Artists to Discuss ‘Du Bois and Art in Our Time’ at Springfield Museums

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Three of the participating artists in the “Du Bois in Our Time” exhibition at UMass Amherst’s University Museum of Contemporary Art will discuss contemporary issues and the vision of W.E.B. Du Bois on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 2 p.m. at the Michele & Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts in Springfield.

Stanford University historian James Campbell will lead the conversation with artists Mary Evans, LaToya Ruby Frazier and Tim Rollins.

Currently on view at the University Museum of Contemporary Art, “Du Bois in Our Time” focuses on the intersection of art and the major issues of our time, centered on the legacy of Du Bois and the causes he championed. UMCA commissioned 10 internationally acclaimed American, Canadian and West African artists, whose work is socially engaged and research-based, to offer an aesthetic contribution to a modern rethinking of Du Bois.

Mary Evans is a Nigerian-born artist, who lives in London. Her work focuses on ideas of identity, alienation and assimilation of immigrants from Africa in European countries. She is fascinated by “what they are forced to learn, and relearn, what they choose to remember and forget, how they are irrevocably changed.” She tries to express her own identity, which is a union of African and European elements, in her work.

LaToya Ruby Frazier was born and raised in Braddock, Pa. Her work is informed by late 19th- and early 20th-century modes of representation in documentary practice. With an emphasis on postmodern conditions, class, and capitalism, Frazier investigates issues of propaganda, politics and the importance of subjectivity.

Tim Rollins and K.O.S. have worked with students in the South Bronx for more than 30 years. Rollins developed a collaborative strategy that combines lessons in reading and writing with the production of works of art. His work has been widely exhibited and collected throughout the world. His latest work was created in March with students from the Renaissance School in Springfield.

James T. Campbell is the Edgar E. Robinson Professor in United States History at Stanford University and specializes in African-American history and the history of the black African slave trade. His research spans the history of American slave trade with Africa, the Harlem Renaissance, and the civil rights movement.

 Admission is free for Springfield residents with proof of ID (such as driver’s license or state-issued ID, rent receipt or utility bill).