In 1943 Duke Ellington performed for the first time the symphony Black, Brown and Beige at Carnage Hall. Ellington described it as, “a parallel to the history of the American Negro”. The title of the symphony referred to the mistaken assertion that African-Americans can be categorized by a single color. In his tittle, Ellington was highlighting an experience that was broad in spectrum and experience. Conversely, Latinos also share the same generalizations as African- Americans as evidenced by the various accounts of racial profiling by police officers and the media. Unfortunately, the vast diversity in appearance within Latinos and African-Americans, as a result of various diasporas, falls behind the blanket of prejudice. As Ellington pointed out, our variety in appearance perhaps will lead us to distinct experiences, but that does not negate that we still fall under the same umbrella. In light of these shared experiences between both cultures and in an effort to share the various colorful stories that lie behind a label, we have organized the exhibition Black, Brown and Beige. The artists in the exhibition follow the trajectory that Ellington’s symphony set out to cover; historical, transitional and contemporary narratives. Our hope is to present an exhibition that points to an interconnectivity between both cultures and ultimately points to the fact that both cultures are indeed Black, Brown and Beige.
Original Curators: Nery Gabriel Lemus & Jimmy O’Balles
Current Curators: Jimmy O’Balles & Josiah O’Balles