|Family (Mother and Child)|
Since this Romare Bearden exhibit is literally up the street from me, Gigi and I will probably visit the Melberg Gallery again tomorrow (Our first visit was probably back in 2008, shortly after we moved to Charlotte).
I’ve written before about the genius of Romare Bearden. Of course, he doesn’t need my praises – Bearden’s work is well known all over the world. The City of Charlotte, Bearden’s birthplace, is celebrating him this year, which would have been his 100th birthday. His work will be displayed in museums, schools, parks and other places in Charlotte throughout the year.
The Melberg Gallery exhibit, like many of the other Bearden retrospectives this year in Charlotte, is free. If you’re in town – be sure to check it out. The show titled, “An Artist Remembers His Birthplace,” runs through November 12.
Location: 625 South Sharon Amity Road, Charlotte, NC,
Gallery hours: Monday-Saturday, 10am-6pm, and by appointment
Contact: 704-365-3000, firstname.lastname@example.org
Although at the time this was the rural south, his family was prosperous and well respected. At the age of two, Bearden moved with his parents to New York City where they felt there was more opportunity to pursue their interests in journalism and politics. Bearden's memories of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina were ingrained during summer-long visits until he was 14. These memories were the subject of his art as he wanted to transform his experiences rather than merely describe them. I am trying to explore the particulars of the life that I know best; those things common to all cultures, he once said.
Drawing upon the recollections of his Southern roots for inspiration, he conjured up both his own childhood memories and the shared memories of his ancestors. Bearden absorbed the traditional rituals of the church, the hymns and gospels, sermons and testimonies; as well as the traditional rituals of the family, the music of the kitchen, the wash place and fire circle, which permeated his upbringing.