Museum of the National Center for Afro-American Artists
Invitational Solo Exhibition
September through December 2019
Featuring the group “Radical Black Girls” and Poet, Artist & Performer L’Merchie Frazier
Sunday, September 22, 2019, 3-6 PM
Hosted by Dr. Mary Harvey and Dr. Edmund B. Gaither
Sunday, October 20, 3-5:30 PM
Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists
300 Walnut Avenue, Roxbury, MA
Tuesday-Sunday, 1-5 PM
General admission: $5.00, $4.00 for seniors
Students and members free
THINK ABOUT IT features paintings, drawings and constructions by Laurence Pierce that unify the artist's aesthetic and social concerns while pushing viewers to question their own thinking about major issues that we face as a society. Pierce positions himself as an artist who takes his civic and humanistic responsibilities seriously. Among the questions he raises are: How do we tackle the challenge homelessness? What should we do about racial violence? Mass shootings? How ought we welcome the stranger? What actions help us grow in awareness? And how do we become truly engaged with the issues of our times?
While his painting "Trumpland" initially seems highly decorative, it actually presents a biting critique of the forty-fifth president of the United States. The critique continues in "S’hole Countries" which underscores contributions to US artistic and political culture by people from the Caribbean and Latin America, as well as by African and African-descent people from throughout the Americas. Trump had denigrated immigrants from such backgrounds.
Pierce's series, "The Beloved Fallen," recalls the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of the police and vigilantes reminding us that racialized violence and injustice are twin terrors.
Image Gallery, "Beloved Fallen"
The triptych "Bronck’s River" presents three homeless people and questions how their plight could exist in one of the world’s richest country. Even more poignantly, he asks how men and women could risk their lives in service to this country only to be rejected by it.
Image Gallery, "Bronck's River"
In "Stages of Awareness," Pierce follows a young man as he gains political awareness and arrives at becoming an activist. He documents the movement from ‘asleep’ to ‘woke’ through the man’s face.
Image Gallery, "Stages of Awareness"
Born in Bronx, NY, Laurence (Larry) Pierce studied at New York’s High School of Art and Design, after which he served in the United States Navy as a photographer and videographer for the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service. Returning to civilian life, he continued art studies at Cooper Union, and School of the Visual Arts (BFA, 1977). In 1991, he moved in Boston and joined the Boston African-American Artists Association. Pierce then established the African Winter Gallery, now African Winter Studio. Teaching art to youngsters and thereby positively impacting their education and development became his passionate interest. At Dimock Center, he taught preschool and headed the Art Department for the “Smart Kids” after school program. Simultaneously, he wrote the curriculum for art, reading and mathematics for Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Other places where he has taught and conducted workshops include Dorchester Arts Collaborative,
sparc! The Artmobile (Massachusetts College of Art and Design), Sister Katherine Community Center and the Grove Hall Branch of the Boston Public Library. In 2017, he won a contract from the Quincy Corridor/Grove Hall Public Art Commission to produce a series of paintings depicting notable figures in a project titled “On the Shoulders of Giants.” Pierce is a former Artist-in-Residence at The Sustainability Guild in Dorchester, and is a participating artist in the forthcoming KKK (Kids Killin’ Kids) project that will produce a nationally touring exhibition tackling intra-community violence.
About this Exhibition
THINK ABOUT IT: Art of Laurence Pierce is part of a decade-long collaboration between the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists and Violence Transformed. Both share the belief that the arts and artists play crucial roles in social healing, self-discovery, self-affirmation and community-building.