Southern art will soon have a new platform on campus.
Starting this Friday, visitors attending the Ackland Art Museum can view the new exhibit “Unsettled Things: Art from an African American South.”
“You don’t have to go to New York, L.A. or Chicago to see great art that’s really happening everywhere,” said Lauren Turner, Ackland’s associate curator for contemporary art and special projects.
In partnership with the International African American Museum in Charleston, the exhibit was developed to display the artwork of 28 southern artists from multiple decades and connect it to mainstream movements in contemporary art.
The vernacular art pieces, most of which come from Ackland’s permanent collection, reflect the history of the South, Turner said.
"We've built up this really strong collection of art by artists who historically have been described as folk artists or vernacular artists or outsider artists, and a lot of those terms can be very othering," she said.
One of the goals of the exhibit is to allow people to have a close look at art and consider how the artist crafted them in a particular time and place, Allison Portnow Lathrop, Ackland’s head of public programs, said.
“Emphasizing the voice of the artist is really important to what we do at the Ackland,” she said.
Turner said emphasizing the voices of these specific artists has been a project in the works for a decade at the Ackland.