Mississippi Museum of Art (MMA) announces A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration

On April 9, the Mississippi Museum of Art (MMA) will open A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration, which explores the profound impact of the Great Migration on the social and cultural life of the United States from historical and personal perspectives. Co-organized with the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA), the exhibition features newly commissioned works across media by 12 acclaimed Black artists, including Mark Bradford, Akea Brionne, Zoë Charlton, Larry W. Cook, Torkwase Dyson, Theaster Gates, Allison Janae Hamilton, Leslie Hewitt, Steffani Jemison, Robert Pruitt, Jamea Richmond-Edwards, and Carrie Mae Weems. Through the artists’ distinct and dynamic installations, A Movement in Every Direction reveals anew the spectrum of contexts that shaped the Great Migration and explores the ways in which it continues to reverberate today in both intimate and communal experiences. The exhibition will be open at the MMA through September 11, 2022, and will then travel to the BMA, where it will be on view from October 30, 2022, through January 29, 2023. A Movement in Every Direction will be accompanied by a two-volume publication that includes commissioned essays by Kiese Laymon, Jessica Lynne, Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, and Dr. Willie J. Wright.

The Great Migration saw more than six million African Americans leave the South for destinations across the United States at the start of the 20th century and well into the 1970s. This incredible movement of people transformed nearly every aspect of Black life, in both rural towns and urban metropolises, and spurred an already flourishing Black culture. A Movement in Every Direction provides a platform for the featured artists to explore, reflect on, and capture their own relationships to this singular historic happening, both personally and artistically. Brought together by co-curators Ryan N. Dennis (she/her), MMA Chief Curator and Artistic Director of the Museum’s Center for Art and Public Exchange, and Jessica Bell Brown (she/her), BMA Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, the works offer an insightful rumination on the complexity of the Great Migration as a narrative that is still unfolding. The exhibition showcases an incredible richness of artistic vision and endeavor, with installations ranging widely in conceptual and technical approach and embracing painting, sculpture, drawing, video, sound, and immersive installation. MMA and BMA are also creating digital assets tied to the exhibition for their websites for virtual engagements.

For more information, visit msmuseumart.org

Top row, left to right:
Zoë Charlton, Photo: E. Brady Robinson Photography
Allison Janea Hamilton, Photo: Frankie Alduino
Leslie Hewitt, Photo: Richard Renaldi
Torkwase Dyson, Photo: Gabe Souza
Akea Brionne, Photo: Akea Brionne
Mark Bradford, Photo: Sim Canetty-Clarke, © Mark Bradford, Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
Bottom row, left to right:
Steffani Jemison, Photo: Nottingham Contemporary 2017
Larry W. Cook, Photo: Nakeya Brown
Jamea Richmond-Edwards, Photo: Jamea Richmond-Edwards
Carrie Mae Weems, Photo: Audoin Desforges, 2020
Theaster Gates, Photo: Sara Pooley
Robert Pruitt, Photo: Autumn Knight, 2020

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