Meet the Fergusons, an exhibition of new works by Nashville artist Samuel L. Dunson Jr., opens on Thursday, September 17, at Vanderbilt Divinity School. A reception for the artist will be held from 3 to 7 pm in the gallery, which is housed in room G-20.
“These paintings present a unique visual commentary on the problems that have arisen in communities affected by anger and distrust,” said Dunson, who teaches studio art at Tennessee State University.
The exhibition, which is free and open to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from noon to 2 p.m., is sponsored by the Divinity School’s Religion in the Arts and Contemporary Culture program.
On view through November 12, these paintings are the result of Dunson’s “creative engagement with the turmoil that has arisen in the past year” following the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. He noted that he was not attempting to be political or controversial with these works. “Dunson wants to consider the issues with spiritual eyes—in his case, as an African American Christian man and artist,” said Dave Perkins, associate director of Religion in the Arts and Contemporary Culture.
Dunson earned his undergraduate degree from Tennessee State University and an MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design. He wants his art to “spark conversation” and contribute to the greater discourse on human relations.