Several paintings by contemporary Black artists from the Jessica and Kelvin Beachum Family collection will be on view at Hamon’s Hawn Gallery beginning February 18 and continuing to May 22. The exhibition, Narrative as Reality: A World Reimagined, presents the work of artists, Dominic Chambers, Ryan Cosbert, Robert Hodge, Nelson Makamo, Delita Martin, Sungi Mlengeya, Mario Moore, Robert Pruitt, Athi-Patra Ruga, and Ferrari Sheppard. As described by the exhibition’s curator, Dr. Valerie Gillespie, on the installation, “Each composition within the collection offers a unique story. These non-linear narratives on the Black experience, with their own distinct actualities exhibit a reality not often portrayed, yet a collective, lived experience that strives to represent a livelihood untouched.”
This selection of paintings represents a fraction of the collection owned by the Beachums, who began acquiring works by Black artists in 2013. Of the works in their collection, they express a personal approach to their acquisitions, “We want to look back on each piece and know it represents something we love, something we remember, something historically significant, or something we never want to forget. The intergenerational component is what is most special.”
Kelvin Beachum graduated from SMU in 2010 with a B.A. in Economics and earned a Master of Liberal Studies in Organizational Dynamics in 2012. A four-year starter as offensive tackle for SMU Mustang football, he serves as a member of the Executive Boards for the Simmons School of Education and Human Development and Lyle School of Engineering. Named an SMU Emerging Leader in 2018, Kelvin honored the late Dennis Simon, his political science professor and mentor, by endowing SMU’s annual Civil Rights Pilgrimage in Simon’s name.
Drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2012, Kelvin has played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, the New York Jets and now the Arizona Cardinals during his 10-year NFL career.
Jessica Beachum graduated from Baylor in 2011 with a degree in Sociology. She earned her B.S. in Nursing in 2017 from Duquesne University and her M.S. in Healthcare Delivery in 2021 from Arizona State University.
An exhibition catalogue of Narrative as Reality is available in print and pdf through the website.
OTHER SPRING 2022 EXHIBITIONS AT SMU LIBRARIES
Two other exhibitions at SMU Libraries offer excellent opportunities for visitors this spring. At DeGolyer Library, the exhibition, Black Lives, Black Letters: Primary Sources in African American History, opens February 10. It features archival holdings of the Library including rare books, pamphlets, broadsides, sheet music, prints, photographs, manuscripts, and ephemera documenting aspects of the Black experience in America, from the colonial period to the present. Among figures represented in the exhibition are documents from Phillis Wheatley to Toni Morrison, from Frederick Douglass to Barack Obama. Other figures, some who are unknown, portray Black lives in many fields.
Bridwell Library’s exhibition, A Symbiosis of Script, Font, and Form: A Selection of Artists’ Books, open through March 31, draws from the Library’s Special Collection. The selections for this exhibition offers artists’ books “in which artists or circles of collaborators have integrated corporeal elements of the book form into the literature in sensitive and sometimes astounding ways.”