The Brauer Museum of Art at Valparaiso University is hosting a special exhibit starting on Martin Luther King Jr. Day — Monday, January 16, 2023 and running through Black History Month. The exhibit will feature art by people of color from both the Brauer’s collection and the private collection of Michael C. Chikeleze, Ph.D., the Richard C. and Francelia A. Gozon University Chair in Values-Based Leadership.
“MLK day is an important event, and I wanted to be sure that the museum was part of that,” said Jon Canning, director of the Brauer. “Too often, art museums are thought to be the preserve of the white, educated, middle-class, when in fact we have a great diversity here at the Brauer.”
Pieces on display will include the work of Kyle Walker, Charles White, and renowned abstract sculpture Richard Hunt — who Canning describes as one of the most prolific sculptures living in the United States today. The gallery will also include works by self-taught Milwaukee folk artist and street preacher, William “Prophet” Blackmon. According to Canning, the Brauer’s collection of BIPOC artists is not typical in the world of art museums.
“It’s really unusual for a collection to have, without a specific intent, a collection of Black artists,” Canning said. “All museums are now rushing to collect them. To find that we had, without deliberation, achieved a certain level of representation of Black artists, even just trying to collect a survey of American art is highly notable.”
The Brauer Museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on MLK Day, and will maintain its regular hours of operation found here throughout the remainder of the academic year.