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Sunday, May 19, 2024

The Muscarelle Museum opens new exhibit to highlight slavery and forced migration

After being closed for nearly a year, the Muscarelle Museum will reopen on Friday. (WYDaily/Courtesy Muscarelle Museum)
(WYDaily/Courtesy Muscarelle Museum)

The Muscarelle Museum is opening a new exhibition highlighting a variety of media and techniques from Native and African American artists that address the complexity of slavery and forced migration.

“The works in this exhibition communicate a complexity of experience, addressing past and present,” said Danielle Moretti-Langholtz, curator of Native American art. “We are fortunate to have such powerful works for our visitors to experience and reflect upon.”

On Thursday, “1619/2019” will feature submitted work from across the country from artists including: Sonya Clark, Nell Painter, Katrina Andry, Sedrick Huckaby, Preston Jackson, Delita Martin, Jerushia Graham, Letitia Huckaby, Richard Ward, Elmer Yazzie, Steve Prince, Dayon Royster, Kimberly Dummons, Bear Allison and Donald Wilson, according to a news release from the museum.

“The evocative power of art can serve as a liberating exercise in dealing with the challenging subject matter,” according to the news release.

Works from the permanent collection will be featured, including pieces from Cara Romero and Danny Simmons, along with original poetry from Hermine Pinson, a professor of English and Africana Studies at William & Mary. 

“Art produced by Native Americans in this exhibition reminds us that 1619 had a major impact on the indigenous peoples who had been living in North America for thousands of years,” Moretti-Langholtz said. “The forced migration of Africans to Virginia is not just a story about African and European settlers. It’s about the disruption of the societies and the lifeways of the original inhabitants of the continent.” 

There will also be a yearlong art project included in the exhibition called The Links Steamroller Print. The project, led by Steve Prince, museum director of engagement, will engage people from various backgrounds to create small woodblocks that will be inserted into a large-scale matrix to ‘link’ individuals. It will be similar to a puzzle, according to the museum. 

The culmination of the project will be an act of printing with an industrial steamroller. Visitors can witness the live creation on Thursday between noon and 1 p.m. on the south yard of the Wren Building on the campus of William & Mary.

Following that, the print will be on view with the new exhibition starting Friday.

The exhibit will be on view through Jan. 12, 2020.

Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at

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