Ta-coumba Aiken and Joseph Norman

Ta-coumba Aiken and Joseph Norman
February 8–March 3, 2013

MCAD Concourse Gallery
Reception: Friday, February 8, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m. Live Drawing Performance with Joseph Norman and the Sonori Colori Quartet
8:00 p.m. Live Call & Response with Ta-coumba Aiken and the YTT Band

In this two-person show, artists Ta-coumba Aiken (’74) and Joseph Norman seize upon the rhythms and nuances of music and visual storytelling to explore emotional, spiritual, and historical truths in their large-scale drawings and paintings. Aiken’s installation, The Calling, will include a section of a recently completed black and white 30-ft mural and several of his multi-faceted circular pieces, which pulsate with overlapping shapes, color palettes, and figurative elements. Norman will draw on site Death at Sea: Line, Rhythm, and Music / Movement No. 3 in A major Bold Line. This is the third section of a four-part mural titled The Middle Passage: A Love Story. Over the past thirteen years Norman has explored the theme of the “middle passage”—the harrowing and often deadly trip that enslaved Africans endured as they were shipped from Africa to the Americas. The epic drawing, which Norman prefers to execute accompanied by classical music, pays homage to the millions lost during the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, the contributions of the ones who survived, and the visionary British citizens who paved the path of social justice for others to follow.

The reception on February 8 will include two performances. Norman will draw to the music of Beethoven as performed by the Sonori Colori String Quartet and Aiken will perform with his YTT Band, inviting the audience to participate in an improvisational jazz and spoken word performance.

About the Artists

Ta-coumba Aiken, a Twin Cities artist, arts administrator, educator, and community activist, maintains an active studio and public art practice. He has participated in the creation of over 300 murals and public sculptures whose themes range from local history to the artist’s own style of rhythmic pattern and spirit writing. The recipient of numerous awards, including a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Fellowship and a Bush Foundation Visual Arts Fellowship, Aiken has work in public and private collections including those of the Walker Art Center, General Mills, and Maya Angelou.

An internationally recognized artist and printmaker, Joseph Norman has been a professor or art at the University of Georgia since 2001. His works are housed in numerous museums and private collections in the United States and Central America, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.


A companion exhibition, Black and White, featuring the work of Ta-coumba Aiken, Joseph Norman, and Gordon Parks, will be on view at The Gordon Park Gallery, Metropolitan State University, January 24–March 1, 2013 www.metrostate.edu/cas/cwa/gallery
Events include:
Reception: Thursday, February 7, 4:30–7:00 p.m.
Artist Talk: Ta-coumba Aiken and Joseph Norman, “Reflecting Upon Race: A Choice of Weapon,” February 7, 7:00–8:00 p.m.