A Fresh Take: Exhibit at Banneker-Douglass Museum, “The Radical Voice of Blackness Speaks of Resistance and Joy”

March 15, 2023

By Riley Hoaglin

Did you know that the Banneker-Douglass Museum in Downtown Annapolis often has temporary exhibits? AND the current exhibit happens to showcase exceptional, powerful, and breathtaking works of fine art!

The first and second floors of Banneker-Douglass house a fine arts exhibition called, “The Radical Voice of Blackness Speaks of Resistance and Joy.” The exhibit explores “historic and contemporary themes of Black joy and healing created in opposition to and despite oppression.” The pieces were created by different Black Maryland-based artists.

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“Remnants/Peace and Joy Are Birthrights of All Beings,” by Tawny Chatmon

The main gallery of the exhibit is on the second floor, in the portion of the museum located in the original building of the Mt. Moriah African Methodist Episcopal Church. All the pieces of the exhibit are engaging and powerful, but one of my favorites was titled, “Remnants/Peace and Joy Are Birthrights of All Beings,” created by Tawny Chatmon. The piece explodes with gold, and mesmerizes the eyes. It is made of mixed media and is absolutely breathtaking. The piece celebrates Black childhood and African American cultural traditions, says Chatmon, who writes, “What began as simple musing transformed into a broader understanding that all things have been handed down in some way or another.” The details in the piece will have you staring at it for ages!

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‘Healed,” by Megan Lewis

Another favorite of mine is bursting with colors and captivates the mind with its different textures; it is titled “Healed” by Megan Lewis. The piece has different color sparkles and patterns that together form the image of a beautiful person. The facial expression on the person is enchanting; I wished to get behind her gaze to find out what she’s thinking. Lewis is a painter who works in multiple media; her pieces reflect historical, social, and cultural issues. This piece reflects the expression of joy she receives while painting.

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Video from the exhibit at the Banneker-Douglass Museum

I could go on and on with all the amazing pieces in the exhibit, but you will have to go see the rest for yourself! Fun Fact: There is also a music video that was created for this exhibit located in the museum! So grab your family and/or friends, or head over on your lunch break to check out some amazing art pieces! Admission is free, and the museum is open Tuesday-Saturday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM. The exhibit is on view until September 30.

Images by Riley Hoaglin