Through a visually compelling presentation of history through art, small moments of ordinary experiences are transformed into extraordinary discoveries of resiliency and revelation in “Vision & Spirit: Black Artists in the Bank of America Collection,” the newest exhibition opening Saturday, February 17, 2024, at the Upcountry History Museum – Greenville County.
Featuring more than 100 paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, and mixed media works by 48 renowned Black artists born in the 19th and 20th centuries, this exhibition highlights key aspects of their lives, as well as the important objects they created. The varieties of artistic vision represented reflect upon the social and political times in which the works of art were produced, as well as span an even greater period of time, such as the Middle Passage – the taking of enslaved Africans by boat across the Atlantic, the Underground Railroad, and the Great Migration of Black Americans from the South during the Jim Crow era.
Curated in partnership with the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts & Culture in Charlotte, N.C., the works of artists like Henry Clay Anderson, Chelle Barbour, Romare Bearden, Dawoud Bey, Willie Cole, Murry DePillars, Jacob Lawrence, Whitfield Lovell, Gordon Parks, Faith Ringgold, Jamel Shabazz, and James VanDerZee, embody what curator Dexter Wimberly called “countless examples of resilience” as he researched these artists, their collective works, and the impact each has on shaping our understanding of the world. This exhibition has been loaned through the Bank of America Art in our Communities® program.
“We believe in the power of the arts to help economies thrive, enrich societies and create greater cultural understanding,” said Stacy Brandon, Bank of America President for Upstate South Carolina. “Bank of America is honored to help bring a unique exhibit by this celebrated group of artists to the Upstate to increase appreciation and promote discussion in our broader community of the Black American experience.”
On display through June 2, “Vision & Spirit” inspires visitors to go on a journey of discovery, revelation, and transformation through a collection of both established works and emerging abstracts to open the door for greater discussion of what propels this reimagining while inviting exploration of complex ideas about history unconstrained by assumptions.
The Upcountry History Museum is located at 540 Buncombe St., in Greenville, S.C. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Sunday from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. For more information, call 864-467-3100 or visit www.upcountryhistory.org.