“There are so many aspects to be interested in with these artists," Fox said. "There’s the political activism angle, the identity angle, the love affairs that they had together and apart."
Diego Rivera was socially and politically active, specifically within communism.
“A lot his art is directly related to those (beliefs),” Fox said. “They had this very turbulent, passionate love affair.”
Art is the way that we express some of the things that are most deeply important to us, Fox said.
“It creates these threads of connection between people, between ethnicities, between races, across time,” Fox said. “These connections can really provide a sense of meaning and purpose and bring an incredible amount of richness to one’s experience.”
When students start exploring the art world, they often see something of themselves and their struggles and experiences in the works, Fox said.
“There is an aura about works of art in person that can absolutely be transformative,” Fox said.
Kat Harding, NCMA public relations manager, said the event will be a great opportunity for students to learn more about Kahlo, Rivera and their contemporaries of Mexican Modernism.
“They’re all so iconic, but you get to go a little bit deeper into their lives with the photographs of them,” Harding said.
Exhibits like Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Mexican Modernism are generally pretty expensive, but college students get in for free, Fox said.
“It’s an opportunity that I think far too few college students take advantage of, maybe because they don’t even know about it,” Fox said.
Lombardi said there will be buses of college students coming from across the state to attend this event, including from Cape Fear Community College, Appalachian State University and East Carolina University.
“We try to do a big, free, college event for students every semester, particularly in the fall with our bigger exhibitions," Harding said. “College can be a busy and financially strapping time for a lot of students, so we want to host an event where everyone can come, relax and enjoy art."
NCMA has a mandate as a state museum to be inviting to everyone, Lombardi said.
“We host this event as a big, fun party to make sure that everybody at least gets their foot in the door and then hopefully visits us again,” Lombardi said.
This event will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15 at the NCMA.
“What the North Carolina Museum of Art wants to do, and what I, as an instructor of college students, wants to do, is to get students to take that first step because I think that once they do, they’re going to continue to enjoy art and engage with it for the rest of their lives,” Fox said. “That’s the hope, and that’s the dream.”