On Sunday, October 16, the Rochester Contemporary Art Center will close its groundbreaking exhibition Question Bridge and its sister exhibit that RCTV mounted called Dialogues…Young Men of Color.
For six weeks, this exhibit will have provided a look into the lives, issues, concerns, beliefs, actions, fears and passions held by black men in this country, showing that within any demographic, there is as much diversity as outside it.
Question Bridge will have drawn one of the most diverse audiences ever seen at RoCo – or probably most public displays of art in Rochester, for that matter – which is no insignificant feat for a contemporary art gallery in a city that is, unwittingly, highly segregated. One hopes that the weekly Wednesday and Friday evening discussions among the diversity of community residents attending formed a groundswell of communication that will help pave the way toward unveiling and eventually shooing the racism elephant from the room. These things don’t happen overnight, but an exhibition such as this can be a catalyst.
Another landmark achievement of this exhibition is that now, Rochester itself has become inextricably entwined with Question Bridge. Community members such as Carvin Eison, Dennis Bassett, Robert Snead, Lloyd Holmes, Rick Osborne, Dr. Leonard Brock, Gregory Goolsby and Randy Benjamin lend their voice and thoughts to Question Bridge online to round out our understanding of being a black male in America today.
Ferguson and the 50th Anniversary of July ’64 aside, this was an important exhibit to have come to Rochester because no one of any ethnicity or gender who has an open mind could come away from Question Bridge without new and important understandings and perceptions.
For those who’d like to see Question Bridge and Dialogues before they close, the exhibits will be on view Wednesday through Sunday from 1pm to 5pm and Friday from 1pm to 10pm.
For those who’d like an opportunity to engage in discussion, consider attending these panel discussions taking place between now and the closing date:
- Wednesday, November 5 – Lloyd Holmes, VP for Students Services at Monroe Community College
- Friday, November 7 – First Friday Artist Discussion with Garth Fagan, Founder/Artistic Director at Garth Fagan Dance; Luvon Sheppard, Director at Joy Gallery; Carvin Eison, Filmmaker and General Manager at RCTV Media Center
- Wednesday, November 12 – Youth Organizers from Teen Empowerment
- Friday, November 14 – Black Males and the Legal System with John Klofas, Professor and Director of The Center for Public Safety Initiatives, RIT; Bill Johnson, Professor of Public Policy and Urban Studies, RIT and Former Mayor of Rochester; Van White, Rochester City School District Board President; Mary Ann Wolfe, Chair Elect, Rochester Area Child Abuse Network;
Simeon Banister, Director of Special Programs at PathStone
Rochester Contemporary Art Center is located at 37 East Main Street between Scio and Gibbs Street. Admission is $2.00.