Staff Report

FORT LAUDERDALE — When the Stars Begin to Fall: Imagination and the American South is an exhibit by black artists about the U.S. South as a location.

The exhibit brings together works by 35 intergenerational artists who are self-taught, spiritually inspired and featured alongside works by some of the best-known artists of African descent working today.

Organized by The Studio Museum in Harlem in New York, and curated by Thomas J. Lax, the exhibition will be on view at NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale from Aug. 3 – Oct. 12. In conjunction with the opening of When the Stars Begin to Fall, the museum will present a talk by Lax, on Aug. 2 at 6 p.m. The talk is free with museum admission and includes admission to the exhibition’s opening reception from 7 – 9 p.m.

Works in the exhibit are created in a range of media including painting, drawing, sculpture, assemblage, performance and social practice – all making insistent reference to place, the South. Presented is African Americana – the folk, the down home, the hailed –as part of an ongoing discourse about black aesthetics.

With the majority of work in the exhibition made between 1964 and 2014, When the Stars Begin to Fall looks at the history of self-taught artists in influencing and defining what black art can be, as well as the significance of regional culture across time and space. Bringing together work that cites and plays with ideas of origin, the exhibition considers how identification and belonging – national and racial, artistic and institutional – shape our experience of art and meaning.

An illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition and includes entries by Lax, who is the assistant curator at The Studio Museum in Harlem, along with leading scholars Horace Ballard, Katherine Jentleson, Scott Romine and Lowery Stokes Sims, who write on notions of spirituality, the ethics of self-taught art and the idea of the South in the American project.

NSU Museum of Art is located at One East Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale.
Museum admission is free for members, NSU students, faculty and staff and children under 12; $10 adults; $5 Students (13-17) and non-NSU college students.

The museum is open 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; hours are extended Thursdays until 8 p.m.; Sunday noon – 5 p.m.; Closed Mondays. Free docent tours are offered 2 p.m. Thursdays and 3:30 p.m. Saturdays.