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Mississippi Museum of Art Mississippi Museum of Art
Jackson, MS
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Mississippi Museum of Art
380 South Lamar Street
Jackson, MS 39201
tel. 601-960-1515 | fax 601-960-1505
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www.msmuseumart.org

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Exhibitions:

The Prize: Seven Decades of Lyrical Response to the Call for Civil Rights

Pappy Kitchens and the Saga of Red Eye the Rooster

Events

The Prize: Seven Decades of Lyrical Response to the Call for Civil Rights
October 10, 2019 - February 9, 2020

The Prize: Seven Decades of Lyrical Response to the Call for Civil Rights is a visual—and lyrical—offering of how the quest for social justice in the era of Civil Rights continues to inspire freedom of expression today.

The ground-breaking television series Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Movement 1954-1985, tells the story of how “ordinary people with extraordinary vision redeemed democracy in America” by holding the government accountable for adhering to its moral obligation to recognize the humanity of all citizens. The steadfast calls for access to the “prize” of full citizenship issued by African Americans during the era are fossilized in the silence of black and white photography. The responses, however, came in the form of creative expressions that included the combination of colorful rhythm and rhyme.

When used in song lyrics, call and response is a succession of two distinct phrases where the second is heard in response to the first. In the mélange of African cultures that influenced US culture, call and response was practiced from public gatherings to private rituals, and it is these traditions that provided a sense of community, solace, and inspiration for songs and lyrics that became the impetus for an enduring social justice movement. The Prize revisits the “call” represented in sketches drawn from original photographs taken by Tracy Sugarman (1921-2013) in Mississippi during the summer of 1964, and the “response” which is represented in song lyrics ranging from the iconic 1956 rendition of “Eyes on the Prize” by Alice Wine, to the 2018 “This is America” by Childish Gambino, inspired in part by Fannie Lou Hamer’s 1964 rhetorical question, “Is this America?”. This exhibition is free and open to the public.

Organized by Dr. Redell Hearn, Curator of Art and Civil Rights for the Mississippi Museum of Art and Tougaloo College, this exhibition and its programming are components of the Art and Civil Rights Initiative, a partnership between the Museum and the College supported by the Henry Luce Foundation.

Pappy Kitchens and the Saga of Red Eye the Rooster
July 20 - September 29, 2019

Self-taught Mississippi artist O.W. “Pappy” Kitchens (1901-1986) painted his magnum opus, The Saga of Red Eye the Rooster, between 1973 and 1976. Kitchens’ most ambitious allegorical work, the collection consists of 60 panels, each one measuring 15 inches square and composed of mixed materials on paper. The artist presents a homespun Pilgrim’s Progress in the form of a beast fable, following Red Eye from foundling to funeral, exploring the life of this extraordinary bird. Red Eye’s quasi-human behavior inevitably maneuvers him into conflicts with antagonists of all sorts. He encounters violence, avarice, lust, greed, and most of the other seven deadly sins, dispatching them in heroic fashion until he finally succumbs to his own fatal flaw.

This exhibition is free and open to the public.

This exhibition is presented in conjunction with the book Pappy Kitchens and the Saga of Red Eye the Rooster by William Dunlap. Published in 2019 by University Press of Mississippi. Learn More Pre-order your copy by calling The Museum Store at 601.965.9939.

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