LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art has opened a gallery featuring works by African American artists from around the country, Mississippi and the Pine Belt.
“Identity and Response” is a collaborative between members of the staff at LRMA and local artist, Michael Ross, who is the curator for the exhibit. Ross was instrumental in placing each piece in a way which gives meaning and significance to those adjacent with each other.
Artwork from Ross is included in the exhibit with the bulk coming from the permanent collection owned by the museum.
George Bassi, the director of the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, said they were thrilled to work with such a well-known artist living in the area.
“One goal was to really look and say let’s have someone like Michael Ross, come in and interpret it and look at it and tell a story through his eye,” Bassi said. “And I love the fact that he picked that title, ‘Identity and Response,’ because it does identify and shows you the strength of this Black collective. I think people are really going to enjoy looking at these works, which spans about 80 years of Black artists and it’s a fresh way to look at them.”
Michael Ross was born in Laurel, Mississippi. He earned a B.F.A. degree in painting at the University of Mississippi and an M.A. degree in drawing at Northern Illinois University.
He has been an art instructor at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville and at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois. He lived in San Francisco from the late 1980′s until 2017. His artwork has been exhibited and collected in the San Francisco Bay Area, the southeastern United States and nationwide. He now resides in Laurel.
The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is located at 565 North 5th Avenue in Laurel and admission is free.