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Black Panther Rank and File at MICA

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Black Panther Rank and File, a major traveling exhibition with a full slate of accompanying public programs at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), offers a multi-faceted look at one of the 20th century’s most controversial and influential organizations—the Black Panther Party. The exhibition runs Thursday, November 8–Sunday, December 16 in Fox Building’s Decker and Meyerhoff galleries at 1303 Mount Royal Avenue. An opening reception takes place on Thursday, November 8, 5–7 p.m. Other public events accompanying the exhibition includes a film series on October 2, 9, 23, and 30, with screenings at 7:30 p.m.; a two-part symposium on Friday, November 9, 2–5 p.m. and 7–10 p.m.; and a slide lecture by artist Emory Douglas on Monday, November 12 at noon. Most public events will take place in Brown Center’s Falvey Hall at 1301 Mount Royal Avenue. A variety of off-campus events and performances will also coincide with this exhibition.

Black Panther Rank and File showcases never-before-exhibited historical artifacts, recordings, archival, and seminal historical photographs, mixed with contemporary works by internationally renowned artists focusing on or inspired by the Black Panther Party and the issues it addressed. This dynamic exhibition examines the role that the Black Panther Party played in shaping artistic and political thought during the Black Renaissance art movements of the 1970s through the present. It also considers the associations between contemporary art and social activism. The exhibition also displays for the first time the pioneering photography of Steve Shames and Ilka Hartmann, which bring into focus not only public events of the Black Panther Party, but also private moments of the Black Panther “rank and file.”

The contemporary art works in the exhibition demonstrate the role that artists play in remembering human struggle and achievement and reflect the liberating ideals that first gave rise to the Black Panther Party. Artists represented in Black Panther Rank and File include John Bankston, George de Borum, Margaret Bourke-White, Michael Britto, Elizabeth Catlett, Nick Cave, H. Collins, Pierre Dorion, Emory Douglas, A. Ducotés, Sam Durant, Phil Frost, Coco Fusco, Tony Gray, Emile Guebehi, David Hammons, Barkley Hendricks, Lonnie Bradley Holley, Satch Hoyt, Arthur Jafa, W. Kohler, Pirie MacDonald, Liz Magor, Kerry James Marshall, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Chris McNair, George Meyerriecks, Francis Mitchell, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Bill Olive, Ross Rudel, Flip Schulke, Jonathan Seliger, Paul Sequeira, Jeff Sonhouse, Scott Taylor, Hank Willis Thomas, Carlos Vega, Arthur Villeneuve, Roberto Visani, Carrie Mae Weems, Lawrence Weiner, William Werbach, Charles White, Peter Williams, and Alan Zak.

An exhibition-focused Web site will be live prior to the exhibition opening—www.mica.edu/blackpanther.

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