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'I haven't seen an exhibit quite like this' | New Britain Museum of American Art opens new exhibition focused on Black artists

The exhibition features collections from 30 Black artists of four generations.

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — Inside the New Britain Museum of American Art is a groundbreaking exhibition that tells the story of the black experience through the eyes of contemporary Black artists. 

It's called 30 Americans and features collections from 30 Black artists of four generations.

"I haven't seen an exhibit quite like this in Connecticut," said Hartford artist Andre Rochester.

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As a Black artist, Andre Rochester said this exhibit is special. 

"It captures the culture of black artists and who we are in a good way. It's a great representation of our community; it shows that we're just people like everybody else," passionately explained Rochester. 

While it's a part of a more extensive exhibition drawn from the Rubell Museum in Florida, the representation is exactly why bringing it to the greater Hartford area was vital. 

"Our community should be able to see themselves reflected on the walls of this museum," said Lisa Lappe, Director of Marketing with the New Britain Museum of American Art. "It's incredibly important to illuminate the voices of every American and to have their images reflected on our walls."    

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Lappe said getting it to the NBMAA has been two years in the works. In the process, scholars Dr. Dann J. Broyld, Provost Nicole Stanton, and Dr. Brittney Yancy were selected as guest curators and hand-picked pieces for the exhibition that span three rooms. 

"We are able to tell the narrative and change the narrative of how we understand African descendent people in this country through art," explained Co-curator Dr. Brittney Yancy.

With black artists sharing black stories and experiences through different mediums, 30 Americans have a message for all. 

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"Not only have black people made a significant contribution to American culture, but the stories that we tell in our artwork is also their stories," explained Rochester. "We're not so far removed from each other that we cant relate to the pictures on the wall just because of the color of the subject skin." 

30 Americans will be at the New Britain Museum of Americans Arts until Sunday, October 30, 2022. There is special programming related to the exhibition, CLICK HERE for more information. 

Raquel Harrington is the race and culture reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at rharrington@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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