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Multiplicity: A Celebration of Black Identity Through Collage

A groundbreaking exhibition titled “Multiplicity: Blackness in Contemporary American Collage,” is the first major museum showcase dedicated entirely to collage and collage-informed works that delve deep into the multifaceted nature of Black identity. The exhibition will feature over 80 significant pieces, offering a panoramic view of the myriad ways in which collage has been employed to express diverse conceptual concerns. These range from cultural hybridity, notions of beauty, and gender fluidity to the profound depths of historical memory.

At the heart of “Multiplicity” is an intergenerational group of 52 living artists, each bringing their unique perspective and voice to the table. Through the intricate assembly of materials like paper, photographs, fabric, and salvaged or repurposed items, these artists craft unified compositions. Their creations are a testament to the boundless potential of narratives constructed by Black artists, even in a society that often feels fragmented.

Two artists who stand out in this illustrious group are Lester Julian Merriweather and Jamea Richmond-Edwards, both proud alumni of the Jackson State University Department of Art.

Lester Julian Merriweather, born in 1978, is not just an artist but also a curator. Hailing from Memphis, Tennessee, Merriweather is renowned for his collage work. His artistry is precise and arresting, often delving into themes that resonate deeply with the Black experience. His contributions to the art world extend beyond his creations, as he has also served on the Board of Directors for Number, Inc., an independent journal. More about Lester Julian Merriweather.

Jamea Richmond-Edwards, on the other hand, was born and raised in Detroit, MI. She graduated with a Bachelor of Art degree from Jackson State University in 2004. Currently based in Washington, D.C., Richmond-Edwards’ work is heavily influenced by the styles of the 90’s hip-hop era. As an interdisciplinary artist, she crafts monumental scale assemblages and immersive installations that captivate viewers. More about Jamea Richmond-Edwards.

“Multiplicity” promises to be more than just an exhibition; it’s a celebration of the boundless creativity of Black artists.