Past Exhibitions


    • image of artwork Umbra Penumbra by Zipporah Camille Thompson

      Looming Chaos

      January 25 - July 26, 2020

      Curator: TK Smith

      Take a virtual tour here.

      Looming Chaos is a solo exhibition of artist Zipporah Camille Thompson that explores her use of weaving to engage ideas of chaos. The artist conceptualizes chaos as the consuming cyclical processes of life driven by a universal yearning for wholeness. Through object and material choice, Thompson materializes the destruction, disorder, and confusions of the world, weaving them into structure and order. Thompson’s weaving practice allows her to reconcile the deterioration of the environment, tumultuous personal histories, and the complexity of her own identity as fodder for creation. 

      Zipporah Camille Thompson is a visual artist and sculptor based in Atlanta, Georgia. Thompson explores ritual and alchemical transformations through the unknown and through universals, including death, catastrophe, chaos, and the cosmos. Metamorphosed, shapeshifters and hybrid landscapes reflect various archaeological, psychological, and ecological perspectives, as well as a personal investigation of self and identity. She received her MFA from the University of Georgia and her BFA from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.

      View a video preview of the exhibition Looming Chaos.

      The exhibition is a cumulative project of the inaugural Tina Dunkley Curatorial Fellows at Clark Atlanta University (CAUAM). The multi-institutional, cross-regional curatorial fellowship is a collaborative project between Clark Atlanta University Art Museum, the Zuckerman Museum of Art, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Created by Dr. Maurita Poole (CAUAM), the fellowship is meant to foster the next generation of museum professionals.

      Image Courtesy of the Zuckerman Museum of Art, photo by Mike Jensen.

      • image of artwork Untitled by Sam Gilliam


        January 25 - July 26, 2020

        Curator: Nzinga Simmons

        Take a virtual tour here.

        UNBOUND brings together a multigenerational group of artists whose work takes an inventive and experimental approach to abstraction. Using Kobena Mercer’s definition of ‘discrepant abstraction’ — hybrid and partial, elusive and repetitive, obstinate and strange, including almost everything that does not neatly fit into the institutional narrative of abstract art as a monolithic quest for purity, UNBOUND pushes against parameters of an imagined black aesthetic that relies on figural representation, disrupts notions of purity associated with abstraction, and widens the boundaries of painting to include forms and materials not traditionally associated with the medium. Rooted in the formal, the works consider the essential elements of abstract painting: color, form, gesture, line, and space, through unorthodox use of materials that break the confines of a rectangular canvas, and implode the boundaries between painting, sculpture, and installation. The works on view hang, stretch, tether, and dangle off the walls, breaking free from the bounds of figuration, and complicating the boundaries of painting itself.

        Artists include: Anthony Akinbola, Romare Bearden, Krista Clark, Sam Gilliam, Eric N. Mack, Joe Overstreet, and Tariku Shiferaw.

        The exhibition is a cumulative project of the inaugural Tina Dunkley Curatorial Fellows at Clark Atlanta University (CAUAM). The multi-institutional, cross-regional curatorial fellowship is a collaborative project between Clark Atlanta University Art Museum, the Zuckerman Museum of Art, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Created by Dr. Maurita Poole (CAUAM), the fellowship is meant to foster the next generation of museum professionals.

        Image courtesy of the Clark Atlanta University Museum of Art.


        • An image of the Cloud Chamber exhibition

          Cloud Chamber

          December 3 - 15, 2019

          Curator: Ginger Wolfe-Suarez

          Cloud Chamber is a group exhibition of textile work in the Melinda Jolley Mortin Galleries at ZMA,. Concepts in this group exhibition include the relationship between handcraft, technology, and intergenerational exchange.

          Artists include: Libs Elliott, Sabrina Gschwandtner, Jess Jones, and Amanda Ross-Ho.

          • painting by artist Gracie Devito

            Painting Who?

            August 24 - December 15, 2019

            Curator: Teresa Bramlette Reeves

            Painting Who? is a small exhibition that focuses on paintings that take on a personality of their own. They occupy real space and also demonstrate the illusion of space. They consciously, unapologetically, and simultaneously refer to the history of painting, the act of making a painting, and the contemporary world. In this layered and loaded territory, they reflect both the past and the present.

            Asking the question “Who is this painting?” rather than “What is this painting about?” opens up the possibility of considering the object as a complex character in a larger narrative. It allows the gallery to be interpreted as a theatrical space in which stories are played out and plots are thickened. On this big white stage, relationships between the paintings can be explored and personalities can be assigned. This approach applies action to a group of otherwise static objects and it emphasizes the role of the gallery environment. But most importantly, it gives us a different way to think about painting, an alternative lens through which to read and interpret what we see.

