RETOLD: African American Art and Folklore

Karl and Bertl Arnstein Galleries
November 4, 2023 - March 24, 2024

RETOLD: African American Art and Folklore features art from the Wesley and Missy Cochran Collection and focuses on four themes that emerged during the curation process:



The works in this section of the exhibition are about reminiscing about and yearning for Africa. Remembering home provided the strength that helped people persevere through the harshest of times.



The African American story continues to be steeped in religion—from Christianity to spirituality, Orishas, and voodoo. This section features works that represent the vast complexity of African American faith-based practices.



These works retell the various struggles of African Americans: redlining, unemployment, mockery, lynching. African Americans have been marginalized, discriminated against, and demonized simply for their race—and the story is far from over.



This section of the exhibition depicts resistance via family connections, the performing arts, and of course the audacity to fight the good fight.


These four themes provide a comprehensive retelling of the works featured in RETOLD. In many of the pieces, the artist’s muse connects closely with stories that have been told by generation after generation. Folklore texts are used throughout the space to provide a richer, deeper story of African American culture.


The more than forty artists represented in the show all hold one similar truth: their story of joy and struggle in the African American experience.