Artists of Colour

Amherstburg Freedom Museum and Artists of Colour unveil “Journeys” exhibit

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A new art exhibit is on display at the Amherstburg Freedom Museum with the official opening last Friday night.

“Journeys” debuted with Windsor-Essex County artists contributing work towards the exhibit’s first phase, entitled “New Canaan Journey in Pursuit of Freedom.” The exhibit is described as showing how the Underground Railroad gave birth to the first racially integrated, religiously inspired movement for social change within the United States. The exhibit is further described as one that “speaks of the courage and determination of a people who refused to accept the degradation of slavery. Both black and white stood up against the injustice and demoralization of slavery, risking their lives and livelihood opposing the injustice inflicted upon their brothers and sisters.”

Dennis K. Smith, one of the artists that comprise the Artists of Colour, said the exhibit shows where they came from and what it took to find freedom. He said they hope it travels around as a teaching tool.

Lana Talbot shows one of her paintings that are featured as part of the “Journeys” exhibit at the Amherstburg Freedom Museum through April 1.

Accompanied by musicians Jim Walls and Karzell Dew and conductor Milo Johnston, there was a presentation describing the stories behind the 14 paintings in the Nazrey AME Church before the public went to the second floor of the museum building to view the works themselves.

“We tell our story through art,” explained Smith. “As we tell it, we learn a little more about ourselves.”

Mary-Katherine Whelan, curator at the Amherstburg Freedom Museum, stated the exhibit is about “the journey to freedom.” It is another way to provide an educational tool to those who may not know the history.

“It’s important to tell the story of a generation who refused to accept the degradation of slavery,” said Whelan.

The exhibit will not only run through February, which is Black History Month, but right up until April 1.

Connie Lee-Turner stands with one of her paintings that is part of the “Journeys” exhibit. The art can be viewed on the second floor of the Amherstburg Freedom Museum.

The Artists of Colour also plan an exhibit at Mackenzie Hall in Windsor May 11-20 entitled “Mosaic.”

The Amherstburg Freedom Museum is open Tuesday-Friday 12-5 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 1-5 p.m. Admission is $7.50 for adults and $6.50 for students and seniors with Whelan adding that people will get $1 off admission during Black History Month if they can answer when the Nazrey AME Church was built and by whom.

For more information, call 519-736-5433 or visit www.amherstburgfreedom.org. There is also a list posted on the website of other Black History Month events happening, with Whelan noting the list was compiled by the Essex County Black Historical Research Society.

Amherstburg Freedom Museum hosting Artists of Colour’s “Journeys” exhibit

 

 

The Amherstburg Freedom Museum, in partnership with the Artists of Colour, will host the exhibit opening for “Journeys,” with the exhibit opening being Feb. 2.

“Journeys” features 14 works of art from a group of local Black artists who form the committee of the Artists of Colour. Museum officials state the event will feature live entertainment, providing a musical accompaniment to the exhibit.

The art works chosen are part of the first stage of the “Journeys” project which the Artists of Colour have begun to construct, will be an art exhibit that will celebrate and relay the story of Black enslavement and the long journey back to freedom. The museum states “this exhibit will tell the story to all generations of the courage and determination of a people who refused to accept the degradation of slavery. White and Black stood up against the injustice and demoralization of slavery, risking their lives and livelihood opposing the injustice inflicted upon their brothers and sisters. They unselfishly dedicated their lives to the cause of liberty.”

This exhibit is the first stage of the “Journeys Project” and shows how the Underground Railroad gave birth to the first racially integrated, religiously inspired movement for social change within the United States and Canada. Between 1840 and 1860, before the American Civil War, once-enslaved Africans followed the North Star on the Underground Railroad to find freedom in Canada. That journey to freedom was long, dangerous and life-changing.

The opening reception of “Journeys” at the Amherstburg Freedom Museum runs from 7-9 p.m., and will feature light refreshments and live entertainment. There is no charge to attend the official opening, but donations are being accepted.

The exhibit runs until April 1, with regular admission rates applying after the Feb 2. opening.

The Amherstburg Freedom Museum is located at 277 King St. in Amherstburg and their phone number is 519-736-5433. The museum’s website is www.amherstburgfreedom.org. Their Facebook page can be found at www.facebook.com/AmherstburgFreedom and their Twitter page can be found by searching @AburgFreedom.