‘Common Ground’ African American Art Exhibition through March 20 at Muskegon Museum of Art

Crossroads, 2010
Karsten Creightney, ‘Crossroads’ 2010. Collage, water, acrylic, oil and wax on wood panel. Flint Institute of Arts

By Victoria Mullen

Treat yourself to a visual feast! Common Ground, an amazing exhibition of African American art, is a collaborative effort between the Flint Institute of Arts, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and the Muskegon Museum of Art. The exhibition showcases the best of each museum’s renowned collections of African American works dating from the 19th century to the present–60 paintings, sculpture, and works on paper that chronicle a cultural history of nearly 200 years.

Five thematic areas—Examining Identities, New Self-Awareness, Towards Abstraction, Gaining Access and Political and Social Expressions—give a broad overview of African American art history from the talent and determination of the earliest artists to internationally acclaimed work by leading contemporary artists.

Charles Henry Alston, Untitled (Couple), 1945-50, oil on canvas, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
Charles Henry Alston, ‘Untitled (Couple)’ 1945-50. Oil on canvas. Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

Artists represented include Charles White, Elizabeth Catlett, Henry Ossawa Tanner and Jacob Lawrence. Works by Michigan artists are included as well, among them Richard Hunt, Senghor Reid, Hughie Lee-Smith and Charles McGee.

The Muskegon Museum of Art is located at 296 W. Webster Ave., in downtown Muskegon. Hours are Sunday 12-5pm, Tuesday through Saturday 11am-5pm, Thursday 11am-8pm, closed Mondays.

General admission: $8 adult, $5 adult student with I.D, free for ages 17 and under and for MMA members. Free admission Thursdays, from 4pm to 8pm only, compliments of Meijer. More visitor information may be found here.