UofL to debut professor’s ‘Underground Railroad 2015’ art exhibition


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The faces and places of the Underground Railroad will share the spotlight at the latest fine arts display at the University of Louisville galleries.

    The Hite Art Institute at UofL will present “Underground Railroad 2015,” an exhibition featuring four series of works by Professor Mark Priest from Jan. 29 to Feb. 28.

    The exhibition includes 74 drawings and paintings exploring slavery in America and the impact it continues to have on American life. There are four series of works, each focusing on a historically significant person or place: The Frederick Douglass Drawing Series; the Nalle Series based on Charles Nalle; the Tubman Series based on Harriet Tubman; and the Stewart’s Canal series based on the site of Joseph Stewart’s Canal.

    “Narrative of the Early Years of Frederick Douglass: Drawing Series” will be on display at UofL’s Cressman Center for Visual Arts, 100 East Main Street. “Life of a Freedom Seeker: Paintings and Drawings” encompasses the other three series and will be on display at the Schneider Hall Galleries on UofL’s Belknap campus.

    Priest has been working on the series since 2003 when his son wrote a paper on Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. As he listened to his son read the paper, Priest began to envision what could be done from an artistic standpoint. “It had so much intriguing history and reality about it,” Priest said. “It inspired me to start the series.”

    “Underground Railroad 2015” also includes a public education component. The Underground Railroad Symposium will be Thursday, Feb. 5, at the Schneider Hall Galleries. Guest lecturers include UofL Professor Emeritus Robert Douglas and J.O.K. Walsh, a historian and storyteller from Denton, Md.

    The opening reception for the Schneider Hall display will follow the symposium from 5-7 p.m., Feb. 5. The opening reception for the Cressman Center display will be held from 5-9 p.m., Friday, Feb. 6 at the center. All events are free and open to the public.

    For more information, visit www.markapriest.org. Gallery hours can be found at www.louisville.edu/art. Funding for the lectures provided by UofL’s Commission on Diversity and Racial Equality

    Erica Walsh
    Erica Walsh is the marketing director for the Office of Communications and Marketing. Her job lets her share UofL’s good news in all avenues of communications including UofL Magazine, advertising, content marketing and branding. Walsh joined UofL in 2014 after previously serving as the public relations specialist at Indiana University Southeast. Prior to her career in higher education communications she was an award-winning newspaper reporter. Red is one of her favorite colors and it’s a good thing, too, because she earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Western Kentucky University and her master’s in communication from UofL.