DAI honors Black History Month with virtual, hands-on art projects

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Although the Dayton Art Institute is closed due to COVID, staff at the museum said they’re still finding ways to honor Black History Month. 

“To celebrate Black History Month this month, we’ve released two different art making resources that people can enjoy at home,” said Casey Goldman, lead educator at the museum. “The first is ‘Draw from the Collection,’ which is inspired by a lithograph by Romare Bearden who is a very well known 20th century artist. Instead of looking to recreate his signature style of collages, this is really more of a step by step drawing guide that helps people kind of connect with his unique use of shape and vibrant colors. The second one is Artventures, which is aimed for the entire family and it is inspired by an artwork by the Kuba people who have been living for centuries in Central Africa.”

Chief curator at the DAI, Jerry Smith, said despite the museum’s closure, it was important to provide community members an opportunity to share in the human experience portrayed in diverse art, especially during Black History Month.

“It’s really important to not separate, but integrate, works by African American artists in the collection,” he explained. “It’s good to see one’s-self reflected in the art, but also to see, if it’s not yourself, to see others. It speaks to the empathy that we all share.”

“These at-home art-making resources, whether they’re at home, or they’re in the classroom, or they’re out there [in the] museum, or in the studio,  are extremely important because Black history is American history,” Goldman added. “Black art is art. And so we’re really looking to help better represent artists and cultures who are historically underrepresented in museums and in the larger story of art history,” Goldman explained. 

Both Bearden’s drawing project and the upcoming Kuba mask project are free and can be found on the DAI’s website.

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