| Pittsburgh City Paper

August Wilson African American Cultural Center to reopen with new group exhibition

click to enlarge Supper’s Our Time by SHAN Wallace, part of Minding My Business (i said what i said) at AWAACC - COURTESY OF AUGUST WILSON AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURAL CENTER
Courtesy of August Wilson African American Cultural Center
Supper’s Our Time by SHAN Wallace, part of Minding My Business (i said what i said) at AWAACC
Like many local cultural institutions, the August Wilson African American Cultural Center has experienced its own series of starts and stops over the course of the pandemic. Now the Downtown hub dedicated to highlighting the Black experience through art, music, literature, and more will finally open its doors again.

AWAACC announced today that it will reopen to the public on Sat., May 22 with "safety procedures to ensure that all who visit have an enjoyable and stress-free experience," says a press release. The date also marks the debut of Minding My Business (i said what i said), a new group exhibition featuring works by women artists.

AWAACC had reopened prior to this in September 2020, only to close its galleries again when a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases led to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf instituting another statewide shutdown at the end of November.


“After months of being closed to the public, we look forward to reopening our galleries with the work of seven incredible women artists from around the country," says AWAACC president and CEO Janis Burley Wilson. "The dynamic works speak to some of the most pressing questions of our time facing not only women, but society as a whole, and we are thrilled to share their works with the Pittsburgh community."

The show includes works by Houston-based artist Rabéa Ballin; published author and visual artist Krista Franklin; LA-based director, photographer, and "creative wellness designer" Deun Ivory; Chicago-based photographer Tonika Lewis Johnson; dancer and visual storyteller Pia Love; Baltimore visual artist, photographer, and educator SHAN Wallace; and, Natalie Lauren Sims, a musician, visual artist, writer, and music executive from Tulsa, Okla.

Minding My Business (i said what i said)
is curated by Janice Bond and Sadie Woods of Selenite Arts Advisory, a multidisciplinary art advisory and curatorial consultancy. The show, on view in the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation Gallery through Sept.12, is described as exploring "self-authorship as means to a liberated future through photography, video, and works on paper."

Guests can expect an array of events associated with Minding My Business (i said what i said) over the next several months, including artist talks covering their practices and creative processes, as well as a presentation on late musician Nina Simone by DJ and scholar Lynnée Denise, and a performance by multidisciplinary artist Frewuhn.

In addition to requiring face masks, AWAACC will also screen visitors with temperature checks before they enter the building. Capacity in the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation Gallery will be reduced to 10% to provide room for guests to social distance from one another. AWAACC also encourages guests to review the updated gallery hours and safety protocols prior to arriving.


While there are some in-person events, much of the programming will take place online over YouTube, Zoom, and other platforms. Those uneasy about venturing out will also be able to view a virtual tour of the art exhibition Minding My Business (i said what i said), which will be added to the AWAACC website in the coming weeks.
Minding My Business (i said what i said). On view Sat., May 22- Sept. 12, 2021. August Wilson African American Cultural Center. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. Free. aacc-awc.org

Comments (0)