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Beyond the Cave: A Call and Response to Nick Cave: Feat.

Monday, February 3, 2020

“This was a life-changing experience” - Jasmine Williams | Beyond the Cave recap

Beginning with “please silence your cell phones and you are welcome to take pictures,” our show was about to start. But this wasn’t any regular show, and this wasn’t a regular stage. Instead, the Mississippi Museum of Art (MMA) decided to take hold of the excitement of four local creatives and world renowned artist Nick Cave to say “yes” to a show like none other. What happened next was none other than, “Beyond the Cave.”

On October 24, Jasmine Williams (Kim Shadey), Meredith Williams (Mdub), Miranda Hicks (Neo Soul), and Charity Hicks (Vitamin Cea) attended the opening of Nick Cave: Feat.,and immediately responded to the work, not with words, but with a proposal—straight to the artist himself. Without a blink, Nick Cave and the Museum said “yes!”

Trust builds community, and community builds trust. By trusting these four local creatives, the Museum built a space for community to share in the power of art. A concept that perfectly aligns with our new mission statement and strategic core values:to be locally relevant and nationally distinctive, to grow institutionally, innovate programmatically, create a sense of welcome and wonder, and value the creative talent within Mississippi. As Adrienne Chadwick, Curator of Interpretation at Mississippi Museum of Art explains, “A program like Beyond the Cave is central to the goals of the Center for Art & Public Exchange (CAPE) at MMA. In addition to generating more than 500 new visitors to the Museum, Beyond the Cave helped elevate the cultural economy and creative ecosystem of Jackson, Mississippi through a meaningful exchange between contemporary artist Nick Cave, the museum staff, highly talented local creatives, and our community.”

90 days later with 42 signed contracts, the Museum welcomed guests and artists into the galleries of Nick Cave: Feat., allowing visitors to become immersed in the exhibition and creative responses to Nick Cave’s artwork. Following the dynamic performances Nick Cave greeted everyone via video to express his overwhelming excitement of the program. With an open mic to close the program, the public shared their deeply emotional connections with the performances and gratitude for the sense of community that they witnessed.

Jackson Indie Music Week closed out the evening with a silent party, powered by two local DJs spinning different sets of music, which allowed visitors to walk the galleries to their own playlist. With dancing, laughter, and community, the Museum had an evening that stepped itself out of the darkness, beyond the cave, and into a wonderful, warm light. We hope in the days and years ahead to continue to share trust and truth with our community.

Beyond the Cave was presented through the Mississippi Museum of Art’s Center for Art & Public Exchange initiative (CAPE). Supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, CAPE uses original artworks, exhibitions, programs, and engagements to increase understanding of equity, transparency, and truth

About Nick Cave: Feat.

Chicago-based artist Nick Cave (b. 1959) produces work in a wide range of mediums, including sculpture, installation, video, and performance. His creations, bursting with color and texture, are optical delights that can be enjoyed by audiences of all ages and backgrounds. A deeper look reveals that they speak to issues surrounding identity and social justice, specifically race, gun violence, and civic responsibility. His trademark human-shaped sculptures—called soundsuits because of the noise made when they move—began as a response to the beating of Rodney King by policemen in Los Angeles more than 25 years ago. As an African-American man, Cave felt particularly vulnerable after the incident, so he formed a type of armor that protected him from profiling by concealing race, gender, and class. Along with broadcasting an increasingly urgent call for equity, Cave wants his art to
spark viewers’ imaginations and aspirations

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Watch Behind the Scenes: Beyond the Cave

Our Mission: The Mississippi Museum of Art connects Mississippi to the world, and the power of art to the power of community.