From the Director
Happy New Year everyone. I hope you were able to spend the holidays with family and friends and that your plans included a visit to see The Art of Video Games, which is on view through January 18th. This visual extravaganza traces the increasing role of the artist in the development of what is, by all measures, one of the most popular and influential art forms of the past half century. Don't miss it.
Looking forward to 2015, we will begin the year with two exhibitions in honor of National African American History Month. The first is an exhibition drawn from the FIA's collection, by photographer James Perry Walker, featuring his years following and documenting the work of an itinerate preacher Reverend Louis Cole through African American communities in rural Mississippi and Tennessee. In this series, his photographs are intuitively narrative: joining a writer's vocabulary and a photographer's vision to create pictures that are extravagant in their beauty and unaffected in their simplicity. His camera wanders into people's lives as easily as a family member entrusted with private, personal moments. And, like all great photographs, his have the irreducible elements of seeming public and familiar yet private and unique.
Also on view, and in collaboration with two other Michigan museums, the FIA will present Common Ground: African American Art from the Flint Institute of Arts, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and the Muskegon Museum of Art. This exhibition, which traces the aesthetic evolution of African American art from the 19th century to the present day, highlights the strengths of all three collections. While the museums in Flint, Kalamazoo, and Muskegon have been actively collecting works by African American artists, this exhibition will be the first time these works will be assembled in one place. This unique occasion allows our audiences the opportunity to examine familiar works in a whole new context while seeing others for the first time. Collectively we are able to demonstrate the compelling history of African American art through works by over 50 artists in a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, and works on paper.
Both exhibitions will be on view during the 8th Annual Gala Celebration which will be held on Saturday, February 7th. Please plan to attend.
There is always a lot to see and do at the FIA. I look forward to seeing you here very soon.
John B. Henry