Best Provoc-art-eur

Kara Walker Emancipating the Past exhibition at BAM

Staff Pick

It's not often that an exhibition comes with a formal community conversation, but such was the case with New York artist Kara Walker's Emancipating the Past at Boise Art Museum this summer. Walker uses silhouettes to explore America's history of misogyny, slavery and debasement of blacks. Her work riles audiences everywhere it shows, but we don't know how many other museums have brought people together in a public setting to talk about what it means. The gathering took place July 29 at BAM, including a forum with local leaders both public and private. "A lot of anger came out of me at first," said Wells Fargo financial adviser Louis Sheppard. "I'm reminded of being seen by others as a second-class citizen. By the way, you should feel free to ask me what I prefer--African American or Black. I prefer Black American. But someday, it will just be American." We say bravo to BAM, and that goes double for the people who came together to talk about the show.

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