Art of SOUL! Opens September 25

(WILBERFORCE)– Visit the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center Sept. 25 2021–Feb. 26, 2022 for its eight annual juried art show, Art of SOUL! Artists from across the country were selected for the national juried art exhibition after submitting pieces centered around the theme of “Black Future.” The 67 pieces of artwork on exhibit are from artists across the United States reflecting themes and perspectives related to the African diaspora, African American culture, history, and experience.

The jurors for Art of SOUL! 2021:

  • Louis Burroughs, Jr. Cleveland-based artist Louis Bernard Burroughs produces art that reflects the history, struggles, and aspirations of African Americans.  He works with associates in a studio in the Art District of the City of Cleveland doing sculptures and paintings.  He has also authored a book “The Middle Passage: The Artistic Life of Lawrence Baker.” Burroughs has a graduate degree in Science from Cleveland State University.

  • Deidre Hamlar is the co-curator of the Columbus Museum of Art exhibition, Raggin’ On: The Art of Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson’ s House and Journals. She has worked since 2018 to archive Robinson’s art and journals in preparation for the Raggin’ On exhibition and launch a residency program for Black artists and writers in Robinson’s Columbus home studio. She is also a lawyer, arts administrator, and independent curator. Hamlar has a BA in sociology from UCLA and a JD from Howard University Law School.

  • Sidney Kai Inis is the Associate Director of Public Programs and Special Events at the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling in New York City. She previously served as the Public Programs Manager at the historic DuSable Museum of African-American History in Chicago. Inis attended Wilberforce University, majoring in Mass Communications.

Jurors will select the grand prize winner and other winning artists. Starting in January, visitors to the exhibit and our followers on social media will have a chance to vote for their favorite artwork. The artist with the most votes will win a People’s Choice Award. All winners and selected artists will be recognized at a reception and awards ceremony at National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center on Sat., Feb. 26.
Other exhibitions to see at NAAMCC:

  • African Americans Fighting for a Double Victory—now through 2023
    Explore the many ways that African Americans served our country in the military and on the home front during World War II, through this exhibit of World War II materials from the NAAMCC collections. Explore stories of the Tuskegee Airmen, the Red Ball Express, and Wilberforce-area veterans.  Learn more about the Impact of African American World War II veterans had on the advances in Civil Rights that happened during and after the war.


  • Behind the Mask-Black Power in Comics—now through 2023
    Behind the Mask: Black Power in Comics explores African Americans’ painful and triumphant history in comic books. The exhibit delves into the history of black comic book characters who, in the past, were rarely featured as heroes.  Black comic book creators are now emerging to establishing superheroes of their own, reflecting a truer self-identity and cultural pride.


  • Queens of the Heartland —now through 2023
    The exhibit features the stories of 30 Ohio African American women who were a significant influence in the Suffrage and Civil Rights Movements from the 19th through the 21st centuries. The Queens of the Heartland exhibit tells the stories of these change-makers through panel text as well as three-dimensional objects. This exhibit includes portrait illustrations of these historical figures by New York artist Nichole Washington, whose current work focuses on identity and celebrates African American women. The Ohio Arts Council partially supports this exhibit.


  • Rhythm of Revolution-The Transformative Power of Black Art 1619 to the Present —now through Summer 2022
  • The National Afro-American Museum presents a new exhibit, called Rhythm of Revolution, that maps the visual flow of cultural change in America from 1619 to the present day. Black artists and activists transformed our nation by drawing on deeply rooted African traditions, interpreting contemporary challenges, and painting a way forward into a better future. This exhibit concept was developed by the NAAMCC and executed by a supervised class of Wright State graduate students in Public History. Rhythm of Revolution explores just some of the names who lay down the beat of change.


  • What’s in your attic? -Selections From Our Permanent Collection—now through 2023
    When the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center (NAAMCC) opened its doors in 1988, it was in the vanguard by being one of the first national museums dedicated to African American history. Today, NAAMCC houses over 8,000 artifacts, 600 linear feet of archived materials and remains a pioneer in preserving and presenting African American history and culture.  Learn more about the 30-year history and cultural influence of the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center. 

All exhibits are included with paid museum admission: $6/adult, $5/senior, $3/ages 6–17, Free/Ohio History Connection & NAAMCC members. For more information, call NAAMCC at 800-752-2603 ext. 0 or visit The National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center is located at 1350 Brush Row Road, Wilberforce, Ohio 45384.       

Museum Hours Wednesday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Masks and social distancing required.

About National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center
Established in 1988 in Wilberforce, Ohio, the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center (NAAMCC) shares the history, art and culture of the African American experience and serves as a gathering place for the community. For more information on programs and events, call 800.752.2603 ext. 0 or visit
About Ohio History Connection
The Ohio History Connection, formerly the Ohio Historical Society, is a statewide history organization with the mission to spark discovery of Ohio’s stories. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization chartered in 1885, the Ohio History Connection carries out history services for Ohio and its citizens focused on preserving and sharing the state’s history. This includes housing the state historic preservation office, the official state archives, a local history office and managing more than 50 historic sites and museums across Ohio. Learn more at


Posted September 21, 2021

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