KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Art Institute will open its new gallery with an exhibit featuring Black artists.
“Revolution in Our Lifetime: An Exhibition in Three Parts” will feature works by Emory Douglas, the African American Artists Collective and KCAI students, according to Michael Schonhoff, director of the KCAI gallery.
Emory Douglas is a graphic artist who once served as the minister of culture for the Black Panther Party. His posters helped define the look of the social justice movement in the 1970s. In addition to his work being on display, Douglas will hold a workshop with KCAI students, whose work will be part of the exhibition later this year.
Nehemiah Cisneros, a KCAI student, said the pieces in the exhibit give a feeling of “nostalgia.”
“Of course, I see myself in a lot of these,” Cisneros said, “and I also see hope, and I also see pride and power.”
Jason Piggie, a photographer and founding member of the African American Artists Collective, said the organization is a “support base” that focuses on mentoring and providing an outlet for local artists to showcase their work.
One of those artists is Kim Newton, whose piece, “I Too Dream America,” will be in the exhibit.
“I wanted to show that emotion in the men in the Black community, as well as the mom and the children. It’s exhausting,” Newton said. “I think oftentimes people look at protesters as angry, and if you dig deeper below anger, there is hurt or there is fear, and I think that’s where we are in this moment.”
The exhibit showcases social justice, human rights and Black power, along with themes of protest and unity. Schonhoff invited the community to experience the new KCAI gallery and take in the diverse work on display.
“If you’re not moved, I’m surprised,” Schonhoff said.
Revolution in Our Lifetime: An Exhibition in Three Parts runs from Wednesday through Dec. 5. For more information, or to obtain free tickets, visit the exhibit’s online event page.