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Mary Frances Whitfield: Why?

May 31 - November 23, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, May 31, 6 – 8p.m. with a panel discussion at 5p.m.

Why?, 2002
watercolor and gouache on Arches paper
2.25 x 6.25 inches
photo: Ron Meisel

©Mary Frances Whitfield. Courtesy the artist and Phyllis Stigliano Art Projects.

Mary Frances Whitfield: Why? is a collaborative exhibition between the Abroms- Engel Institute for the Visual Arts at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

Why? presents paintings by the artist that graphically depict horrific racial terror lynchings perpetrated against African Americans. This is the first time these works have been exhibited in Whitfield’s hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. This exhibition was developed in conjunction with the Jefferson County Memorial Project (JCMP), a grassroots coalition of community leaders working with the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) to retrieve Jefferson County’s memorial from the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. The mission of the JCMP is to bear witness to the country's painful past and change the historical memory of Jefferson County to better include its history of racial terror and the legacies of racial injustice. This exhibition will assist in creating the needed context to handle this difficult and painful topic.

Mary Frances Whitfield: Why? is co-curated by AEIVA Curator John Fields and Dr. Brandon Wolfe, Assistant VP of Campus and Community Engagement in the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at UAB.




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