Detroit Artists to Discuss Black Arts Movement in Upcoming Events

The Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum in Saginaw is hosting talks with Tylonn J. Sawyer, Shirley Woodson, and Allie McGhee
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allie mcghee - Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum
The Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum hosts an Artists’ Panel Discussion with Allie McGhee (pictured above) and Shirley Woodson on March 26. // Photograph courtesy of Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum

Following a showing at Eastern Michigan University and Wayne State University, the Harold Neal and Detroit African American Artists: 1945 through the Black Arts Movement exhibition has made its way to the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum. To coincide with the exhibit, the museum is hosting two virtual events with Detroit artists to discuss the Black Arts Movement.

The first event — an Artist Talk with multidisciplinary artist, educator, and curator Tylonn J. Sawyer — takes place over Zoom from noon to 2 p.m. on March 19. Sawyer was a Kresge Arts in Detroit fellow in 2019, and his drawings and paintings have been shown locally at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, and the Detroit Institute of Art as well as galleries and institutions in Texas, California, New York, and more. Those interested in attending must register online for free. The talk will also be live streamed on the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum’s Facebook page.

Then from noon to 2 p.m. on March 26, the museum will host an Artists’ Panel Discussion with painters Shirley Woodson and Allie McGhee, who both have work featured in Harold Neal and Detroit African American Artists. One of this year’s Hour Detroiters, Woodson has worked in the arts for more than 60 years and was named the 20201 Kresge Eminent Artist. Her art can be found in more than 20 permanent collections across the U.S. and is currently on display in the DIA’s Shirley Woodson: Shield of the Nile Reflections exhibit. McGhee, who wrapped up a solo exhibition at Cranbrook Art Museum last month, set up his studio in 1965. He has also shown at the University of Michigan, N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, and Library Street Collective, as well as galleries in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and more.

Stephanie James, the curator and collection educator of the Mott-Warsh Collection in Flint, will moderate the discussion. The in-person event will take place at the museum, which is located on Saginaw Valley State University’s campus, and will be followed by a reception and book signing. Those who wish to join virtually can enjoy the panel via the museum’s Facebook page.

The Harold Neal and Detroit African American Artists focuses on the life and work of Neal, a Detroit artist who historians say created some of the “most forceful artistic statements” of the Civil Rights Black Power, and Black Art Movements. It also highlights his predecessors, his contemporaries, and his successors. The exhibit opened at the Marshall M. Fredricks Sculpture Museum on Feb. 1 and runs through April 16.

For more information, visit marshallfredericks.org.

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