Whitfield Lovell, American, born 1959. Epoch, 2001. Charcoal on wood and found objects. 77 1/2 x 55 x 17 1/2 inches. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William L. Richards, by exchange, 2002.13


January 26, 2020 - April 19, 2020

Hodge Gallery Henry Gallery

Community is defined as “a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common, especially one practicing common ownership.” In a museum, community is not simply people living in the same place, but individuals coming to a shared space to enjoy the common ownership of their museum collection. In this spirit, Community celebrates works by African American artists in the Flint Institute of Arts collection. 

This exhibition features works in various mediums by some of the most important artists from the 20th century to present day, exploring themes related to community, including ideas of history and place, identity and representation, and social justice and self-expression. Works by Romare Bearden, Chakaia Booker, Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence, Hughie Lee-Smith, Renee Stout, Kara Walker and Yvonne Wells, among many others, are included. 

Unique to this exhibition, visitors may vote for one of three works on loan by artists not currently in the collection. Voting will take place through March 8, 2020. Using funds raised by the Community Gala, the work with the largest number of votes will be purchased by the museum. The voting process and subsequent purchase reinforce the notion that the objects in the FIA’s collection belong to the public while emphasizing the collection’s capacity for change and future growth.

From the Exhibition

  • Desiree Kelly, American. Shields, n.d. Oil and spray paint on traffic sign. 35 x 35 inches. Museum purchase with funds from the Collection Endowment, 2019.13

  • Vincent Smith, American, 1929–2003. Couple, ca. 1961–65. Oil on wood. 39 1/2 x 48 inches. Museum purchase, 2011.326

  • Renée Stout, American, born 1958. Marie Laveau, 2009/2013. Color pencil drawing over lithograph proof on paper. 21 x 21 inches. Museum purchase with funds from the Collection Endowment, 2013.64