If you’ve driven or walked down Beach Drive and noticed all the signs in the grass in front of the Museum of Fine Arts, it’s not an indication of upcoming elections. The interactive installation is a public arts project running through this Sunday named Our Walls: Real and Imagined.
A sister program to this week’s Spiral Full Circle, Our Walls seeks to demonstrate the impact that walls and barriers have on our lives every day by asking the community to express their relationship to and opinion of the walls in their lives. Some can be good, such as one participant who described their mother as a wall to protect them. In other instances, as one participant noted, walls can divide us.
Museumgoers and anyone walking by are invited to stop inside and channel their inner artist at the sign station as they create signs reflecting their personal views on the impact walls and barriers have in their everyday lives. Participation in the community-driven installation is free and all signs will be displayed in the grass along the front plaza of the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg.
The display runs through this Sunday, and the piece that inspired it, Hughie Lee-Smith’s The Walls, is on display inside the museum.
“Over the course of this week,” MFA said, “museum visitors and downtown pedestrians will contemplate the themes of this profound work: hope, isolation, identity, and navigation.”
Spiral Full Circle presents collective of Black artists
This Thursday, the MFA is hosting a multi-genre evening of performances honoring the legacy of Spiral, a collective of Black artists formed in the mid-1960s around the time of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The event will feature local creatives Tenea D. Johnson, Cranstan Cumberbatch, and Butch Thomas in a night of music, theater, and prose.
Spiral Full Circle and Our Walls are both events inspired by and celebrating artwork from the Art Bridges loan. One of the focal points of the collection is the celebrated work by native Floridian Hughie Lee-Smith, The Walls. Hughie, one of the most groundbreaking Black artists of the last century, created the oil painting in 1954 and the piece is on loan at the MFA from the Art Bridges Foundation.
The Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg is open Tuesday-Wednesday from 10 am – 5 pm, Thursday from 10 am – 8 pm, Friday-Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm, and Sunday from noon to 5. This Thursday’s Spiral Full Circle runs from 7-9 pm and is included with the price of admission to the museum.
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