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Art Museum of Greater Lafayette highlighting Purdue graduate Boyd Smith's artwork this Black History Month

The Art Museum of Greater Lafayette is taking part in Black History Month. If you visit in person or on the website, you'll be able to view an exhibit that's bringing a new perspective to the Black experience.

Posted: Feb 17, 2021 6:51 AM

GREATER LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- A local art exhibit is bringing a new perspective to the Black experience. The Art Museum of Greater Lafayette is showcasing interactive art pieces this Black History Month.

The exhibit is called 'The Rudiments of Supre' and the artist is Purdue graduate Boyd Smith. This project was his Masters of Fine Art thesis. He has since updated it to align with the current racial unrest our country has faced. The exhibit includes a mix of newspaper headlines and modern-day technology that helps tell a story that has plagued our country's past and present.

"It presents a multimedia approach to what he calls the super predator," said Renee Thomas, director of Purdue's Black Cultural Center.

In 1995, Political Professor John DiIulio coined the term super predator. It's a derogatory term used to describe African-American men as it relates to their experience in the criminal justice system. Boyd Smith's work was created to combat that term with a positive portrayal of Black men.

"This is a very powerful exhibit," said Thomas. "It's Boyd Smith's way of telling the narrative and paying homage to individuals such as Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, the list goes on and on in terms of those individuals who have lost their lives and part of the reason why they lost their lives is that they were perceived as being a threat and people did not see these young Black men as being innocent. See these young Black men as being young men as well."

Thomas is encouraging the community to take this exhibit as an opportunity to get educated through the arts.

"This exhibit is very timely. We know that as a nation we have experienced a tremendous amount of racial unrest and this particular exhibit exemplifies some of that racial unrest," said Thomas.

"Boyd's a multi-talented artist," said Kendall Smith, director of the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette. "These works have a dimension to them, if you look closely they're very highly textured with a thick paint and media that he uses in the background."

He said he's happy to have this exhibit on display and that it falls in line with the mission the museum has had since opening in the community.

"Our art museum has been fostering diversity since we were founded in 1909. We try to celebrate the inclusion of everybody in our museum," said Smith.

The art exhibit will be continuing through April. There will be a virtual presentation on Thursday, Feb. 25. Click here to view the gallery online.

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