January 13–March 25, 2017
Sara May Love Gallery, Zoe Golloway Gallery, Munroe Family Community Gallery

Visit Gadsden Arts to celebrate the expressive power of Southern Vernacular Art. This work speaks to everyone who sees it about the human condition that binds all of us. Vernacular Art is some of the most uniquely American and emotionally charged art created in our country during the Twentieth Century, made by artists isolated by economic and educational challenges, oppression, race, and geography. These artists were so compelled to express their life experiences in visual form that they worked with whatever they had at hand, castoff objects and materials that others considered trash but for the artists had symbolism and great expressive potential.
In 2014, the Metropolitan Museum of Art accessioned into its department of Contemporary Art a Vernacular Art collection from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation. Thomas P. Campbell, Met Director, said of the work, “It embodies the profoundly deep and textured expression of the African-American experience during a complex time in this country’s history.”
Bradley Sumrall, Curator of the Collection at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans , was our distinguished speaker at the opening reception. He discussed the artists and their work, with emphasis on the Florida artists in this group: O.L. Samuels, Purvis Young, Mary Proctor, Ruby C. Williams, Alyne Harris, and Eddy Mumma.
Learn more about the Gadsden Arts Center & Museum Vernacular Art Collection here.

Exhibition Interpretation Materials

K-12 Exhibition Lesson Plans (free) 

Audio Tour (free with admission)

Video Tour (Watch on YouTube)

Exhibition Catalogs are available for purchase in the Museum Shop for $10.

Catalogs also available for FREE downloads here!




Family Gallery Guides (Click on the links below to download)

Gadsden Arts can provide large-format versions of most materials upon request. Our goal is to provide exciting and educational experiences for all visitors so please contact our Education Director, Anissa Ford with any questions or special requests. To see more Exhibition Interpretative Materials for past exhibitions click here.

Exhibition presented by


Su and Steve Ecenia • Calynne and Lou Hill

Anne Jolley Thomas and Lyle McAlister • Stacy Rehberg Photography 


Contributing Sponsors

 Hot Tamale • Pettit Family Fund


Funding for this program was provided through a grant from the Florida Humanities Council with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the Florida Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.



Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, 
Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs,
and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture