The Virtue of Ownership

April 7-November 24, 2019
Opening Reception: Sunday, April 7, 2-5 pm
Spring River Gallery

The African American Museum and Cultural Center of New Mexico, in partnership with the Roswell Museum and Art Center, is presenting a series of exhibition panels that examine the journey of African Americans in southern New Mexico.

The history of New Mexico is a complex blending of many cultures, but the contributions made by African Americans are often overlooked. This traveling exhibit from the African American Museum and Cultural Center of New Mexico reminds us that African American people have been in these lands just as long as white settlers, and they put their own distinctive mark on our shared heritage.

Five artworks from RMAC’s collection by African American artist and former Roswell Artist-in-Residence Joe Edward Grant will also be included in the exhibition. His architectural constructions, made of found objects, are playful and ironic, featuring doors that can’t be opened, windows made of concrete, and transparent walls. 

The opening reception will take place on Sunday, April 7 from 2-5 pm. The event will begin with an informative panel discussion about Blackdom, an African American town formerly located just twenty miles outside of Roswell. The panel will feature descendants of Blackdom residents, including Grover Pettes and his daughter Marilyn Hill of Las Cruces, Rodney Bowe of Albuquerque and Steve Wagoner of Roswell. A PhD student in history at the University of New Mexico, Carlyn Pinkins, will join the panel to talk about her research on Blackdom. Musical entertainment by the Rodney Bowe Trio and refreshments will follow. 

wagoner homestead_blackdom_1920s