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‘Jacob Lawrence & History Forward’ discussion to close exhibit at BMA

Jacob Lawrence, The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country. —Thomas Paine, 1776, Panel 7, 1954, from Struggle: From the History of the American People, 1954–56, The Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation. © 2019 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


The Birmingham Museum of Art will close the BMA’s presentation of Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle this evening (Feb. 5) with a community discussion analyzing the ways Lawrence may see the world today.

The free discussion will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The program will be livestreamed Jacob Lawrence & History Forward – Birmingham Museum of Art (artsbma.org)

For the past two months, the Birmingham Museum of Art (BMA) presented “Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle,” an exhibition featuring a series of paintings through which the iconic artist depicts how women and people of color helped shape the founding of our nation.

The exhibit itself closes Feb. 7 and is the last chance to view the “Struggle” series which provides insight into Jacob Lawrence; how he became one of the 20th century’s most revered artists and his works still resonate.

Inspired by Lawrence’s depiction of underrepresented histories in his series of paintings, the BMA will highlight organizations in Birmingham that do the same by creating platforms for unheard voices.

Led by Manager of Public Programs, Carey Fountain, this conversation will include Tim Majors, the founder of grassroots social justice and community advocacy group, BhamStands; and T. Marie King, local activist and Alabama lead for Local Voices Network, an organization dedicated to facilitating, archiving, and uplifting community voices through public conversations.

As part of this program, panels created by Birminghamians will be virtually displayed and introduced by their respective artists. Drawing on their inspiration and process, each artist will be asked to share how their panel relates to the question we’ve asked visitors over the run of the show: what would Jacob Lawrence paint today? This panel discussion will consider how representing community perspectives empowers and transforms our present, as well as our history. Share your thoughts and questions virtually for our 15 minute Q&A at the end of this discussion!

Register: Visitors who register will receive a reminder email ahead of the event and will have the opportunity to submit a question for the program’s live Q&A.

Watch: The program will be livestreamed Jacob Lawrence & History Forward – Birmingham Museum of Art (artsbma.org) at the time listed above. For a more interactive experience, join BMA on Zoom where visitors can submit questions live and chat with fellow attendees. The livestream and Zoom link will appear 10 minutes prior to the event.