OSWEGO — A free public artists’ reception to open an exhibition titled “Apartheid and Identity: Race. Place. Being.” will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Feb. 19 at the SUNY Oswego Metro Center in Syracuse.
The multimedia exhibition, under the direction of Oswego art department chair Cynthia Clabough, will explore the convergences between South Africans’ struggles against apartheid and the American Civil Rights Movement. It will run through March 28 in the Atrium on Clinton Square.
The exhibition, part of a collaboration titled “Race. Place. Being.,” will pick up on themes raised by the play “Sizwe Banzi Is Dead” at Syracuse Stage on East Genesee Street and a display of Rochester native Matt Herron’s civil rights-era photos at ArtRage Gallery on Hawley Avenue in Syracuse.
The work of Herron, whose photographs from the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march and other pivotal civil rights events have appeared in publications around the world, will appear at “Race. Place. Being.” venues on large banners on loan from the Birmingham Civil Right Institute.
Other artists represented in the SUNY Oswego Metro Center exhibition will include Ellen M. Blalock, Mike Greenlar, Dale Pierce, Mary Stanley and Vanessa Johnson.
Though oceans separated apartheid and the Civil Rights Movement, both struggles hinged on how those seeking freedom succeeded in visually defining who they were.
Each movement echoed the other’s successes and setbacks.
“Apartheid and Identity” focuses on such events as Nelson Mandela’s long imprisonment, begun in 1964, and the Soweto uprising; the 1965 Selma march and earlier violent attempts in the South to quell desegregation and voting rights for African Americans.
“Apartheid and Identity” also explores ways in which those struggles continue to persist.
The exhibition will present sculpture, photography and quilted fabric, as well as a variety of performances and screenings of award-winning films at the Metro Center and on campus in Oswego.
For more information and a complete calendar, visit oswego.edu/race-place-being