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When My Scars are my Testimony
January 17, 2019 – August 4, 2019
When I turned eighteen years old, my grandfather stressed the importance of voting by taking me to a tree where he was told that African-Americans were lynched by their neckties on their way to vote. The experience left a profound impression in my mind.
In Toure’s book, “Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness?,” he defines the term “post-blackness” as a way for African American artists to be identified such that their work can be seen beyond the sociological/stereotypical definition of “Black Art.”
Truth is my work is a colorful reminder of promises still unkept, imperialism still institutionalized, and stealth deceit that has stolen the dreams and birthrights of twenty generations of a once proud people
However, the work is rooted in a place of targeted tragedy. Its curvilinear twists, knots, and loops are fed by the energy found in the souls of ALL those who toil and triumph everyday against the odds and against the unheralded tragedies of life. My work is a universal story with both hero and villain, good and evil. The narrative is embedded like html code. It is not visible to the eye, but it can be decoded…
The Atrium Wall installation, located in the Atlanta Contemporary lobby, invites contemporary artists to create a site-specific commission and temporal solo exhibition.
The Atrium Wall—measuring 20 feet long and 14 feet high—provides artists with an opportunity to push their craft and practice by creating something beyond their normal scope and scale. Each large work remains on the wall for at least 6 months before being painted over and recommissioned for the next show. By viewing these installations as temporal solo exhibitions, it allows us to exhibit contemporary art long-term while we transition between exhibitions in our main galleries.
Kevin Cole received his B.S. from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, an M.A. in Art Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana, and an M.F.A. from Northern Illinois University. Within the last 32 years, he has received 27 grants and fellowships, 65 awards in art, 51 teaching awards. and over 35 public art commissions. His artwork has been featured in more than 470 exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad. Cole’s artwork is included in more than 3500 public, private and corporate collections throughout the United States. Public collections include the new National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC, The Georgia Museum, Athens, GA, The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA.; William Jefferson Clinton Library, Little Rock, Ark.; Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, Ark.; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.; The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, La.; The David C Driskell Center University of Maryland at College Park; Dayton Institute of Art, Dayton, Ohio; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia, Pa.; The Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia, Atlanta, Ga.; Corcoran Museum in Washington, D.C. and the Tampa Museum in Tampa, Fla. Corporate collections include Bank of America, Charlotte, N.C.; IBM, N.Y. and King and Spaulding Law Firm, Atlanta, Ga. Cole has also created more than 45 public art works, including the Coca-Cola Centennial Olympic Mural for the 1996 Olympic Games.