This week we went to see the exhibition Black is Beautiful at the Paul Jones Collection. It’s a small gallery showing a student curated exhibition from the permanent collection. We kept our visit simple. We ate a cookie in front of our favorite artwork, and we tried to draw the braids from Sheila Pree Bright’s photograph. If you follow me on Instagram, then you also know we spent a considerable amount of time by the water fountain.
During one of our conversations about the artwork, I asked my four year old why he thought “Black” was in the title. He answered, “because the words are black,” referring to the vinyl type color. “Any other reasons?,” I pushed. He continued, “Because that frame is black?” and pointed to a painted black picture frame. I dropped that one and asked, “Why do you think the exhibition is called ‘Beautiful?'” He talked a little bit about happiness, but didn’t really know. Sitting in front of about a dozen photographs and paintings about identity and beauty, I realized my child does not know what “black” or “beautiful” means. The exhibit is up until April 29th. The gallery hours are Monday-Friday 9 am- 5 pm. If you get a chance to visit the exhibition, take a minute to find out how your child defines black or beautiful.