Exhibition Seeks to Highlight Hidden Sounds in Art and Community

The Paul R. Jones Museum is pleased to present the exhibition Resound: Sound and Stillness in Black Community Building, open now through July 24, 2024. The public is invited to a reception on Friday, June 7, 2024, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. during Tuscaloosa’s First Friday Art Walk.

Installation view, Resound: Sound and Stillness in Black Community Building, Paul R. Jones Museum, courtesy Daniel White.

Resound is a curatorial project by University of Alabama students in History 406: Museums and Historic Sites, who have selected works from the Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art at The University of Alabama to highlight historic soundscapes of Black life. The class is led by Dr. Julia Brock.

In their statement about the exhibition, the students write, “Resound explores the role of sound and stillness in Black public and private life. We see sound as a key feature of sociability and community building, as well as a joyful act of resistance in a broader social context in which Black communities were publicly surveilled and privately excluded from dominant southern institutions until well into the twentieth century.”

Installation view, Resound: Sound and Stillness in Black Community Building, Paul R. Jones Museum, courtesy Daniel White.

The students describe how the selection and placement of works in the Jones Museum space reflects the vision for the show that developed through their studies — and their hopes for visitors’ experience: “We hung the brick wall with works that feature musicians and sports scenes, works that are ‘loud’ with color. On the opposite wall, in the recessed spaces we chose works that explore more intimate surroundings–the interiority of Black life as shown in Sheila Pree Bright’s work, for example–and that are quiet and reflective. Highlighting the connection between the individuals and community and the private and public, we hope visitors meditate upon the soundscapes of the communities in which they live. To that end, we include our own materials to highlight the ‘hidden’ and historic soundscapes in Tuscaloosa: spaces where musicians performed, for example, that no longer exist and current sounds that can still be heard.”

The exhibition was organized and co-curated by Luke Anderson, Anna Grace Beddingfield, Sophie Biernat, Will Brennan, Matthew Brinkley, Ryan Guth, Nick Howard, Parker Lindmark, Lauren Martin, Jenny McClain, Olivia Moore, Jon Nelson, Isabel Rendon, Kyle Richard, August Richter, Kaitlyn Seaux, Will Smith, Scarlet Sodergren and Dr. Julia Brock. Special thanks go to Makayla Brewer, Dr. Scott Bridges, Dr. Anne Franklin Lamar and Sandy Wolfe.

The Paul R. Jones Museum is an essential part of the education and development of UA students and our community. Admission to the museum is free. The museum is located at 2308 Gary Fitts (Sixth) Street, in downtown Tuscaloosa, one block from the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center. Hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and First Fridays, 12 noon to 8 p.m. Have questions or need assistance? Call (205) 345-3038 or go to their website.

For more information about The University of Alabama’s programs in studio art and art history, visit our Degree Programs page.