Mar 11, 2022 - Things to Do

"The Dirty South" exhibition opens this weekend

"Dobale to the Spirit" by Fahamu Pecou. Image courtesy of Studio KAWO/Fahamu Pecou ArtImage and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

An exhibition at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art exploring the complexity of being Black in the South debuts Saturday.

What they're saying: Although it's loosely centered on contemporary southern hip hop, it's really about Black traditions, including music, throughout the past 100 years, creator Valerie Cassel Oliver said Thursday during a media preview.

Details: "The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse" includes sculptures, paintings, textiles, music and video installations. Oh, and there's a Cadillac in the museum's lobby, which Oliver said represents SLAB (slow, loud and bangin') culture and self-expression.

  • The exhibition is organized into three main themes: Landscape, which touches on the transformation of the South "from a site of trauma and labor to a wellspring of life"; sinners and saints, exploring religion and spirituality; and Black corporality, which is intended to show the Black body as a repository of tradition and knowledge, according to the museum.
  • "The Dirty South" originally debuted at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Go see it: "The Dirty South" will be on display Saturday through July 25 during regular museum hours. Tickets are $12.


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