Artist Erin Mitchell shared her perspective on a selection of Jacob Lawrence’s panels and how it inspires her practice.
Local interdisciplinary artist Erin LeAnn Mitchell’s work gained worldwide exposure in 2018 when it was featured on the hit Fox television series Empire. Last year, the Birmingham Committee for Truth and Reconciliation commissioned her to create a portrait of Birmingham activist Dr. Angela Davis in honor of her humanitarian achievements. An ASFA graduate, Mitchell received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She earned her master’s degree in teaching arts from the Columbia College Chicago and taught art in Chicago before moving back to Birmingham in 2018. Mitchell’s work, Imperishable Stars, is currently exhibited in our All Things Bright and Beautiful exhibition.
Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle features the series of paintings Struggle . . . From the History of the American People (1954–56) by the iconic American modernist. The exhibition will reunite the multi-paneled work for the first time in more than half a century. One of the greatest narrative artists of the twentieth century, Jacob Lawrence (1917–2000) painted his Struggle series to show how women and people of color helped shape the founding of our nation. Originally conceived as a series of sixty paintings, spanning subjects from the American Revolution to World War I, Struggle was intended to depict, in the artist’s words, “the struggles of a people to create a nation and their attempt to build a democracy.”