Museum hosting opening reception for exhibit celebrating Black History Month

NOW: Museum hosting opening reception for exhibit celebrating Black History Month

DOWAGIAC, Mich. – A reception Wednesday will allow the public to meet with a local artist whose work is now an exhibit at the Dowagiac Area History Museum. The exhibit called Burning Memories: The Artwork of O’Larry Collins is on display in celebration of Black History Month.

Museum Director Steve Arseneau says he has wanted to include an exhibit dedicated to Black History Month for a while. When he stumbled across the wood burning art of Collins, he thought it would make a great exhibit.

“I think his artwork is fantastic. As you kind of look around at the artwork his work is really well regarded,” said Arseneau. “I’m pretty excited about it.”

He says the museums rotating exhibits are generally historical displays rather than artwork. One other time an artist was featured, but this will be the first time the museum has featured a local artist who still lives in the area.

The artwork includes subjects from scenery to blues and jazz music legends. Arseneau says to celebrate Black History Month with the art is a perfect fit.

“O’Larry’s work really hits on the African American experience throughout the decades. In particular you have pieces like what he calls “Segregation” which hits upon the civil rights movement and just really hits all the right notes,” he said.

Now he plans to have an exhibit to celebrate Black History Month every year.

The public is invited to an opening reception of the exhibit on Wednesday from 4-6 p.m.

Collins will also be on site working on one of his pieces from 1-4 p.m.

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