Emory’s Visual Arts program is currently running a solo exhibition featuring Joe Minter in the Visual Arts Building Gallery located at 700 Peavine Creek Drive Atlanta, GA.
For over five decades, Joe Minter has resided at 931 Nassau Ave SW in Birmingham, Alabama, where his property shares a boundary with Woodland Park’s Shadow Lawn Memorial Gardens, one of the largest Black cemeteries in the South. In 1989, he embarked on an extraordinary journey to transform this space into a unique cultural treasure, the “African Village in America,” characterized by thousands of welded-metal sculptures. A guided tour with Joe Minter is an exploration of the nation’s Civil Rights history, as he serves as both historian and collector, with the majority of sculptures crafted from items discovered at flea markets, thrift stores, roadsides, or gifts from admirers. Throughout the years, his mission remains steadfast: to honor the African ancestors whose labor, sacrifices, and lives contributed to building this nation.
As Joe Minter entered his 80th year, his artistic practice has evolved due to the physical demands of working with heavy metals, rusty iron, and steel. He now primarily focuses on painting. Despite this shift in medium, his art continues to resonate with power and purpose. The paintings, characterized by intense colors and shallow pictorial space, maintain the unifying symbols of protest, progress, and pride that define his work. Their bold and graphic nature ushers in a new era in Joe Minter’s teaching, demonstrating his unwavering command of artistic expression.
The exhibit will be open to the public until December 8th, 2023.