2014 Juried Art Exhibition: The MOJA Arts Festival, McKinley Washington Auditorium, Avery Research Center
The MOJA Arts Festival: a Celebration of African-American and Caribbean Art, is the City of Charleston’s annual multi-disciplinary festival that celebrates the rich cultures of the African Diaspora. Offering theatre, dance, music, visual arts, films, and lecture events, the MOJA Arts Festival is produced and directed by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs and the all-volunteer MOJA Arts Festival Planning Committee. The MOJA Festival’s Juried Art Exhibition will be featured in the McKinley Washington Auditorium at the Avery Research Center throughout September 2014.
SEPTEMBER 2014 – JANUARY 2015
Cleveland L. Sellers: The SNCC Years, Coming Through the Fire, Cox Gallery, Avery Research Center
Originally curated in 2009 as part of the Avery Research Center’s traveling exhibition program, this exhibition will reopen in 2014 in observance of the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Freedom Summer. Dr. Cleveland L. Sellers was born in Denmark, South Carolina and attended Howard University. While at Howard, Sellers became a member of the Nonviolent Action Group (NAG), an affiliate of SNCC (Student Nonviolence Coordinating Committee). In 1964, Sellers joined SNCC’s Mississippi Summer Project (also known as Freedom Summer) to organize African-American voter registration in Mississippi. Three civil rights activists, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Mickey Schwerner were infamously murdered while working on this project. SNCC members eventually elected Sellers to be their Program Secretary in 1965. Today, Dr. Sellers is the president of Voorhees University in Denmark, South Carolina. This exhibition draws from the Cleveland Sellers archival collection at the Avery Research Center and features letters, newspapers, magazines, photographs, music, broadsides, and ephemera that document the Freedom Summer project.
OCTOBER 2014 – JANUARY 2015
Sweetgrass: A Living Legacy of Family and Community, McKinley Washington Auditorium, Avery Research Center
Originally curated by the Avery Research Center staff in 2009, this exhibition will reopen in 2014 to feature baskets made by various African and African American artists in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The art of African American basket making in the South Carolina Lowcountry first began with enslaved Africans who arrived through the trans-Atlantic slave trade from the present-day Mano River, Senegambia, and Angola-Congolese regions of West Africa. Today basket makers in both the Lowcountry and various parts of Africa draw from their shared craft traditions to weave works of art from various materials. Items featured in the 2014 exhibition include a new collection of baskets donated by the Mid-Atlantic Arts Alliance that were featured in the Exhibits USA and NEH on the Road traveling exhibition, Grass Roots: African Origins of an American Art; baskets made by children from the Lowcountry for the Avery Research Center’s The Next Generation sweetgrass basket making project in 2008; and various sweetgrass baskets from the Avery Research Center archival collections.