In Conjunction with the UO Common Reading, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art Opens “Between the World and Me: African American Artists Respond to Ta-Nehisi Coates”

EUGENE, Ore. -- (September 20, 2016) – “Between the World and Me: African American Artists Respond to Ta-Nehisi Coates” is now on view at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on the University of Oregon campus. On view through March 7, 2017, this exhibition features contemporary Post-Black artists that explore what it means to be Black in the United States. The exhibition was planned to support and extend the University of Oregon’s Common Reading of Coates’s book “Between the World and Me.”


The exhibition will be celebrated at a reception on Friday, September 30, from 6 to 8 p.m.


Curated by executive director Jill Hartz and Amelia Anderson, a second-year MA graduate student in art history, the artwork selected for this exhibition reconsiders the complexity of the Black experience in America. Artists represented include Marc Bradford, Theaster Gates, Mildred Howard, Chris Johnson, Rashid Johnson, Glenn Ligon, Hank Willis Thomas, and Kehinde Wiley.


“Coates argues that the American Dream is anything but a positive, aspirational goal,” says Hartz. “He makes a compelling case for its contribution to institutional racism and asks us to examine and acknowledge our complexity and commit ourselves to social justice. We’d like to invite everyone to go beyond the book and explore this concept through the artworks featured in this exhibition.”


A series of public programs will be held in conjunction with the exhibition. On Saturday, October 1, at 2:30 p.m. artist Mildred Howard will present a gallery talk on her work. Raised by politically active parents in California, Howard joined youth protests against segregation in Berkeley schools. She earned an Associate of Arts Degree and Certificate in Fashion Arts from the College of Alameda in 1977 and an MFA in 1985 from the Fiberworks Center from the Textile Arts at John F. Kennedy University in Orinda, California. Her artistic careers began as a dancer in and the 1980s she turned to installation and mixed media collage. She is the recipient of two Rockefeller Fellowships, a Joan Mitchell Award m and an NEA Fellowship in Sculpture. Howard’s work has been shown throughout the Unites States and Europe and three of her mixed media collages are on view in the gallery.


On Saturday, November 5, at 2 p.m., artist Chris Johnson will speak on his work “Question Bridge: Black Males,” which  critically explores challenging issues within the Black male community by instigating a transmedia conversation among Black men across the geographic, economic, generational, educational, and social strata of American society. Question Bridge provides a safe setting for necessary, honest expression and healing dialogue on themes that divide, unite, and puzzle Black males in the United States. Chris Johnson is a photographic and video artist, curator, and writer. A full professor of photography at the California College of the Arts, Johnson studied photography with Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, and Wynn Bullock. He is the author of “The Practical Zone System: for Film and Digital Photography” and his artwork has been exhibited in gallery and museum shows, including the Smithsonian and the Oakland Museum of California. His video projects have been installed in numerous museums and art institutions.


On Saturday, November 12, at 2:00 p.m., Anderson will lead a co-curator’s tour of the exhibition. 


“Between the World and Me: African American Artist Respond to Ta-Nehisi Coates” is made possible, in part, with a JSMA Academic Support Grant.


About the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

The University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is a premier Pacific Northwest museum for exhibitions and collections of historic and contemporary art based in a major university setting. The mission of the museum is to enhance the University of Oregon’s academic mission and to further the appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts for the general public.  The JSMA features significant collections galleries devoted to art from China, Japan, Korea, the Americas and Europe as well as changing special exhibition galleries.  The JSMA is the only accredited academic art museum in Oregon.


The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is located on the University of Oregon campus at 1430 Johnson Lane. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens. Free admission is given to ages 18 and under, JSMA members, college students with ID, and University of Oregon faculty, staff and students. For information, contact the JSMA, 541-346-3027.


About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.


JSMA: Debbie Williamson Smith, 541-346-0942,


Links: Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art,