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Fri, Jun 03


Biedenharn Museum & Gardens of Monroe

Art Exhibit Opening Reception- Acts of Faith: Forward Together

This is a free event.

Art Exhibit Opening Reception- Acts of Faith: Forward Together
Art Exhibit Opening Reception- Acts of Faith: Forward Together

Time & Location

Jun 03, 2022, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Biedenharn Museum & Gardens of Monroe, 2000 Riverside Dr, Monroe, LA 71201, USA

About the Event

ACTS OF FAITH: FORWARD TOGETHER – Selections from the Sutton Collection Exhibit Opening Reception – Friday, June 3 - 6:00-9:00 PM. This is a free event.

June 2022 has been officially proclaimed “Juneteenth Month” by the Monroe City Council. One of the first celebrations of the month is the opening reception for “Acts of Faith: Forward Together – Selections from the Sutton Collection,” a new exhibition at the Biedenharn Museum and Gardens’ Bible Museum. The exhibit features 60 works from Will and Cheryl Sutton’s African American Spiritual Art collection with additional pieces from the Living Water Ministries International Collection and featured local artists.

The exhibit takes its name from an impressive print of Jacob Lawrence’s “Forward Together,” which depicts Harriett Tubman, the Moses of her people, leading a group of escaping slaves through the woods. In addition to the print, the Biedenharn’s copy of Jacob Lawrence’s “Book of Genesis” is on display. Artistic expression is seen through various media, including watercolor, pen and ink, lithograph, and mixed media. Three-dimensional works include wood,

bronze, and mixed sculptures. The concept of “Together” permeates this exhibit, from Lawrence’s “Forward Together” to  works concerning the passing along of traditions and images of “going to church,” a place where Black communities meet together for more than worship. A place where spirits and lives converge to form kinships outside of bloodlines.

Collectors Will and Cheryl Sutton were inspired to collect and exhibit artwork by Proverbs 24:3, “Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” They hope that sharing their collection with others will foster understanding and wisdom in our community and beyond. Their collection celebrates the Black spiritual experience through the eyes of notable 20th and 21st Century African American artists. Faith and the tenacity to act upon it are central themes among the artworks. Engage with moving works by Benny Andrews, Willie Birch, Elizabeth Catlett, and more, and explore different interpretations and applications of faith through various media.

The spirit of “Together” is also felt by including loaned works that augment the Sutton’s collection, literally sharing space together for a time. These include pieces by area artists, such as Drék Davis, Don Cincone, and K’Shana Hall-Davis, who were asked to participate in the exhibit by adding their art and vision to the Sutton’s collection. 

Drék Davis is an Associate Professor of Art at Grambling State University. A 2017 article stated he “believes in creating art that will stimulate conversations and stir a response in viewers. Davis likes to explore the way politics and spirituality are addressed in society and the influence of African American spirituality on southern culture.”

Don Cincone is one of Northeast Louisiana’s most renowned artists. According to the NELA Arts Council site devoted to Cincone, he “has influenced and inspired countless individuals during his long career. To know Don Cincone is to know a man who is humble yet bold. A man who has overcome countless obstacles yet risen to heights only a few reach.” K’Shana Hall-Davis is an emerging Northeast Louisiana artist, working primarily in acrylic, mixed media, and photography.

Five pieces feature artwork purchased for the Living Water Ministries International Collection from entries in the annual Living Water Art Expo. The Expo’s goal is to hold an exhibition with a collection of new and established artists whose work depicts the ancient Hebrew people in accordance to their geographical origin.

Exhibit Opening Reception Schedule – Friday, June 3 - 6:00-9:00 PM

6:00 – 7:00 - Collector and Artists in the Gallery

7:00 – 9:00 - Coco York concert in the Gardens

7:00 – 9:00 - Exhibit and Garden remain open

Coke Floats and Refreshments in the Welcome Room

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