            Artists include: Jeff Conefry, Moira Dryer, Gracie Devito, Chris Hood, and Wihro Kim

            • image of Kaitlyn Redell's photograph titled Rug

              Fruitful Labors

              August 24 - November 10, 2019

              Curator: Kerstie Tepper

              Fruitful Labors focuses on strategies for coping.  Ranging from the absurd to the essential, these tactics include conversation, repetitive labor, intergenerational storytelling, and healing practices. Each of these approaches relies on a particular belief system.

              Stanya Kahn, who is represented in this project with two videos, is an observer of life who offers wry, off-the-cuff commentary on failure and responsibility.  Lenka Clayton’s sculptural work also ponders responsibility through the investment of unnecessary, yet poetic labor. Through disassembly, alteration, and reassembly her objects of clothing consider use and misuse of human and machine.  Kaitlynn Redell’s photographic series, Not Her(e), falls within the sphere of the domestic labor where she directly addresses the invisibility in her constancy and support through a contemporary rendition of Victorian photography techniques.

              Shana Moulton takes the idea of invisibility in the direction of the imaginary.  Her assumed character, Cynthia, receives messages from household objects that lead her to the Galactic Pot Healer for restoration. Equally mysterious, Michelle Laxalt refers to the power that can be invested in small objects and repeated behaviors.  In her sculptural installations, the artist references her grandmother’s superstitions—long held beliefs that remain intact despite more orthodox forms of religious training.  Shanequa Gay explores the contemporary relevance of an ancient world of rites, practices, and sisterhood that she visualizes in multiple media. The photographs in this show depict women who unapologetically confront and adopt various archetypes as they embody deities of the artist’s creation.

              Artists include: Lenka Clayton, Shanequa Gay, Stanya Kahn, Michelle Laxalt, Shana Moulton, and Kaitlynn Redell.

              • S Yong James

                Sonya Yong James: One Hundred Blossoms and the Sweetest Scent

                August 25, 2018 - December 20, 2019

                Curator: Sarah Higgins

                Sonya Yong James’ year-long solo exhibition on the ZMA stairwell project wall, One Hundred Blossoms and the Sweetest Scent is a large-scale mixed-media installation.

                Taking inspiration from the tale of Little Red Riding Hood, artist Sonya Jong James weaves together fiber, flowers, roots, and found objects to explore the themes of this fable and their evolution over time. She says, “The girl and wolf inhabit a place, call it the forest or the human psyche, where the spectrum of human sagas converges, and their social and cultural meanings play out.”

                • Louder than words

                  Louder than Words

                  February 2 – May 5, 2019

                  Curator: Teresa Bramlette Reeves

                  This exhibition features artists who, in a variety of ways, privilege silence, non-linguistic sounds, symbols, and gestures over words as tools of communication. Within the often-performative space of their work, they may surrender their own power in order to shine a light on the condition of powerlessness. They may use their bodies to convey complex emotions or simulate sensations that focus your experience. Some, who work within the imposed condition of deafness, reveal the gaps inherent in communication—what is missing, misunderstood, intentionally ignored, or entirely invented. An emphasis on action over words reveals an opportunity for silent protest, suggesting the possibility of fearlessness in the nonverbal. In other work, sounds and words are muted, restricted, and undermined. The loss of this information is then made palpable, drawing attention to questions of intention and what this choice may mean socially or politically.

                  • Sahwha/Resurgence by Hicham Berrada


                    February 2 – May 5, 2019

                    Curator: Joe Thomas

                    In observation of the KSU’s Year of Morocco in 2020-21, the ZMA presents Sahwha/Resurgence: works by Hicham Berrada. Originally trained as a scientist in Morocco, the work of Paris-based artist Hicham Berrada exposes the beauty that can result from disruptive interactions. Represented in this exhibition by six video works, these collisions of chemicals in solution or man-made interventions in the environment create an efflorescence—or rebirth—into something new, a quality conveyed by the Arabic word sahwha. The resulting dreamlike visions represent a resurgence of something mundane or unappreciated into something eerily beautiful.

                    • Fall Senior Exhibitions I and II
                    • Pedro: Menaboni's Lost Story
                    • Trajectory
                  • At the KSU Galleries 2012 

                    • Lyle Ashton Harris: Accra My Love
                    • Room with a View: Murals by Athos Menaboni
                    • Engaging History: Continuities of Textile Traditions in the Andes 
                    • Tales from the Lonesome City
                    • Not What it Seems 
                    • Juvenile-in-Justice: Photographs by Richard Ross
                    • Modern and Contemporary Art from the Permanent Collection 
                    • Invisible Body, Conspicuous Mind: Contemporary Romanian Art from the Collection of Ambassador Nicholas F. Taubman and Mrs. Jenny Taubman 
                    • Light of Day: Realism by Joe Remillard 
                    • Unmasking Creativity: Process and Product 
                    • Water Works, Phase I 
                    • Linda Anderson: An Artful Memory