Akili Davis '20, a Sociology major and Visual Studies minor, has a major new exhibit on display.
As a Souls Grown Deep Foundation intern, Akili assisted in the curation of the "Souls Grown Deep: Artists of the African-American South" exhibition, on view June 8-September 2, 2019 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA). From research to label-writing, Akili was an integral part of creating the new exhibition.
Akili started at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2018, through the Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program, and continued to serve as a Bryn Mawr College Museum Studies Summer Intern at the Till Arts Project of Wit Lopez '15. Most recently, the Philadelphia Museum of Art invited Akili to continue her work through the summer of 2019 as a community engagement and access intern in the PMA Museum Studies summer internship program. In this role, Akili continues her work for Souls Grown Deep and will be leading tours of the exhibition throughout the summer.
From the exhibition website:
...an extraordinary collection of textile art, sculpture, and painting acquired from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation. With remarkable inventiveness and skill, generations of quilters from Gee’s Bend, Alabama, have created arresting compositions of color and form, made from worn-out clothes and other repurposed fabrics. Exhibited with them are provocative mixed-media paintings and found-object sculptures by Thornton Dial, Lonnie Holley, and others whose subjects and materials echo with the painful history of the American South and the conditions of life for many who live there.
"As the Souls Grown Deep Foundation curatorial intern at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, I had the opportunity to be a co-curator on the exhibition 'Souls Grown Deep: Artists from the African American South.' Having this incredible opportunity so early in my life has been both an exciting and transformative experience," says Davis. "To work with this exhibition of artwork has been like a return home for me. When I left the South for college, I never imagined myself returning. Now, through studying these works, I can see the South in an entirely new light, and I find myself impassioned to continue uplifting Southern art throughout my career."
The Souls Grown Deep Foundation supports contemporary African-American artists from the southeastern U.S.