Where Art Meets Music: Reconstructing the Rhythms of Black Histories through Contemporary Art
Date:Nov 8, 2018
Venue:New Britain Museum of American Art
Address:56 Lexington St, New Britain, CT 06052, USANew Britain Connecticut 06052
The NBMAA is excited to present a new series that looks at the unique intersection of the visual arts and music. Using the permanent collection as inspiration, musicians and scholars will interpret select periods of artistic and musical innovation in America and abroad. The New Britain Museum of American Art’s 2015 installation of artist Titus Kaphar’s "The Vesper Project" examines the effort to reconstruct Black histories. The work examined a family history and the racial truths hidden in bloodlines, biography, and buildings that were invisible to descendants. Creating the massive, sculptural statement, a disintegrating 19th-century American house, pushed Kaphar into an improvisational space that meant negotiating between disciplines and media. Improvisation is a key element to the music of jazz, which originated in African-American communities in New Orleans in the early 19th and 20th centuries. Each time a musician or group of musicians perform a piece it will be reinterpreted and improvised based upon mood, experience, and interactions in the moment. Dr. Frank Mitchell, Executive Director of The Amistad Center for Art & Culture, will discuss how Kaphar’s efforts link him to a cohort of artists reimagining and improvising these stories between time, history, and identity. Nat Reeves, a prominent musician and educator at The Hartt School, Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz, will punctuate this dialogue with a jazz ensemble.