SECCA Presents the Work of Kevin Jerome Everson in October

By Staff


kevin jerome everson
kevin jerome everson

On October 1 the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art  opens the latest in the 2014 solo exhibition series. A reception for “Kevin Jerome Everson: Gather Round” with the artist will take place from 6-8 pm.

Everson’s work ranges from paintings, sculpture and photographs, to a prolific output of films. Much of it occupies a place between fiction and documentary, where footage is edited, scripted, and re-staged or montaged with archived and found material as a dynamic method of storytelling.

“Gather Round” consists of films by Everson that emphasize the African American working class, as well as objects Everson has fashioned that make cameos in these films. Remembered floods, divided cities, imagined activist histories, disavowed industries — these forms of life and issues are regarded by Everson with as much care as the people in his films: rural elders with personal recollections, boisterous young girls at a fairgrounds, day laborers, cowboys and magicians.

“Everson’s films bring a cinematic consciousness to the Black experience in America, revealing people’s relationship to their craft, their conditions, their processes of life and their communities,” explains Cora Fisher, the exhibition’s curator.

Some of the films on display concentrate on the subjects of labor and leisure specifically in the South. “The Equestrians” (2011, 12:00, super-8, color, silent) was shot in North Carolina and focuses on the craft and style of bareback riding.

“Everson’s reflections of human experiences, particularly in the South, help us – as residents of North Carolina – create even deeper connections with his work that might otherwise have gone unnoticed,” says SECCA Executive Director Mark Leach. “It’s always important to look at artists who are making meaningful observations about society and even more so about the culture and community in which we live.”

Everson has a MFA from Ohio University and a BFA from the University of Akron. He is currently a Professor of Art at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. His filmography includes six feature films and over 100 short form works, which have been exhibited internationally at festivals, cinemas, museums, art institutions and art biennials, including the Whitney Biennial in 2008 and 2012 and Sharjah Biennial in 2013. In 2012, Everson was awarded the prestigious Alpert Award for Film/Video.

still from "ninety-three"(2008)
still from “ninety-three”(2008)

SECCA will also be offering the following related Programming:

A series of film screenings of Everson’s work will take place throughout the run of the exhibition and will be the world début for two new films: “A Saturday Night in Mansfield Ohio” and “Grand Finale.”

On October 9 from 6:30 – 8:30pm Everson activates memory and oral history with the screenings of “Fifeville” and “The Island of St. Matthews.”

October 30 from 6:30 – 8:30pm will highlight a series of shorts by Everson in two parts. In Part 1 Everson uses archival footage to adapt and enact history to inflect the present. The second set of shorts bear witness to everyday experiences, many rooted in the South.

The screening series will conclude on November 16 from 2 – 4 pm with the showing of Everson’s feature film “Erie” (2010, 81:00, 16mm, black & white, sound).

Screenings are $8 for general admission and $5 for students.

A free symposium held in partnership with Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) on Oct. 2, will bring together preeminent scholars of Everson’s work, of cinema studies, history and visual culture, as well as fellow artists, to convene around the artist’s work. All are welcome.

“Gather Round” runs through Dec. 1 in the Potter Gallery. Admission is free.