“Invictus” Art Exhibition Celebrates African Americans’ Pursuit of Freedom and Will to Survive

huntedslavesAn art exhibition inspired by a Vanderbilt undergraduate’s course work in African American history is currently on display at Vanderbilt Divinity School through Friday, February 24.

The Religion in the Arts and Contemporary Culture program presents “Invictus: Twenty Works Celebrating African Americans’ Pursuit of Freedom and Will to Survive” in the Divinity School’s art gallery, Room G-20. The exhibition’s closing reception will be held on Wednesday, February 22, from 12 noon to 2 pm in the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center.

Curated by Yollette T. Jones, associate dean of the College of Arts and Science, “Invictus” was organized by Maya T. King, a junior in the College of Arts and Science. Inspired by her courses in the Department of History, King envisioned a visual art exhibition that would put “positive and uplifting images of African Americans in the public view.”

The exhibition examines artists’ portrayals of African American struggle and survival in the United States beginning with the documentation of the death of Crispus Attucks at the Boston Massacre in 1770. On display are notable works by John Biggers, Elizabeth Catlett, John Wilson, Charles White, and other African American artists. Collectively, these images tell the story of black resolve in the face of social and economic difficulties.

Gallery hours are 12 to 2 pm on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through February 24 or by appointment.

Along with the Religion in the Arts and Contemporary Culture program, the exhibition is co-sponsored by the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center, Office of the Dean of Students, College of Arts and Science, and Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

For more information, email Dave Perkins at david.h.perkins@vanderbilt.edu or call 615-385-0220.

*The Hunted Slaves by Richard Ansdell (1815-1885)

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