AfriCOBRA: Messages to the People

27 Nov 2018 – 7 Apr 2019

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The Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami will present a groundbreaking exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding members of AfriCOBRA, an artist collective that began organizing in Chicago. In 1968, artists Jeff Donaldson, Jae Jarrell, Wadsworth Jarrell, Barbara Jones-Hogu, and Gerald Williams created AfriCOBRA, which stands for African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists. AfriCOBRA’s visual language is defined by the use of text, bright “cool-ade/coolade” colors, dynamic, gestural markings, and raw, emotive, celebratory images of confident Black figures. The vision these artists created went on to define a visual aesthetic of the Black Arts Movement. This historic exhibition will explore the founders’ individual careers and the artists who exhibited with them between 1968-1973 as well as how AfriCOBRA’s philosophy manifested into their works as a group. About the curator: Jeffreen M. Hayes earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from the College of William and Mary, an MA in Art History from Howard University, and a BA in Humanities from Florida International University. She is currently Executive Director of Threewalls in Chicago, and has previously worked at the Birmingham Museum of Art, Hampton University Art Museum, the Library of Congress and the National Gallery of Art. Her curatorial projects include Intimate Interiors (2012), Etched in Collective History (2013), SILOS (2016), Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman (2018), and Process (2019).

Exhibiting artists

Gerald Williams

Wadsworth Jarrell

Barbara Jones-Hogu

Nelson Stevens

Jae Jarrell

Napoleon Jones-Henderson

Omar Lama


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