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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

8/14: Old School/Unpopular Art at Doubting Thomas Gallery

Posted By on Wed, Aug 12, 2009 at 3:53 PM

The term “post-racial America” is a little too optimistic to apply to Julius Lyles’ and Ronald Clayton’s exhibit Old School/Unpopular Art. “It deals with a combination of old myths about black folks, as well as cultural differences and racial tensions that still go on in multicultural society,” says Lyles. The exhibit includes a collection of shrines created out of feathered and painted crates, which house artifacts pertaining to racism over the years — including several Black Sambo figures, pickaninny caricatures and Aunt Jemimas. There’s also a room called the Watermelon Patch. Some people will be shocked by the display of such relics, and some will undoubtedly see them as quaint trappings of a bygone era. But, as Lyles notes, racism is very much still with us: “Even though we’ve got a black president, you can go in and arrest Henry Louis Gates at his house, even after he shows you that it’s his residence.” The exhibit is part of this week’s Tremont Art Walk, with an opening reception from 5 p.m.-midnight. There’s jazz by the J.T. Lynch Trio at 7 p.m. and open-mic poetry hosted by Jacqueline Gillon at 8 p.m. at Doubting Thomas Gallery (856 Jefferson Ave., 440.339.2204). It’s free. The show runs through August 28. — Michael Gill

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