Calendar / Subject: Contemporary

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Amy Sherald, High Yella Masterpiece-We Ain’t No Cotton Pickin’ Negroes, 2011. Oil on canvas. 59 x 69 inches. Collection of Keith Timmons, ESQ, CPA. Image courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago, Illinois. ©Amy Sherald.

Exhibition Opens – Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art - 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art questions and explores the complex and contested space of the American South. One needs to look no further than literature, cuisine and music, to see evidence of the South’s profound influence on American culture, and consequently much of the world. This unprecedented exhibition addresses and complicates the many realities, fantasies and myths that have long captured the public’s imagination about the American South. Presenting a wide range of perspectives, from both within and outside of the region, the exhibition creates a composite portrait of southern identity through the work of 60 artists. The art reflects upon and pulls apart the dynamic nature of the South’s social, political and cultural landscape.


Southern Accent is an extensive exploration of southern identity through contemporary art,” said Trevor Schoonmaker, Chief Curator and Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Curator of Contemporary Art, and co-curator of the exhibition. “The exhibition has been four years in the making, but the timing of Southern Accent is especially meaningful now – in the wake of Charleston and Orlando, and given the tense social climate during this presidential election year. We’re an art museum, so exhibitions are our platform for starting conversations. I hope Southern Accent can create a space to reimagine the South in new ways and reframe the way we think about the South in contemporary art. At its best, art can help give shape to cultural and social change, promote needed discourse and even help build community.”


William Faulkner once suggested that the South is not so much a “geographical place” an “emotional idea.” Southern Accent looks at the South as an open-ended question to be explored and expanded. The exhibition encompasses a broad spectrum of media and approaches, demonstrating that southernness is more of a shared sensibility than a consistent culture. The exhibition includes work dating back to the 1950s, but primarily focuses on art produced within the past 30 years. The exhibition also includes a curated music-listening library since no region in the United States has contributed more to American music than the South. This music chronology that speaks to southern life provides an invaluable counterpoint to the artwork in the exhibition.


This exhibition is co-organized by Trevor Schoonmaker, Chief Curator and Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Curator of Contemporary Art at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, and Miranda Lash, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky.


Southern Accent will travel to the Speed Art Museum, where it will be on view April 29 – August 20, 2017.

Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art is supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust; Jennifer McCracken New and Jason New; Trent Carmichael; Katie Thorpe Kerr and Terrance I. R. Kerr; Caroline and Arthur Rogers; Ann Chanler and Andrew Scheman; Parker & Otis; Lisa Lowenthal Pruzan and Jonathan Pruzan; Kimball Richmond and Rodney Priddy; Sam Tsao; Gail Belvett; and Richard Tigner.

Terry Adkins, Walter Inglis Anderson, Benny Andrews, Radcliffe Bailey, Romare Bearden, Sanford Biggers, Willie Birch, Rachel Boillot, Douglas Bourgeois, Roger Brown, Beverly Buchanan, Diego Camposeco, Mel Chin, William Christenberry, Sonya Clark, Robert Colescott, William Cordova, Jerstin Crosby and Bill Thelen, Thornton Dial, Sam Durant, William Eggleston, Minnie Jones Evans, Ralph Fasanella, Skylar Fein, Howard Finster, Michael Galinsky, Theaster Gates, Jeffrey Gibson, Deborah Grant, Barkley L. Hendricks, James Herbert and R.E.M., Birney Imes, Jessica Ingram, George Jenne, Deborah Luster, Sally Mann, Kerry James Marshall, Henry Harrison Mayes, Richard Misrach, Jing Niu, Tameka Norris, Catherine Opie, Gordon Parks, Ebony G. Patterson, Fahamu Pecou, Tom Rankin, Dario Robleto, Jim Roche, James “JP” Scott, Amy Sherald, Xaviera Simmons, Mark Steinmetz, Jimmy Lee Sudduth, Hank Willis Thomas, Burk Uzzle, Stacy Lynn Waddell, Kara Walker, Andy Warhol, Carrie Mae Weems, and Jeff Whetstone.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Lavender Country

Lavender Country: Live Performance And Film Screening - 5:30 PM

Meet Patrick Haggerty, author of Lavender Country, the world’s first openly gay country album (1973), now enjoying a resurgence of popularity since its reissue two years ago on the Paradise of Bachelors label, based in Chapel Hill. Haggerty will share music and stories about his experiences as an openly gay country music artist and lifetime political activist.  The “unplugged” performance, featuring Nashville-based backup band Promised Land Sound, will be preceded by a free screening of “These C*cksucking Tears,” a documentary short film by Daniel Taberski about the Lavender Country story, which won best documentary short at South by Southwest 2016 in Austin, Texas. Cash bar at 5:30 PM.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Laura Frankstone

Sketching in the Galleries Series with Laura Frankstone - 10:00 AM

Artist Laura Frankstone leads three-week sketching series. $40 for all three. Registration: Email

September 10, 2016

September 17, 2016

September 24, 2016

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

John Brown

Teacher Workshop – Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art - 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Join the education staff from the Nasher Museum of Art and fellow area educators to tour and discuss Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art.
Enjoy an Informance (information + performance) with John Brown, jazz musician, educator and associate professor of the practice of music at Duke University, as he talks about the role of the South in American jazz music. Explore southern identity through the lens of Tom Rankin, photographer, filmmaker, folklorist, professor of the practice of art and documentary studies and director of the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts at Duke University.


Learn about fall K-12 tours that have been developed in partnership with our Teacher Advisory Council. Enjoy free food and drinks, including beer and wine. Don’t miss our door prizes! Participating teachers will receive .3 continuing education credits.


“This show is wide-ranging and current. Every young person will be able to personally relate to some pieces in the show and learn from others. I’m looking forward to working with students on unpacking the rich and troubled history of southern symbols in the show from Sonya Clark’s confederate flag to Diego Campesino’s tobacco fields.”

– Alexa Garvoille, English Teacher at Durham School of the Arts, Teacher Advisory Council Member


Southern Food as Cultural Fount: A Conversation - 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Join us for a free public talk by national food critic and author John T. Edge, winner of the James Beard Foundation’s M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award, joins award-winning North Carolina Public Radio Reporter Leoneda Inge and Andrea Reusing, the James Beard award-winning chef of the Durham Hotel and also Lantern restaurant in Chapel Hill. For these expert enthusiasts, food is a gateway to such southern topics as history, race, migration, economics and more. Followed by a reception with southern fare and a cash bar.

Thursday, September 29, 2016


DJ Listening Party - 7:00 PM

Local DJs spin records inspired by the Southern Accent Listening Library. Co-sponsored by Carolina Soul Records in Durham.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Sketching with Bill Thelen

Sketching in the Galleries with Bill Thelen - 10:00 AM

Artist Bill Thelen will present a brief lesson and demonstration of ways to respond to art by sketching. Then you can try it out in the galleries! The Nasher Museum will provide drawing materials. You are welcome to bring your own, but please note that pens, charcoal and wet media are not permitted in the galleries. The program is free with admission. General museum admission is $5 for adults.