This season we’re leaning into color, tip-toeing through chateaus, and learning about the histories of some of our nation’s oldest enclaves of Black culture.
Museums, galleries, and other cultural institutions are transporting us to the sets of star-studded Nollywood productions, thrusting us on the banks of the Nile river, and swinging us through the center of the Harlem ballroom dance floor. They’re also plunging us inside of the underground, shuttling us backstage of sold out rap and R&B tours, and slipping us into the lairs of some of the most impactful writers of the twentieth century. They are redefining who gets to be considered part of several cannons by revisiting moments through other perspectives.
Lost graffiti legends are being properly celebrated, iconic producers are having their contributions cemented in history, the clangs of the Dirty South are rising again, and barrier-breaking hip-hop GOATs and power ballad pushers are reminding the world that it was Black people who invented Rock & Roll.
Institutions like the Portland Art Museum and Times Square Arts are also evolving the terms of partnerships they’re forming with artists like Pamela Council and collectives like The Numberz, taking regional art away from begrudging basements and attics and into the spotlight.
By adding unique programming that compliments the art including stylish pop-up shops, buoyant cabarets, public wish fulfillment, and tapping people who understand the art and their patrons to engage with its message they are speaking to the communities they are designed to serve.
There’s more than paintings, photographs, and sculptures snatching our attention this season. Landmarks are inserting us into the fabric of the materials that turned them into timeless relics with lifelike technology and festivals are allowing attendees to dive into immersive artistic experiences.
See 19 well curated winter art exhibitions we’re looking forward to visiting below.
Shirley Woodson: Shield Of The Nile Reflections – Detroit Institute of Arts
Woodson’s dreamy paintings depict beautiful Black bodies bathing in the Nile River.
“Take it To The Limit,” 2013, Shirley Woodson, American; acrylic on canvas. c/o Detroit Institute of Arts
On and Off the Streets: Urban Art New Jersey – Morris Museum
Subcultures of all kinds are highlighted in this exhibition featuring a noteworthy installation of original work in the “Gantalism,” tradition of legendary Newark artist Jerry Gant, alongside other original pieces that range from the sidewalk to the studio.