Visible Man a landmark for BGSU School of Art
Alumni vision leads to breakthrough exhibition
Visible Man, Art and Black Male Subjectivity, is described by the director of the Bowling Green State University School of Art, Charles Kanwischer, as among the most ambitious, complex and impactful exhibitions ever presented in the School of Art galleries.
It was curated by artist and art historian Dr. Michael Harris, professor emeritus of art history at Emory University and a 1971 BGSU School of Art graduate. Additional input was provided by Willis Bing Davis, an artist from Dayton, Ohio, and Rebecca Skinner Green, a member of the art history faculty with expertise in African art and art of the Afro-Caribbean diaspora.
Originally inspired by a vision communicated to School of Art leadership by two alumni, Edward Sewell and Col. John Moore, Visible Man is a more expansive follow up to the earlier So Much More exhibition of art by Black alumni. Comprising 52 pieces by 32 artists from across the nation, the exhibition includes a variety of work with many themes and media represented, including drawings, paintings, sculpture, installation and video installation, prints and photographs.
Gallery director and exhibition organizer Jacqueline Nathan described Visible Man as a wonderful celebration of black artists and an opportunity to look at how black men look at themselves.
“I hope once somebody has walked through the exhibit they will feel exhilarated, excited and impressed,” Nathan said. “I hope they will think about some of these artists who may have been neglected and how they have earned our respect.”
According to Kanwischer, the exhibition sends a signal that the BGSU School of Art wants to participate in national conversations around equity, diversity and inclusion.