Through its celebration of artisans and artists from West and Central African through to modern-day Memphis, this exhibit examines the role of the blacksmith in diverse African contexts and how that artisan identity and associated blacksmithing practices changed in America due to slavery.
Among those metal workers featured are the enslaved blacksmiths of two local plantation sites, the Hunt Phelan House and the Hilderbrand Plantation; blacksmiths and entrepreneurs Blair Hunt and David Carnes; and contemporary artists Richard Hunt, Lorenzo Scruggs, Hawkins Bolden, and Desmond Lewis. From Artisans to Artists draws on the knowledge and research of guest curator Dr. Earnestine Jenkins, who utilizes surviving artifacts and primary source documents from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean to bring to the forefront a crucial part of Memphis’s artistic history.
June 26 – Sept. 11, 2022
Join us for an Opening Reception on Sunday, June 26, 3-5pm