Ten works by contemporary Black artists from the Jessica and Kelvin Beachum Family collection are on view at Hamon’s Hawn Gallery until 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 works 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 and summer.
Continuing to May 23, In Search of Belonging at the Hamon Arts Library, first floor reading room presents an exhibition organized by Pride@SMU, founded by SMU senior and Queer Senator Bri Tollie. Drawing upon oral history interviews and University archives, this student-led exhibition looks at the history of LGBTQ+ organizing on campus for equality and representation.
At the Hillcrest Exhibit Hall, Send Me a Postcard: Women on the Road Across 19th – 20th Century America explores the travel experience for women from the DeGolyer Library’s holdings of rare books, pamphlets, ephemera and manuscripts, including the Archives of Women of the Southwest. This exhibition continues to August 31.