A Feminist Exhibition Kickstarts Bronx Museum’s 50th Anniversary Celebrations

Exhibition Announcements

April 28, 2021

Founded in 1971 by community leaders and activists at a time when the borough was in crisis, The Bronx Museum of the Arts became known as a museum dedicated to social justice. For the past fifty years, it has been championing not only the people of The Bronx and their rich culture, but also artists from across the globe.

Celebrating an important milestone, the museum will present a series of exhibitions and public programs organized around the idea that visibility is a tenet of social justice. Our Stories, Our Voices includes major solo presentations of artists Shaun Leonardo and Wardell Milan, a group exhibition exploring feminist visions of futurity, and a hallmark retrospective of LGBTQi+ ball culture.

Firelei Baez - On Rest and Resistance, Because We Love You (to all those stolen from among us), 2020. Oil and acrylic on canvas, 48 x 60 inches. Private Collections

50 Years of The Bronx Museum

For the past 50 years, The Bronx Museum has been promoting its mission of the art accessible to all audiences. This internationally recognized cultural institution has presented hundreds of exhibitions featuring works by culturally diverse and underrepresented artists.

Their rich collection features works by artists who are not typically represented within traditional museum collections, such as artists of African, Asian, and Latin American ancestry.

As Executive Director Klaudio Rodriguez said, the museum will in its next 50 years "continue to be a leader in supporting and advancing art, social justice and equal opportunity."

"Taking a lateral curatorial approach, we are collaborating with artists in an effort to amplify their voices, furthering our mission to create an equitable community space and champion artists who have been historically and systemically left out of the conversation," said Holly Block Social Justice Curator, Jasmine Wahi.

Left: Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum - Sister, 2018. Pencil and acrylic on canvas, 55 1/8 x 44 1/8 inches. Collection of the Scott-Newman Collection / Right: Tourmaline - Summer Azure, 2020. 30 x 30 inches. Courtesy of the Artist

The Program

Currently on view, the exhibition Shaun Leonardo: The Breath of Empty Space brings together drawings addressing images of systemic oppression and police violence against black and brown young men in contemporary American history.

The museum will soon present the exhibition Born In Flames: Feminist Futures, bringing together femme-identified artists who critically examine current struggles for equity by exploring strategies for justice and equality through multifaceted futurisms. Among artists featured are Caitlin Cherry, Chitra Ganesh, Lizzie Borden, Maria Berrio, Saya Woolfalk, Tourmaline, and Wangechi Mutu.

The museum will also debut Wardell Milan: Amerika. God Bless You If It’s Good To You, featuring flat works and performance collaborations of twelve new and recent drawings and mixed media collages by this Harlem-based artist.

Coming this fall, the exhibition Bronx Calling: The Fifth AIM Biennial will present artists from the Bronx Museum’s AIM professional development fellowship program, while the winter show Walk For Me (A History of Ballroom) will debut a hallmark retrospective on the history of Ballroom culture, examining the past, present, and future of this important queer cultural phenomenon.

Lizzie Borden - Born in Flames. 90-minute film, projection. Courtesy of the Artist

Our Stories, Our Voices at The Bronx Museum

The exhibition Shaun Leonardo: The Breath of Empty Space will be on view at The Bronx Museum until May 30, 2021; Born In Flames: Feminist Futures will be on view from April 28th until September 12th; Wardell Milan: Amerika. God Bless You If It’s Good To You will be on view from June 23rd until October 24th; Bronx Calling: The Fifth AIM Biennial will be on view from October 20th, 2021 until January 16th, 2022; and Walk For Me (A History of Ballroom) will be on view from February 10th until May 8th, 2022.

Featured image: Chitra Ganesh - Combing Hair on Balcony. Courtesy of the Artist. All images courtesy The Bronx Museum.

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