[image-1] Earlier this week the Gibbes Museum of Art announced that it has been selected as a recipient of two grants — totaling a whopping $50,000 — from the Art Bridges Foundation, a nonprofit founded in 2017 with the goal of “sharing outstanding works of American art.”

The support of this foundation is helping to bring the Gibbes’ upcoming exhibition, Black Refractions: Highlights from the Studio Museum in Harlem, to the Gibbes this May. The museum is the only venue in the South to host this exhibition.

The rest of the grant money will support community outreach and programming associated with Black Refractions.[image-3] In a press release, Gibbes’ executive director Angela Mack says, “We are honored to be a recipient and partner of this esteemed foundation and look forward to opportunities for further outreach in our own community. Black Refractions is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the Charleston community to experience these incredible works of art and thank Art Bridges for helping make this show possible.”

Black Refractions will feature a century of works from over 50 artists, all of African descent. According to the Gibbes, over a dozen artists in the exhibition have “lasting connections to the American South,” including Romare Bearden, Thornton Dial, Sam Gilliam, Clementine Hunter, Kerry James Marshall, Alma Thomas, and Bill Traylor.

The exhibition opens on Fri. May 24 and will be on display through August 18.

Serendipitously, the Gibbes’ featured visiting artist during part of Black Refractions‘ stint in the museum is local African-American artist Fletcher Williams III. Be sure to swing by his studio May 13-June 14 to see works that are inspired by and reflective of the Lowcountry.