LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Speed Art Museum announced its next exhibition, titled "Promise, Witness, Remembrance," will reflect on the life of Breonna Taylor, her death last year, and the protests which gripped Louisville over the summer. The exhibit will open to the public on Wednesday, April 7, and run through June 6, 2021.
"The exhibition explores the dualities between a personal, local story and the nation's reflection on the promise, witness, and remembrance of too many Black lives lost to gun violence," said a release from the museum.
Allison Glenn guest-curated "Promise, Witness, Remembrance." Glenn is a writer and Associate Curator for Contemporary Art at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark.
"Allison brings extensive experience working with artists to respond to site, circumstance, and place both within and beyond the confines of a museum," the release said. "With the Speed, Glenn has developed a curatorial framework that questions and considers this contemporary moment."
Glenn received feedback on the exhibition from Louisville artists, activists, mental health professionals, researchers, and community members. A National Advisory Panel also guided and consulted on the early stages of the exhibit's development. The panel included arts strategist Mecca Brooks, artists and founder/Executive Director of Rebuild Foundation Theaster Gates, artist advocate and cousin of Trayvon Martin La Keisha Leek, among others.
"What's happened in Louisville is not an isolated occurrence, but rather an echo of the paradox of the time and place we are living in. The story of Breonna Taylor is part of a larger history of the United States that we must contend with. We live in a country where a woman of color is Vice President, but the family of Breonna Taylor has not gotten the justice they've sought," said Glenn. "It's been a privilege to work with both the national panel, local community, and Breonna's family to explore and articulate these, and other, dualities."
The museum's director, Stephen Reily, hopes the exhibit brings healing to the city.
"In Louisville, the killing of Breonna Taylor and a year of protests have changed the course of our city; we need healing," Reily said. "At the Speed, we hope that Allison's practice of engaging artists with public reality will help our city — and the people we serve — find a way forward."
"Promise, Witness, Remembrance" will span all five galleries in the original 1927 neoclassical building. More details, like artists and additional programming, will come at a later date.