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‘Vision & Sound: An African American Experience’ celebrates Black artists


Stephanie on JR’s House by Chip Thomas (Courtesy/ SAC)

Stephanie on JR’s House by Chip Thomas (Courtesy/ SAC)


Originally Published: February 7, 2024 10:52 a.m.

An immersive arts experience, ‘Vision & Sound’ broadens the understanding and appreciation of African American art and music for multigenerational and multicultural audiences. This program, which features an exhibition, lectures, artist demonstrations, musical performances and a symposium, builds supportive relationships to encourage cultural equity throughout Arizona and beyond, recognizing that professional American artists of African descent are too often overlooked.

“We are thrilled to present this wide-reaching and inspiring experience that celebrates Black artists in the visual and performing arts,” says Julie Richard, CEO of Sedona Arts Center. “The exhibition and related programming amplify BIPOC voices and provide an opportunity for expansive thinking about Arizona’s Black artists and their achievements.”

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Face with a Peeking Eye by Jerome Fleming (Courtesy/ SAC)

‘The Vision & Sound’ exhibition showcases artworks by Patricia Bohannon, Dorrell Bradford, Jacqueline Chanda, Amber Doe, Debra Edgerton, Jerome Fleming, Isse Maloi, Chip Thomas and George Welch. The paintings, photography, sculptures, fiber and mixed-media pieces push the boundaries of creative expression—exploring identity, agency, beauty, shared histories and cultural experiences. While the artists’ backgrounds and approaches vary, their artworks illuminate the powerful connections that art makes possible between individuals and communities.

Founded in 2014 by Norma and Michael Cunningham, ‘Vision & Sound’ began as a week-long exhibition in the West Valley of Phoenix programmed during Black History Month. Over the last decade, the event has expanded in scope, duration, artists and audiences, finding a permanent home at Sedona Arts Center in 2022—a new venue for artists to engage with northern Arizona residents and visitors. ‘Vision & Sound’ is one of many ways SAC has expanded its programming to ensure diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusivity.

“SAC is committed to addressing unfamiliar narratives and encouraging cross cultural perspectives,” says Richard.

While SAC’s exhibition and programs anchor the event, satellite exhibitions and programs are also planned for Goodyear and Peoria through March.

An opening reception will be held Wednesday, Feb. 7, from 4-6 p.m. in conjunction with Celebrate Sedona. The events are free and will be held at SAC’s upper parking lot and the Special Exhibitions Gallery. Attendees will enjoy artist demonstrations, food, wine and beer, and Blues music by the Tommy Dukes Band.

Later in February, SAC will present the ‘Vision & Sound’ Symposium Feb. 25-26.

The Symposium features keynote speaker artist Chip Thomas, a workshop by MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellow Liz Lerman, artist talks in a Pecha Kucha format, performances, receptions and reflections. Antiracism, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ADEI) training will be included throughout, incorporating Critical Response methodology.

‘Vision & Sound’ is presented in partnership with the ASU Center for the Study of Race and Democracy and is sponsored by the AZ Community Foundation, City of Goodyear and City of Peoria.

Sedona Arts Center is located at 15 Art Barn Road. Free parking is located behind SAC’s Art Barn.

For more information, including a calendar of events, visit VisionAndSound.org.