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Metropolis: A City In Black
September 16, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Metropolis: A City In Black, by Cecil McDonald Jr., is a public installation in the historic bay windows of South Side Community Art Center.
South Side Community Art Center invites you to attend and celebrate the launch of Cecil McDonald’s public art installation, programmed alongside the final Bronzeville Art District Trolley Tour!
As a part of the Public Art & Civic Engagement Capacity Building Initiative, granted to the South Side Community Art Center from Mural Arts Institute, a program of Mural Arts Philadelphia, artist Cecil McDonald, Jr. has been commissioned to create a socially engaged public work of art. His project will feature images from SSCAC’s archives intertwined with portraits of Bronzeville community members to celebrate the dual histories and legacies.
Metropolis: A City In Black, by Cecil McDonald Jr., is a public viewing installation in the historic bay window of the venerable South Side Community Art Center. Over six months, McDonald traversed the streets, parks, beaches, porches, and neighborhoods in and around Bronzeville. Photographing friends, strangers, and passersby from a mobile studio, McDonald created both formal and candid portraits; the portraits, collaged with moving abstract imagery, create an odyssey of humanity infused with all the unique sensibility and tempo of black life in the metropolis.
Cecil McDonald, Jr. is interested in the intersections of masculinity, familial relationships and the artistic and intellectual pursuits of Black culture—particularly as it intersects and informs the larger culture. He investigates and questions the customs that govern our understanding of each other, our families and the myriad of our shared societal struggles and triumphs. He works to reveal the ordinary experiences, complexities and tenderness in relationships between Black people through photography, video, dance and performance.
“I am especially interested in the spaces free from the white gaze: the few places Black people feel comfortable being themselves. My work often highlights the culture—the art, music, and film—that Black people fill their homes and lives with. My art asserts the full humanity and rich culture of Black Americans.”