Milwaukee Museum of Art exhibit features monumental new mural by Derrick Adams

The Milwaukee Museum of Art exhibit On site: Derrick Adams presents a multimedia mural and a sculptural installation that the artist created especially for the museum. Featuring significant sites of black culture in Milwaukee, “Our Time Together” (2021) celebrates everyday life on a monumental scale.

“In ‘Our Time Together,’ I showcase Milwaukee by depicting known commercial and civic gathering spaces within the black community,” said Derrick Adams. “These places, and those who spend time there, are essential to the growth of American society as a whole – to its cultural, political and creative output, which reaches out to a global audience. The installation reflects my respect and my admiration for the perseverance of black Americans in their pursuit of happiness and speaks of transformation, belonging and normalcy.

Inspired by Victor Hugo Green The Negro Motorist’s Green Book, a traveler’s guide to black Americans published during the Jim Crow era, Adams celebrates the rituals of black daily life and recreation in this installation. Referencing Milwaukee locations such as barbershops, cafes, and community centers, the work combines photographs published in local newspapers during the Civil Rights Movement with dynamic figures created by the artist. By appealing to ordinary moments, pop culture and intergenerational gathering places, the images aim to expand and reframe black narratives beyond historical trauma.

“Through her installation, Adams underscores the importance of commemorating – and archiving – ordinary daily activities as central to shaping communal and collective identity,” said Lisa Sutcliffe, Herzfeld Curator of Photography and Media Arts. at the Milwaukee Art Museum. “We are honored to share and support this site-specific commission, which celebrates Black-owned businesses and culture, and asks important questions about the role of media and visual imagery in the construction of identity. and cultural value.”

Schedule a visit to see the installation, on view through 2024, at mam.org.

Mildred D. Field