New exhibition explores the work of Harold Neal
AAccording to art historians at Eastern Michigan University, Detroit artist Harold Neal has created some of the “most powerful artistic statements” of the civil rights, black power, and black arts movements. In a new exhibition entitled Harold Neal and the African-American Artists of Detroit: 1945 Through the Black Arts Movement, residents will have the opportunity to learn more about Neal as well as the development of Detroit’s African-American artistic community in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, and how these movements influenced their work.
The exhibition opens today at Eastern Michigan’s University Gallery, located at 900 Oakwood St. in Ypsilanti. It focuses of course on the life and work of Neal, but it also highlights his predecessors Hughie Lee Smith and Oliver LaGrone; his contemporaries, including Charles McGee, Glanton Dowdell and Shirley Woodson; and his successors Aaron Ibn Proi Pitts and Allie McGhee. An accompanying catalog, fully illustrated, develops the themes explored in the exhibition.
Detroit jazz band Marion Hayden Trio will perform at the opening of the exhibit. Then, on October 12, Rebecca Zurier, Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Michigan, will present a talk titled “Detroit’s Black Power Murals as Public Art” at the Halle Library auditorium on campus. from eastern Michigan.
Harold Neal and the African-American artists of Detroit will be on display at the University Gallery until October 20. A closing reception will be held on October 17th. Following the reception, the gallery will present a panel with McGhee, Woodson, Detroit artist Tylonn Sawyer and Samantha Noel, who is an associate professor of art history at Wayne State University.
After airing in eastern Michigan, the exhibit will be on view at Wayne State from November 4 to January 20 and at the Marshall Fredericks Museum from February 1 to April 14.
For more information visit emugalleries.org.