Springfield Museum of Art continues Community Conversations series this weekend: What it will do

The Springfield Museum of Art's Community Conversations series will continue on Jan. 8. The series is tied in with the museum's "Black Life as Subject Matter II" exhibition. CONTRIBUTED

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The Springfield Museum of Art's Community Conversations series will continue on Jan. 8. The series is tied in with the museum's "Black Life as Subject Matter II" exhibition. CONTRIBUTED

Third installment set for Saturday in the gallery.

The new year will see the continuation of a limited monthly series tying into a popular exhibit at the Springfield Museum of Art.

The third installment of Community Conversations, a companion series to the “Black Life as Subject Matter II” exhibition, unfolds 2 p.m. Saturday at the SMOA, 107 Cliff Park Rd. The free event is open to the public.

This month’s topic is Community Building, led by guest moderators artist Dwayne Daniel, who is also the professor of visual arts at Central State University, and Dr. Dawayne Kirkman, vice president of student affairs at Clark State Community College.

The first two sessions have drawn racially diverse crowds, mostly middle-aged but some younger people also, and produced positive feedback, according to Museum Educator Amy Korpieski, and having the exhibition in the gallery adds to the atmosphere.

“It’s community building, a nice way to start the new year in a building that belongs to the community,” Korpieski said. “In the galleries there is a hum, an energy, from being right there in the space with the artworks and talking and thinking about big questions.

“The museum is a place where people come to socialize and feel a sense of belonging. It is a brave space where people can feel safe and be a little outside their comfort zone in the conversation.”

Led by the Smithsonian National Museum’s resource guide, “Talking About Race,” the guest moderators will talk about their shared experiences. The conversation will include interaction from audience members.

The sessions last 45 minutes to an hour, and afterward discussions continue in the gallery, and museum admission is free on these days. Some of the artists who have works in the exhibit may also attend.

Those who cannot attend will be able to stream the event on Zoom.

Korpieski said the series will also complement Martin Luther King Day and Black History Month, coming up in January and February, respectively. SMOA officials are also inviting local people to be involved in the events including churches and college athletes in January and law enforcement and justice system members in February.

“The museum wants to encourage an exchange of ideas,” she said.

The series concludes Feb. 12 with the topic Social Identities and Systems with Karlos Marshall, co-founder and president of The Conscious Connect, as moderator.

Other opportunities to see the exhibit and meet artists are during the free family-oriented Come Find Art Sundays, 12:30-4:30 p.m. Jan. 30 and Feb. 27.

The exhibition is open through Feb. 27. The SMOA is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 12:30-4:30 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, free for ages 17 and under.

For more information, go to www.springfieldart.net.

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