I woke up Saturday morning with the biggest headache of my life. On top of my piercing headache, I’m still a little sick from last weekend’s adventures. In short, Saturday morning wasn’t so good. But since I can do all things through Christ, I did what I do best; I was dramatic. I put on a full face of makeup, boots, one of my favorite dresses, and went to the Cummer Museum of Arts and Gardens. I’ve been planning to go see the “Lift: Contemporary Expressions of the African American Experience” since I got to Jacksonville. And honestly, what better day to do it then when you’re halfway between “I’m so sick that I barely have enough energy to watch Netflix in bed” and “Beyoncé doesn’t take sick days so get up and be productive?”
Inspired by Jacksonville natives James Weldon Johnson and John Rosamond Johnson’s lyrics to “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” the Negro national anthem, the exhibit creates an “artful platform to discuss issues around race, equity, and community.” It was absolutely beautiful.
My favorite pieces were by Chip Southworth. He created three birch panels with oil enamel that say “I was jamming my music,” “I was wearing a hoodie,” and “I was holding a toy.” The vibrant colors of his art caught my eye and I stood and reflected on how innocent each of these statements is. The artist said, “There is a thin gray line that separates the dark past and the hope that the present has brought. Our nation, while yearning for equality, still has one foot firmly planted in the hate of yesteryear… The Harmonies of Liberty are not ringing for all. Justice is blind, but she has an incredible sense of color.“
After I took a moment and processed what this exhibit meant, my friend and I ventured into the gardens and took a picture by every leaf in the place. Which was fun because security kept coming around to make sure that I wasn’t “having a photoshoot” (cue Gucci) with my DSLR. The direct result of which are the pictures below.
My best friends and I are spending NYE in Jacksonville and I can’t wait to bring them to this exhibit when they come down.