Aaron F. Henderson, "400 Years" (2019), gouache on paper, at the James.

Can You Hear It? Woodson Museum opens “Reverberations” on Juneteenth at the James

Reverberations is a show with resonance.

In artwork done exclusively by African American artists, it seeks to showcase the highs and lows of the Black experience in America, highlighting themes of family and community as well as marginalization and prejudice.

“Can you hear the song that has been playing for over four centuries?” asks curator Desmond Clark. “Can you feel how it vibrates our nation?”

William Villalongo, “Sunday’s Best.” Acrylic, paper collage and cut velour paper, at the James.

The show also resounds because of the partnership that’s making it happen: It’s presented by the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum at the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art.

For the Woodson, the show is a harbinger of the kinds of exhibitions the museum could realize in its proposed new home in South St. Pete. For the James, it’s a chance, says Executive Director Laura Hine, to “amplify the voices of artists not often found at the forefront of American art and demonstrate the strength of an African American museum in our region” — a means of exploring “our shared past and present.”

Even the show’s opening date resonates: It’s Juneteenth, the holiday celebrating the emancipation of enslaved peoples in the U.S.

Reverberations: Black Artists on Racism and Reslience, June 19-Aug. 29, The James Museum,150 Central Ave., 727-892-4200, thejamesmuseum.org.

Tags: