Fernando Carpaneda, “Don’t Hit Me No More,” 2013
On Friday, July 17th, at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, there will be an opening reception for Stax: Visions of Soul — a visual art exhibition celebrating songs from the Stax catalog. It’s the museum’s first contemporary art exhibition in roughly a decade. Specially commissioned works by 16 painters, sculptors, and new-media artists will be on display.
The works were created in response to socially conscious music from the Stax catalog by Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Mable John, The Staple Singers, and others.
A reception, which is free to the public, will be held at the museum from 6 to 8 p.m. and will feature a gallery talk by curator Peter “Souleo” Wright at 6:45 p.m.
The exhibit runs through December 31st. During the exhibition’s duration, the museum will host other free programming, including an interactive art-making workshop and panel discussions with music experts and exhibiting artists, which Souleo will also moderate. Programming includes: “Art Reflects the SOUL of AMERICA: A Social Justice Art Workshop,” Thursday, October 8th, 6-8 p.m.; “Soulsville: A Panel Discussion,” Friday, October 9th, 6-8 p.m.
“I am proud to help highlight the powerful relationship between visual art and music,” Souleo added. “Like the songs they celebrate, the artwork explores relevant social themes that truly bring out the message in the music. Each artist captures the story of people of color in America from the civil rights movement to the present in ways that are visually stimulating and highly engaging.”
The exhibition originally debuted in Harlem in 2013, as part of the multi-gallery visual art experience Motown to Def Jam. Stax: Visions of Soul features selected works from the original exhibition along with newly commissioned work.
Participating artists include: Aanisah Hinds, Adam Lowenbein, Beau McCall, Celestine Wilson-Hughes, Chompunutt Mayta, Fernando Carpaneda, Greg Frederick, Jeffrey Allen Price, Jonathan Hull, Joseph Cavalieri, Kimberly Mayhorn, Thomas “Detour” Evans, Willie Cole, and Memphis artists Brantley Ellzey, Frank D. Robinson, Jr., and Tobacco Brown.
Greg Frederick, Booker T. & the MGs Melting Pop, 2015