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Photos: Mississippi Museum of Art opens homage exhibit to ‘The Great Migration’

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More than 6 million African Americans in the South migrated north seeking better opportunities and a better way of life between 1916-1970. Those millions populated cities such as Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

That exodus was called “The Great Migration.”

An homage to that pilgrimage north opened this week at the Mississippi Museum of Art, where 12 artists from across the nation with ties to Mississippi will have their newly commissioned works showcased in the exhibit, “A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration.”

The exhibit features work by acclaimed Black artists, including Akea Brionne, Mark Bradford, Zoë Charlton, Larry W. Cook, Torkwase Dyson, Theaster Gates Jr., Allison Janae Hamilton, Leslie Hewitt, Steffani Jemison, Robert Pruitt, Jamea Richmond-Edwards, and Carrie Mae Weems. The works explore “profound impact of the Great Migration on the social and cultural life of the United States from historical and personal perspectives,” museum officials explained.

The museum hosted an April 8 weekend opening that featured discussions from most of the artists. The weekend guests included Ford Foundation president and author Darren Walker, who spoke to attendees about the lasting legacies of the Great Migration, and ABC anchor and Mississippi native Robin Roberts.

The exhibit will be open at the museum in downtown Jackson until Sept. 11, 2022.

Here are some photos from the exhibit’s opening weekend.

Los Angeles artist Mark Bradford’s piece, “In 500,” depicts a wanted ad calling for Black families to settle on land in New Mexico, as opposed to “Wanted” posters of a more sinister ilk. Bradford’s artwork is part of the exhibit, “A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration,” at the Mississippi Museum of Art, Friday, Apr. 8, 2022. Credit: Vickie D. King/Mississippi Today
Los Angeles artist Mark Bradford’s piece, “In 500,” depicts a wanted ad calling for Black families to settle on land in New Mexico, as opposed to “Wanted” posters of a more sinister ilk. Bradford’s artwork is part of the exhibit, “A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration,” at the Mississippi Museum of Art, Friday, Apr. 8, 2022. Credit: Vickie D. King/Mississippi Today
Artist Jamea Richmond-Edwards of Detroit (center) and museum visitors chat about Richmond-Edward’s piece, “This Water Runs Deep,” currently on display as part of the exhibit, “A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration,” at the Mississippi Museum of Art, Friday, Apr. 8, 2022. Credit: Vickie D. King/Mississippi Today
Jamea Richmond-Edwards of Detroit discusses her mixed media and collage on canvas piece, “This Water Runs Deep,” depicting family impacted by Mississippi River flooding and their travels north to Arkansas and Missouri. The artwork is part of the exhibit, “A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration,” at the Mississippi Museum of Art, Friday, Apr. 8, 2022. Credit: Vickie D. King/Mississippi Today
Maryland based artist Zoe Charlton, poses with her collage on wood panel, “Permanent Change of Station.” The piece blends worlds of reality and fantasy, depicting her family’s journeys out of the South and around the world, many by way of the military, Friday, Apr. 8, 2022. Credit: Vickie D. King/Mississippi Today
Artist Larry W. Cook, with one of the only portraits he has shot of his father. Cooks’ portrait of his father and other family members is called, “Let My Testimony Sit Next to Yours,” and is a part of the exhibit, “A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration,” at the Mississippi Museum of Art, Friday, Apr. 8, 2022. Credit: Vickie D. King/Mississippi Today
Museum curator Ryan N. Dennis describes the piece of Houston born artist Robert Pruitt called, “A Song for Travelers,” which depicts Houston’s Third and Fourth Wards where Pruitt grew up. The artwork is part of the exhibit, “A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration,” at the Mississippi Museum of Art, Friday, Apr. 8, 2022. Credit: Vickie D. King/Mississippi Today
Museum curator Jessica Bell Brown (center), describes the painted steel and aluminum, glass and dry-erase piece of artist Torkwase Dyson called, “Way Over There Inside Me (A Festival of Inches),” depicting ” the magnitude of accelerated movement in America.” Dyson’s sculpture is part of the exhibit, “A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration,” at the Mississippi Museum of Art, Friday, Apr. 8, 2022. Credit: Vickie D. King/Mississippi Today
Artist Akea Brionne describes the tapestries she created honoring her three great aunts (the Phelps sisters) and her great grandmother. These women in her life made it possible for the men in the family to migrate north in search of a better life. The artwork is part of the exhibit, “A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration,” at the Mississippi Museum of Art, Friday, Apr. 8, 2022. Credit: Vickie D. King/Mississippi Today
Artists, patrons of the arts and Mississippi Museum of the Arts staff kick off the exhibit, “A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration,” an homage to the social, economical and cultural impact that resulted from the exodus of millions African Americans from the South to northern states. The exhibit, “A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration,” opened today at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson, Friday, Apr. 8, 2022. Credit: Vickie D. King/Mississippi Today
The Mississippi Museum of Art is host to the exhibit, “A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration,” at the Mississippi Museum of Art, Friday, Apr. 8, 2022. Credit: Vickie D. King/Mississippi Today

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