Free Admission, Programming At Ogden Museum Of Southern Art On MLK Day

Family-friendly activities include scavenger hunt, prizes

NEW ORLEANS – On Monday, Jan. 15 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, in partnership with The Helis Foundation, will host Martin Luther King Jr. Day programming inspired by the Museum’s current exhibition, Solidary & Solitary: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection, Presented by the Helis Foundation.

This free admission day will feature crafts, music, food for purchase from the Diva Dawg food truck, a scavenger hunt, yoga and other engaging family-friendly activities.

Art activities based on abstract works by Solidary & Solidary artists will include drape painting inspired by Sam Gilliam, abstract expressionist painting inspired by Norman Lewis and abstract mobiles inspired by Mark Bradford’s waterfall sculpture. Guests can also participate in sign making inspired by the Civil Rights Movement and create dream walls inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

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In addition, guests can participate in a scavenger hunt, which encourages individuals to explore the Museum, learn about art and have fun in the process. Children who complete the hunt will receive coloring books. Adults will receive passes to Ogden After Hours, the Museum’s Thursday concert series.

The Ogden Museum will be accepting book donations for the nonprofit, Louisiana Books 2 Prisoners. Due to an already overwhelming amount of general fiction, please consider donating dictionaries, study guides for aptitude tests, resume writing, trade manuals, blank journals, puzzle and hobby books, health, fitness and self-help. Unfortunately no hardbound books will be accepted.

After Museum visiting hours, from 6 to 7:15 p.m., adults may participate in a free yoga class with Mark Berger, Kim Doley and special guest speaker Whitney Mitchell. The class will focus on the theme: “I have a dream… for our community, our city, our country, our planet.” Followed by a community mingle with cash bar.

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“We hope this family-friendly event on Martin Luther King Jr. Day will serve as an opportunity for new and returning visitors to experience Solidary & Solitary and explore all that the Ogden Museum has to offer,” says Sarah Story, Deputy Director of the Ogden Museum. “This free admission day, courtesy of The Helis Foundation, will provide people of all ages the chance to create their own connections to the art of the American South.”

For more information regarding Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Museum, please contact Melissa Kenyon at mkenyon@ogdenmuseum.org or 504.539.9631.

About Solidary & Solitary: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection, Presented by The Helis Foundation:

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Solidary & Solitary, drawn from the Joyner/Giuffrida collection, tells the history of art by African American artists from the 1940s to the present moment. That story is a complicated one, woven from the threads of debates about how to represent blackness; social struggle and change; and migrations and diasporas, particularly in relation to Africa, a recent area of expansion for the collection. The collection is primarily focused on abstract art, broadly understood; this is a meaningful political focus, rather than a stylistic preference. For black artists, abstraction is charged with the refusal of representation that is socially dictated, both by racist stereotypes of the dominant culture, and the pressure from within the black community to create positive imagery.

Abstract art as a practice embodies the possibility of individual freedom and autonomy, even within larger social identities. The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection has emphasized and celebrated individual specificity and achievement in collecting the work of many artists in-depth, even as it also ties the artists together in an intergenerational history. That intergenerational history is a story of mutual aid and care, of artistic inspiration—the power for a young artist of seeing another black person as a creative producer. The final element of Solidary & Solitary is implicit: the historical support of African American collectors that has made it possible for generations of artists to sustain a livelihood and career outside the mainstream. Today, those collectors, together with scholars, curators, and other supporters, have been instrumental in claiming a seat at the central table for these artists. Solidary & Solitary celebrates the achievement of individual artists, the collective history told by their art, and the social changes that have changed the way we understand art history in the broadest sense.

It is essential that these histories be told, that the possibilities of individual achievement, collective identity, and genuine, institutional social change be made vivid, concrete, and beautiful. Only by remembering and understanding these histories can we move forward towards a different future, collectively imagined.

Solidary & Solitaryis curated by Christopher Bedford; Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director, The Baltimore Museum of Art and Katy Siegel, Senior Programming and Research Curator, The Baltimore Museum of Art.

Solidary & Solitary is organized by the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and The Baltimore Museum of Art. Contributing sponsors include Hearst & WDSU TV, The Holt Family Foundation and Lambent Foundation.

For more information visit ogdenmuseum.org or call 504-539-9650.

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