Jackson State Honors “My Life Has Value: We Wear the Mask” Artist

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Jackson State University Newsroom

A reception honoring artist frank d. robinson, jr., will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, July 17, by Jackson State University’s Gallery1 in celebration of the exhibition, “My Life Has Value: We Wear the Mask,” now showing through September 5.  This exhibition is presented in partnership with Tougaloo College as a part of the 2015 Tougaloo Art Colony. This free event is open to the public and food will be provided by Mangia Bene.

According to Kimberly D. Jacobs, gallery director, robinson’s art focuses on narratives and objects of everyday life. By skillfully re-appropriating seemingly mundane objects such as, keys, wrappers, afro-picks, broken glass, and so much more – robinson takes his audience on a visual journey through an urban environment, revealing a shared history constructed from material consumption.

My Life Has Value
Via Jackson State University

His compelling works raise inquiry about cultural values, survival and what we see in our own communities. The exhibition’s subtitle, “We Wear the Mask,” is borrowed from the renowned Paul Laurence Dunbar poem.  As Dunbar writes, “Why should the world be over-wise, In counting all our tears and sighs? Nay, let them only see us, while…We wear the mask.”

robinson was born in Memphis, Tenn., and received his BFA from the University of Memphis in 1993. He earned a Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Painting and Drawing in 1998 from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago prior to receiving his MFA in 2000. His work is in the collection of The University of Illinois and will be featured in an upcoming group show at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music in Memphis.

robinson has received numerous residencies, awards, and is highly acclaimed for his humanitarianism. Through his spirit of giving, robinson has donated a painting from this exhibit to be auctioned at the Jackson Free Press 2015 Chick Ball on Saturday, July 18.

On Friday, September 4, 2015, robinson will conduct a public program titled “I Wish I Lived In a Better World.” Participants will be led on a walking tour in West Jackson, and then collectively discuss ways to reinterpret or improve the area with art. Space will be limited, please contact the gallery at 601-960-9250 or gallery1@jsums.edu  for more information and to RSVP.

Gallery hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; noon-4 p.m. Saturday.