Illinois State Museum Announces Plans for NOIR II: The Migration

Release Date: 

Thursday, March 17, 2022

ISM Location: 

For Immediate Release:

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois State Museum announces plans for its second annual Juneteenth art exhibition, NOIR II: The Migration, in collaboration with Springfield's Juneteenth, Inc., and national artists and co-curators, Korbin "Kas" King and Michelle "Micki" Smith, scheduled to open on Friday, May 27, 2022, in Springfield.

NOIR II: The Migration is an exhibition of Black art by people of color depicting the migration of Black Americans. Co-curators, King and Smith, will consider images from artists across the United States.

"This year, we want to explore life after Juneteenth. Now that we're free, what do we do? How do we survive? As last year's exhibition encouraged a conversation, that goal remains the same this year," said co-curator Smith. "We want to tell a story visually, provoking viewers to think and talk about what freedom looks like for people of color in the United States."  

King and Smith are seeking to tell the story of the Great Migration from southern states to northern states, more specifically:

  •  How Black Americans created a living for themselves once receiving their freedom.
  •  The migration of Black culture into White America.
  •  What does freedom look like to Black Americans and the United States as a whole?

"Ultimately, we want to take a difficult conversation and breathe life into it from different perspectives," explained King. "As we embark on plans for NOIR II: The Migration, we're elated to have another chance to push and shift the culture for the generations of artists to come. Juneteenth didn't free enslaved people; it freed doctors, scientists, and creatives. That's what the Migration represents, the movement of a people that influences the world through culture."

First, second, and third place will receive ribbons. There is also a Best in Show purchase award. In addition, the purchased artwork will become part of the Illinois State Museum's permanent collection courtesy of the Michelle and Guerry Suggs Diversity Collections Acquisition Fund.   It is the second year the Illinois State Museum has partnered with King and Smith to produce the Juneteenth art exhibition. Additionally, the Museum has expanded the size of the show, and it will run longer, May 27 through September 3, based on feedback from Museum visitors last year.

About the Illinois State Museum                             

Established in 1877, the Illinois State Museum (ISM) actively collects and cares for a significant collection of nearly 14 million objects divided broadly into the areas of art, history, and science. Its extensive collections and research activities provide the foundation for exhibitions and public programs that tell the story of Illinois's land, life, people, and art. No other institution is so uniquely qualified to tell the story of Illinois. Operating as a system, the flagship museum is on the Capitol Complex in Springfield. The ISM also operates the Research and Collections Center in Springfield, Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown, and Lockport Gallery in Lockport.

Contact Person: 

Jamila Wicks

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