s Native American roots. In a darkened gallery, visitors will observe a light that moves slowly up and down within a cubed glass sculpture to reveal a dazzling panorama of shadows representing killer whales, wolves, thunderbirds, and other symbols.

Nicolson is a member of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nations of British Columbia, Canada. This Pacific Northwest Native American culture is renowned for its stunning artistic traditions, including massive totem poles, architectural sculpture, transformation masks, and sacred clan regalia. The work refers not only to sacred traditions, forms, and language, but to the contemporary problems of industrial encroachment, particularly onto sacred and life-sustaining waterways.

In conjunction with this exhibition, the Museum is partnering with the Cahaba River Society to engage visitors in one of Alabama’s most important waterways.
Exhibition Sponsors

Waterline has been made possible by the City of Birmingham and The Lydia Eustis Rogers Fund.

The Original Makers: Folk Art from the Cargo Collection
June 16, 2018 - December 30, 2018
Pizitz Gallery

In commemoration of Alabama’s Bicentennial, the Birmingham Museum of Art is proud to present The Original Makers: Folk Art from the Cargo Collection, an exhibition featuring more than 175 outstanding works of folk art from the Museum’s permanent collection.

As a new generation of Southern makers explores the joy of creating, this exhibition celebrates the artists who have lived in our midst, inspired by their life experiences, their faith, their communities, and the landscape around them. Documenting many Southern ways of life, in all their variety, The Original Makers explores themes that have inspired self-taught and craft artists over many decades, including scenes of daily life and work, nature, faith and religion, patriotism, and music. Works of art range from stunning quilts, drawings and paintings, to wooden and metal sculptures, and functional objects such as bird houses – all made in Alabama and several neighboring states.

A special focus on the Reverend Benjamin Franklin Perkins will evoke the aesthetic of his home and property which was densely covered with paintings and signs inviting passersby to visit his church. The exhibition will also explore the deep-rooted Alabama tradition of quilt making with examples of quilts that date from the mid-1800s to the late 1900s, and include traditional patterns, crazy quilts, story quilts, and a quilt produced by the Freedom Quilting Bee.

Featured artists include Leroy Almon, Nora Ezell, Sibyl Gibson, Ralph Griffin, Bessie Harvey, Shields Langdon Jones, Charlie Lucas, Rev. B. F. Perkins, Joanna Pettway, Herbert Singleton, Jimmy Lee Sudduth, Mose Tolliver, Fred Webster, Yvonne Wells, Chuckie Williams, and many others.

The Original Makers: Folk Art from the Cargo Collection is an exhibition of works from the permanent collection of the Birmingham Museum of Art – all drawn from a major gift of Caroline Cargo, together with gifts from her late parents Dr. and Mrs. Robert and Helen Cargo. Over many years, their generous contributions have helped the Birmingham Museum of Art establish one of the most comprehensive collections of folk art in the Southeast.

Third Space /shifting conversations about contemporary art
Through January 6, 2019
Jemison Galleries

The Birmingham Museum of Art is proud to present Third Space, the first large exhibition of contemporary art from the Museum’s own collection. Third Space highlights more than 100 works of art including paintings, sculpture, photography, and video. The exhibition creates connections between the American South and other parts of the world using contemporary art.

As the first major exhibition of contemporary art from the Museum’s own collection, Third Space /shifting conversations about contemporary art, brings together the work of more than 90 international artists to examine elements of a shared cultural experience between the American South and the Global South. Third Space features over 100 works of art in a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, and video, by artists such as Kerry James Marshall, Ebony Patterson, Mark Bradford, José Bedia, Thornton Dial, and William Christenberry.

Curated by Hugh Kaul Curator of Modern and Contemporary art Wassan Al-Khudhairi, the exhibition borrows Homi Bhaba’s term ‘third space,’ which he defines as a space that “challenges our sense of the historical identity of culture as a homogenizing, unifying force, authenticated by the originary past, kept alive in the national tradition of the People.”

Beyond the geographical boundaries of the American South, the Global South similarly represents marginalized people and places that share a common post-colonial heritage, similar patterns of migration, and other cultural connections. With this in mind, the exhibition examines the Global South from the perspective of the American South by working through a series of ideas that include:

migration/diaspora/exile, gaze/agency/representation, spirit/nature/landscape, and traditions/histories/memory.

In addition to works from the permanent collection, the BMA has commissioned Rural Studio to produce a work of art that can serve as a gathering space within the gallery designed for reflection and contemplation. Rural Studio, founded and headquartered in nearby Hale County, Alabama, is an off-campus, design-build program of Auburn University that provides architectural solutions to underserved populations across the country. In the past year, Rural Studio has participated in several prestigious exhibitions, including the Milan Triennale, and they were selected as the only representative from the United States to present at the Venice Architecture Biennale. Once the exhibition closes, the structure that Rural Studio completes for Third Space will be repurposed for the construction of a house for one of its projects.

A key component of Third Space will be a program series titled Chapters, which invites artists and curators from across the country to Birmingham to discuss their respective practices and ideas surrounding the exhibition. Six Chapters programs will take place over the course of the two-year exhibition and will include artists working in a range of disciplines with varying backgrounds, from those academically trained to those self-taught. The exhibition will be outfitted with various interpretation tools to assist visitors in navigating the gallery. Using their mobile devices, visitors can learn more about works in the exhibition through the BMA’s Smart Guide, through which they may listen to different perspectives on selected works of art from voices of the Birmingham community.

Presented by PNC

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