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Learn More >
Land and Labor in The Cotton Bowl by Hank Willis Thomas
February 4, 2020
Hank Willis Thomas, Raise Up, 2014. Press Release
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Announces the Temporary Exhibition, Hank Willis Thomas: All Things Being Equal…
February 6, 2020
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Black History Month Programs at Crystal Bridges

Hank Willis Thomas (American, born 1976), I Am. Amen., 2009. Liquitex on canvas, 25 1/4 × 19 × 1/4 × 2 1/4 inches each. Installation view. Collection of Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University. Image courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. © Hank Willis Thomas

Crystal Bridges is celebrating Black History Month this February through a series of conversations exploring Black identity throughout American history and culture today.

Kicking off our conversation series is the opening exhibition discussion between Hank Willis Thomas and his mother, renowned artist and photographer Deborah Willis, who both have photographed Black lives to address imbalances in our society and ask viewers to see themselves as active participants in acknowledging, resisting, and dismantling race-based hierarchies. Hank Willis Thomas: All Things Being Equal… is the artist’s first comprehensive, mid-career survey.

The series of conversations during Black History Month features Arkansas voices sharing their creative insights on Black identity today and in response to social issues addressed in Hank Willis Thomas’s exhibition, such as a Rally to Vote concert by Rev. Sekou and the Freedom Fighters, gallery poetry performances by Geffrey Davis and Big Piph, and local filmmaker Mike Day premieres his short film Focus, followed by a post-screening discussion with moderator Tara Carr, of the podcast Tara Talks Ryan Listens,  members of the cast exploring issues of racial discrimination in the workplace.

Throughout the year, Crystal Bridges invites you to join Community Conversations that include a series in March featuring four conversations that explore local perspectives by community members on our fundamental freedoms in the twenty-first century in collaboration with the For Freedoms Collective (co-founded by Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman).


Talks, Performance + Films

Opening Exhibition Lecture: Hank Willis Thomas
Friday, February 7, 7 to 8 pm

Interactive Film Screening: Do the Right Thing
Thursday, February 13, 7 to 9 pm

Interactive Film Screening: Focus
Sunday, February 16, 7 to 9 pm

Rally to Vote Concert w/ Rev. Sekou and the Freedom Fighters
Friday, February 28, 7 to 9 pm

For Freedoms Community Conversation: Freedom of Speech
Saturday, February 29, 1 to 3 pm

Gallery Interactions

Poetry Reading w/ Geffrey Davis
Saturday, February 15, 1 to 2 pm

Gallery Conversation w/ Cory Perry
Thursday, February 20, 1 to 2 pm

Spoken Word and Hip-Hop Performance w/ Big Piph
Thursday, February 27, 1 to 2 pm


This post was written by Sara Segerlin, senior manager, public programs and community engagement.

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