MONA Celebrates Black History Month


Vibrant colors and shapes at the Museum of Nebraska Art explore the identity of African American artists. The exhibition gives many a chance to realize and see a heritage that might be unknown.
"I think they are aware of it, but I don't think that they might not fully understand the depth of how far it goes back and the importance of it, not just to our state but to the country as well and really the world," explained curator Teliza Rodriguez.
A greater spectrum, African American artists of Nebraska 1912 through 2011 takes a look at the impact of African American artists in the state. It follows a timeline and the progression of the art and artists through beginning portraits to more abstract art.
"It's showing us an alternative experience that we might not have had."
Many of the artists went onto national prominence like Aaron Douglas. He was the first African American to graduate from UNLl with a degree in art and later was a key member of the Harlem Renaissaince.
"The span is really great. I think that speaks to the diversity within the African American community," Teliza said.
Much of the artwork reflects on the history of our state and country. Photographs depict the civil rights movement in Omaha. One shows a candid moment of Martin Luther King at a dinner table. Another, catches Robert Kennedy at a rally just two weeks before his death.
"I think all the works in this show on some level parallel history. You see that even in the media that was used and subject matters that were approached in the works."
Sculptures, glass work, and images coming off the wall lead to many new discoveries. They help people of all backgrounds learn and understand more about each other.
Admission to the museum is free and the show will run through April 3, 2011.
The works of 22 artists are featured.