August 30 – October 7, 2022 @ Slocumb Galleries
Johnson City— East Tennessee State University Art & Design and Tipton & Slocumb Galleries’ Student Activities Allocation Committee Collaborative Project presentY’all Don’t Hear Me: The Black Appalachiacurated by alumna Kreneshia Whiteside-McGee featuring 26 multimedia artists, poets and musicians from the 13 states of the Appalachian region. Funded by the Arts Project Support from the Tennessee Arts Commission, Bravissima: Women Sponsoring the Arts and East Tennessee Foundation’s Arts Fund, the multivenue exhibitions are on display through Sept. 26 at Slocumb Galleries and Sept. 1 to Oct. 7 at Tipton Gallery.
Curator Whiteside-McGee explained the title “Y’all Don’t Hear Me,”wasinspired by his grandfather pastor and as “statement by someone who feels disregarded”and to her, that resonates with the Black Appalachian community who are often invisible. She explains, “You don’t hear us because you’re not listening; you’re not listening because you don’t know we exist. I want to amplify our narrative and remind people that there are quality artists creating in the mountains.”
The featured artists areAmanda Banks, Jabari Browne, Kamau Bostic, Kywaun Davenport, Laiza Fuhrmann, Nikki Giovanni, Genesis The Greykid, Vandorn Hinnant, Frederick Johnson, Ashley Jones, Mary Martin, Charlie Newton, Iantha Newton, Mikael Owunna, Travis Prince, Walter Reap, Justin Rocha, RaMell Ross, Jessica Scott-Felder, Larry Silver, Myke ‘Murda’ Stallone, Moses Sumney, Raymond Thompson, Carrington Ware, Crystal Wilkinson and Coco Villa.
The public engagement events include the opening and closing receptions at TiptonGallery on Sept. 2 and Oct. 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. and the film showing of Academy-nominated “Hale County This Morning, This Evening”byRaMell RossSept. 14 at the Ball Hall Auditorium at 7 p.m. with reception at Slocumb Galleries at 6 p.m. Face painting and performance by Infinity Reggae during UMOJA Festival Sept. 10 from 12-8 p.m. at the Kings Common Park, downtown Johnson City. Lastly, prominentBlack Poet Nikki Giovanniwill also present a poetry reading followed by Q&A and book signing Sept. 20 at Brown Hall Auditorium, ETSU campus from 6- 8 p.m.
To address the issue of (in)visibility of the Black mountain community, the curator selected works relating to five major principles that were central in her research about the region: Family, Spirituality, Labor, Sustainability (Land), and Pride.Though not strictly applicable to only African-Americans, these values also apply to the wider Appalachian culture as a whole, thus, she opted to engage the viewers “through era-curation to emphasize their longevity over generations, proving that they’re still being exercised today and more than likely to be continued in the future.”The multimedia exhibitions are curated into three eras,Past, PresentandFuturewith inspirational texts from the collection of poetry by Nikki Giovanni and Crystal Wilkinson. The eras are grouped around 60-year intervals, aligning with historic moments of Black excellence such as the Black Power movement of the ‘60spastat Tipton Gallery; thepresent’s Black Lives Matter movement of 2020 and theFuture, 2082, projected based on our current trajectory of advancing technology and efforts to reconnect with our roots, both at Slocumb Galleries.
The “Y’all Don’t Hear Me: The Black Appalachia”exhibitions and public events areinterdisciplinary collaborations with the ETSU Black American Studies, the Bert C. Bach Written Word Initiative, College of Arts & Sciences’ Office of the Dean, the Mary V. Jordan Multicultural Center, Department of Appalachian Studies, Language Culture Resource Center, Film & Media Studies, Radio, TV & Film, Equity & Inclusion, UMOJA, The Bottom Knox, Sankofa Fund, Black Faculty & Staff Association and the Langston Centre.
For additional information about the exhibitions, contact ETSU Tipton & Slocumb Galleries Director Karlota Contreras-Koterbay via firstname.lastname@example.org. The Slocumb Galleries are located at 232 Sherrod Drive, ETSU campus, open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tipton Gallery is located at 126 Spring Street, downtown Johnson City, open Thursdays and Fridays 5 to 7 p.m., and by appointment. For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at (423) 439-8346.