Mississippi Museum of Art to receive $40,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

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Roland Freeman (1936 – 2023) “Catherine Gill, Classy Blaylock, Decatur, MS”, 1993. color print. Gift of the Kohler Foundation, Inc., 2022.9.162.

JANS – The Mississippi Museum of Art (MMA) has been approved by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for a Grants for Arts Projects award of $40,000. This award will support MMA’s Center for Art & Public Exchange (CAPE) Artist-in-Residence in conjunction with the exhibition Of Salt and Spirit: Black Quilters in the American South, opening November 16, 2024. In total, the NEA awarded 1,135 Grants for Arts Projects awards totaling more than $37 million as part of its second round of fiscal year 2024 grants.

“Projects like the CAPE Artist-in-Residence program at the Mississippi Museum of Art exemplify the creativity and care with which communities are telling their stories, creating connection, and responding to challenges and opportunities in their communities – all through the arts,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “So many aspects of our communities such as cultural vitality, health and wellbeing, infrastructure, and the economy are advanced and improved through investments in art and design, and the National Endowment for the Arts is committed to ensuring people across the country benefit.”

“We are thrilled to receive this generous grant from the NEA,” said Betsy Bradley, MMA’s Laurie Hearin McRee Director. “This support allows us to bring an artist into our community to foster deep connections and create meaningful work that resonates with the experiences and stories of people in Jackson. We believe in the power of art to transform and unite, and this project embodies that vision.”

The artist-in-residence, to be selected and announced in fall 2024, will work closely with local communities to create artwork that deepens mutual understanding and honors personal truths. During their residency in Jackson, the artist will conduct community workshops, enabling participants to contribute to the art-making process.

 Of Salt and Spirit: Black Quilters in the American South

Of Salt and Spirit: Black Quilters in the American South features over 50 handmade quilts by Black southern artists, quilters’ portraits, and related objects. The exhibition emphasizes the importance of Mississippi and the broader South as foundational sites of knowledge production and artistic development. Curated by Dr. Sharbreon Plummer, Of Salt and Spirit combines in-depth research, innovative interpretation, and community engagement to offer a cohesive, experiential study of an important American art tradition. Featuring quilts from MMA’s permanent collection, including several acquired from American photographer Roland L. Freeman in 2022, the exhibition reveals the narratives embedded in the quilts, the detail of the practices, the importance of place, and the ingeniousness of the quilters’ methods.

An accompanying publication provides new scholarship on the cultural impact of quilts, highlighting craftmanship and intergenerational influences while challenging stereotypes associated with Black southern quilters.

Of Salt and Spirit: Black Quilters in the American South, a presentation in the Myra Green and Lynn Green Root Memorial Exhibition Series, is presented with support from Henry Luce Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Dealers Association Foundation of America, and Visit Jackson.

For more information on other projects included in the NEA’s grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.

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Mississippi Museum of Art to receive $40,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

By Jackson Advocate News Service
June 25, 2024