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Contemporary African American Art Exhibition Opens at Mann-Simons Site

Columbia, S.C. — Historic Columbia, Palmetto Curatorial Exchange, and Connelly & Light present, Route to (re)settlement, an exhibition of contemporary African American art, on display at the Mann-Simons Site (1403 Richland Street) June 2, through July 30, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, or by appointment. Group tours are also available by reservation. The show is free and open to the public.

Route to (re)settlement is the first installment of an exhibition series examining the stories of African American communities in South Carolina, featuring works by acclaimed artists Rashid Johnson and Henry Taylor, alongside up-and-coming artists, Michi Meko, Victoria-Idongesit Udondian and Fletcher Williams, III. By honoring Southern black oral histories and stories in music, food, textiles, spiritualism, and other cultural customs, the works in this exhibition illustrate the development of how these stories have been told through the past to present. 26512075143_26eab77c0c_m

“Delving into the archives associated with the family that settled and occupied the Mann-Simons Site, I realized the grounds encapsulated the historical and current socio-political and cultural climate in the United States and beyond,” says Cecelia Stucker, Palmetto Curatorial Exchange curator. “Route to (re)settlement dissects the violence, cruelty, and systemic racism experienced by blacks throughout the world, but it also highlights and celebrates the cultural endowment these varied communities produce.”

Since 1978, the Mann-Simons Site has served as a center for culture and education in the African American community with a mission to create opportunities for individuals to learn and explore the history of Columbia and the diverse experiences of African Americans in the capital city. The interaction between the works and the Mann-Simons Site encourages discussion about the site’s history as a home, work place, spiritual center, and source of pride for almost 200 years and its future.

Artist bios

Rashid Johnson (b.1977), originally from Chicago, has now found success working and living in New York as a sculptor and photographer. Johnson’s practice revolves around black history and cultural identity in America, incorporating everyday materials to create deeply spiritual works.

Henry Taylor (b. 1958) is a Los Angeles-based artist, well known for his acrylic paintings, mixed-media sculptures, and installations. His most prevalent work is portraiture. His paintings expressively capture those who influence him: historical figures, family, and strangers alike.

Michi Meko (b. 1974) is an Atlanta-based multidisciplinary artist. Born and raised in Florence, Alabama, Meko’s practice is influenced by his deep Southern roots and interest in hip hop subculture.

Victoria-Idongesit Udondian (b. 1982) is a Nigerian artist currently working to earn her MFA from Columbia University in New York City. Victoria works in textiles, exploring clothing’s ability to shape the identity of an individual or community.

Fletcher Williams, III (b. 1987), a Charleston native, seeks to explore identity, history, and popular culture in his multi-media pieces. Williams’ practice is shaped by the marginalized societies of Charleston, juxtaposing their iconography with notes of the Palmetto State’s history.

To schedule a tour, please call 803.252.1770 x 23 or email [email protected]

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Sharon Sanders

Sharon Sanders is Co-Founder, Co-owner of the The MinorityEye. She is also a Digital Engagement Strategist and a Curator of information at The Minorityeye and the President of Clairvoyant, LLC which specializes in strategic communications and multimedia services. She has a B.A. in Psychology from Argosy University and she specializes in “Online Consumer Psychology.” Sharon provides companies with research and insight into the processes underlying consumer behavior in online environments…

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