Each year, the Samford Art Gallery hosts artists from across the country in addition to featuring work by Samford students, faculty and alumni. While the gallery is not currently open to the public, its latest exhibit, "The Dream Deferred," is available to view virtually.
As the opening exhibit of this season's John and Marsha Floyd Art and Design Series, “The Dream Deferred" explores racial injustice and inequality through the eyes of 31 printmakers from across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The theme reflects on Langston Hughes’ poem, “Harlem," and is the artists’ response to the events in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd.
According to Samford associate professor of graphic design Geoff Sciacca, who co-curated and participated in the exhibition, “'The Dream Deferred' is a portfolio exchange that seeks to use printmaking as a means of adding to a conversation that is centuries old by being an artistic protest.”
The online gallery allows viewers to see each piece individually and learn through a description of the work and a short biography of each artist.
Sciacca's piece, "Fifteen-Twelve,” challenges the American evangelical church’s absence in this country’s struggles to uphold the Declaration of Independence's promise that "All men are created equal." As a husband in an interracial marriage and a father of three boys, there isn't a day that goes by where he doesn't think about race and culture.
Sciacca hopes that this show will "push people out of their comfort zones and move the needle in the direction it needs to."
When assembling the show with Jacksonville State University assistant professor Christian Dunn, the co-curators focused on representing diversity of ideas and perspectives. Over 75% of the artists in the show are people of color.
The collection will be on exhibit at universities and galleries across the country including Elmhurst University, Jacksonville State University, Chicago State University, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Macalester College and Blanc Gallery in Chicago. The full show and schedule are available on the website.
The exhibit will be on display at Samford until Oct. 23 and features a panel discussion hosted by Sciacca with some of the artists on Sept. 29 at 5 p.m. The link to the panel discussion is also available on the exhibit website or on the School of the Arts events page.