Annual black history exhibit opening today features 10 local artists

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 27, 2013

The artwork of 10 local black artists will be on display at the Rowan Museum starting today.
The annual black history exhibit titled “Perfect Palette: A Black Perspective” will be up through May 12.
“This exhibit is the brainchild of Raemi Evans as a way to involve the black community in the museum,” Terry Holt, vice president of the museum’s board of directors and exhibit chair, said.
Evans, a member of the museum board and the black history exhibit chair, came up with the idea in 2008.
“She contacted all of the artists and invited them to submitted pieces,” Holt said.
Holt encourages local residents to check out the exhibit.
“A lot of people don’t realize the talent that we have right here in Rowan County,” he said.
Artwork by Brielle Blaire, James Donaldson, John Graeber, Michael Kirksey, Randall Leach, Delores Medlin, Charles Ramsey, Jason Sturdivant, Vashti Usry and Liz Wahid will be featured.
A short write-up with insight into the motivation and inspiration for their work will be on display.
Kirksey has several pieces that pay tribute to some of his favorite musicians who have passed away.
He said the inspiration came from a project he was working on with friend and jazz-enthusiast Brian Hargrave.
“I started down in his basement doing some pictures of Miles Davis with him and the collection just grew,” Kirksey said. “Originally, they were white chalk on black paper and they had sort of a ghostly effect.
“Later, I sort of brought them to life by adding some color.”
Kirksey returned to Salisbury in 2007 after living in New York, where he worked in graphic design, fire art restoration and was often commissioned to paint portraits of children.
He designed Rowan Helping Ministries’ annual Christmas card in 2008.
An opening reception for the exhibit will be held in the Messinger Room at 1 p.m. today.
“This is a chance to meet the local artists, hear their stories and view their creativity,” Holt said. “Their work will become a part of our local history.”
The Rowan Museum, 202 N. Main St., is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. during the weekend.
For more information or to schedule group tours, call 704-633-5946 or email

Contact Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.