The Colored Museum: Past/Present/Future

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The Colored Museum: Past/Present/Future

May 20-June 30, 2022

Curated by Cedric Vise1 Douglas


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In a bold new exhibition at The Umbrella Arts Center in Concord, noted artist and curator Cedric Vise1 Douglas has found inspiration in a provocative work of theater, George C. Wolfe's satirical play, The Colored Museum, to create a visual journey of the Black Past, Present and Future.
Offering a diverse array of media, styles and audience engagement experiences, The Colored Museum: Past/Present/Future features work by 9 emerging and established Black artists from throughout the eastern U.S. including Thomas "Kwest" Burns, Barrington Edwards, Ifé Franklin, Nettrice Gaskins, Shea Justice, Chaz Maviyane-Davies, Keith Morris Washington and Douglas himself. Also included is work by the late outsider artist, Justin Printice Douglass, created through The Umbrella's education outreach program while incarcerated in Concord, and originally unable to be publicly exhibited due to COVID.
Free and open to the public the exhibition echoes, responds to, and challenges themes of the play, produced May 20 - June 5 by The Umbrella's professional stage company, directed by Pascale Florestal. Wolfe's play undermines Black stereotypes over time, and challenges notions of museums and white spectatorship of Black experience, through employing incisive and often hilarious satire.
Inspired by the play and conversations with Florestal, Douglas selected these artists not only on their strengths as artists, scholars and public speakers, but as activists whose combined work represent a call to action for audiences to personally promote social change and dismantling of racism in their communities. The organizing framework creates dialogue among the Past, from slavery, the civil rights and back to Africa movements; the Present demands for personal and political change in the wake of George Floyd; and Afrofuturist projections of race, technology, and Black bodies viewed through positive lenses. The exhibition also features an audience interaction component that allows visitors to leave messages, have conversations in regard to race relations, and reimagine museums and cultural institutions themselves.




The-Colored-Museum-Past-Present-Future Exhibition PosterJoin us for an interactive experience of The Colored Museum: Past/Present/Future at 40 Stow Street on Sunday May 22, between 5-8PM, immediately following the opening Sunday matinee performance of The Colored Museum. Meet and celebrate the artists, participate in special one-day-only participatory installations, enjoy refreshments and music by DJ Bob Diesel.


Go deeper into Concord's Black history! The Concord Visitor Center, The Robbins House and The Umbrella Arts Center have teamed up for a special “June Journeys” edition of the Town's expert-guided African-American History of Concord Walking Tour before visit the exhibition and seeing the play. Reserve in advance when booking tickets to The Colored Museum Sunday May 22, May 29 or June 5. Tours meet at The Umbrella 1:00PM.


June 5 immediately following the closing performance of the play, exhibition curator Cedric Vise1 Douglas and theater director Pascale Florestal will be joined by journalist Jacquinn Sinclair for a talkback on art, race, and their collboration exploring themes in The Colored Museum.

Art New England May-June 2022 Issue Cover RELATED READINGS