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Our Faith Affirmed – Works from the Gordon W. Bailey Collection

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September 10 2014 - August 8 2015

The University of Mississippi Museum of Art presents Our Faith Affirmed—Works from the Gordon W. Bailey Collection. Curated by the Los Angeles-based, scholar and collector Gordon W. Bailey the important exhibition features works by 27 artists, born between 1900 and 1959. Many of the artists are widely known and several, most notably, Thornton Dial Sr, Roy Ferdinand, Bessie Harvey, Lonnie Holley, Robert Howell, Joe Light, Charlie Lucas, Jimmy Lee Sudduth, and Purvis Young are considered self-taught masters.

UM Chancellor, Dr. Dan Jones, commented, "It is a privilege for the University of Mississippi to exhibit these remarkable works of art. We are grateful to Mr. Bailey for his trust in allowing our university to be stewards of these treasures. Hosting Our Faith Affirmed allows us to continue our conversation about racial reconciliation and to further our goal of participating in a more just society.”

The powerful exhibition underscores the significance of Southern vernacular artists whose influence extends far beyond the realm of aesthetics. The artworks exude an authority of experience and directness of expression that bears witness to the considerable weight of Southern history, the saga of American politics, and, most clearly, to their faith and clarity of vision. Bailey suggested: “The arts are our cultural mortar. They solidify the bridges connecting diverse communities. Though the region is rooted in conflict, there are many good people of all races, genders, and socio-economic levels pulling, or in some cases, pushing in the same direction. The University Museum is a terrific place to pay tribute to African American Southern self-taught artists who persevered and, against all odds, created works of genius that will surely inspire students for generations to come.”

An illustrated catalog, edited by Bailey, features essays by: David Houston, Director of the Bo Bartlett Center at Columbus State University’s College of the Arts in Columbus, Georgia; UM alumnus, W. Ralph Eubanks, editor of the venerable Virginia Quarterly Review; and Jason “PyInfamous” Thompson, UM alumnus, Sally McDonnell-Barksdale Honors College Scholar, and an acclaimed hip-hop emcee and songwriter.

University of Mississippi Museum of Art

University Avenue and 5th Street, Oxford, MS 38655

Image: Sulton Rogers, Vampires, Gift of Gordon W. Bailey