Migration/s Exhibit Used as Interdisciplinary Learning Experience

Photograph of two young boys standing next to a truck.
“Harlem, 1935,” by Aaron Siskind, is featured in the Paul Jones Collection’s “Migration/s” exhibition, open now through April 19. Courtesy of Aaron Siskind Foundation. This image is for single use only for the promotion of the “Migration/s” exhibition and should not be held in any photo archive without express permission from the Aaron Siskind Foundation.

From the March 2013 Desktop News | “Migration/s,” a collaborative exhibition featuring works in the Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art at The University of Alabama, opens this month at the Paul R. Jones Gallery of Art in downtown Tuscaloosa and will be on display until April 19.

The exhibit, part of a semester-long exploration of the theme of migration, investigates how artists have reflected upon the history of African American experiences in the wake of the Great Migration, as well as migration from more expansive historical and contemporary, local and global, and national and international contexts.

The migration theme was developed by members of UA’s Black Faculty and Staff Association. The group envisioned finding a way to use the collection to explore a common theme across many disciplines. A digital archive of the exhibit is available to UA faculty to use in their courses.

Dr. Jessica Dallow, associate professor of art history at The University of Alabama at Birmingham and guest curator, organized the exhibit into four sections: the migration impulse, the migrant experience, protest and resistance movements, and the migrant artist. It features such artists from the collection as Lois Mailou Jones, John Riddle, Jr., James Sherman Brantley, Margaret T. Goss Burroughs, Reginald Gammon, Emma Amos, Dawoud Bey, and Elizabeth Catlett.

“The works in the collection and in the exhibition are not all directly related to The Great Migration, but by putting them in dialogue with this theme I hope that people are able to understand something about that moment in history and prompt larger questions about migration and immigration today,” Dallow said.

An opening reception for “Migration/s” will be held on Thursday, March 7, 5:30-7:30 p.m.  At 6 p.m. Dr. Utz McKnight, an associate professor in the Department of Political Science and chair of the Department of Gender and Race Studies, will talk on  “Art, Diaspora and The Politics of Migration.” A second gallery talk, “Transborder Migrations: Race, Mobility and Containment” will be given on March 14 at 6 p.m. by Dr. Jennifer Shoaff, an assistant professor in the Department of Gender and Race Studies. Both events are free and open to the public and will be held at the Paul R. Jones Gallery of Art.

The Paul R. Jones Gallery of Art is located at 2308 6th Street in downtown Tuscaloosa. Gallery hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Thursday 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. The gallery is managed by the College’s Department of Art and Art History.

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