Quiet strength: Exhibit presents unity, diversity of the black experience

Byron L. Smith (American, b. 1960) Martin Luther King Jr. 1929–1968, 1989 Color serigraph Gift of the artist in memory of his grandmother, Laura Garcia Davis (2005.32)

The loudest tools of social revolution are not the only ones that bring about lasting change.

The soldier has a gun; the protester has a voice; and in a world that fractures easily, the artist is left to deliberate how he or she might fill gaps.

With natural tools — eyes, ears, hands, hearts — and those that are man-made — a paintbrush, a pencil fashioned from craggy charcoal — artists participate in political conversations around them in a quieter yet no less emphatic way.

As Black History Month begins, and a new year still finds its footing, the University of Missouri’s Museum of Art and Archaeology is displaying works by black American artists — works that show us the world they lived in and, in some cases, the world they wanted to inhabit. Read the rest of the Columbia Tribune article here!

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