SoFi Stadium to host Kinsey African American Art and History Collection in February – Whittier Daily News

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In the early 1970s, Bernard and Shirley Kinsey moved into a small house on Crenshaw Boulevard in Inglewood. The couple, who met while attending Florida A&M University, shared a passion for travel and art collecting. Over the years, the Kinseys amassed a significant collection of art and artifacts that grew into a traveling exhibit known as The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection.

After traveling to 35 cities across the United States and around the world over the past 15 years, the exhibit returns to the region and occupies one floor inside SoFi Stadium in Hollywood Park, less than a mile from the Kinseys’ first family home.

“It’s a loop moment for us,” said Shirley Kinsey during a guided tour of the exhibit, which is set to open to the public as a ticketed event on Feb. 23 and includes self-guided tours of a 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Monday through April 2022. “It definitely feels like coming home.”

  • Artwork by Ernie Barnes titled “Aspiration” on display at an exhibition presented by the Kinsey African American Art and History Collection at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Left to right, Khalil, Shirley and Bernard Kinsey pose for a photo at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Enlarged tintype photographs on display at a Kinsey African American Art and History Collection exhibition at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Shirley Kinsey admires art on display at a Kinsey African American Art and History Collection exhibit at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Khalil Kinsey removes from plastic form an artwork on display at a Kinsey African American Art and History Collection exhibit at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Khalil Kinsey describes how the Kinsey African American Art and History Collection exhibit documents the African-American experience from 1575 to present at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Photographer collaborater)

  • Artwork by Ellis Wilson titled “Charleston South Carolina” on display at an exhibition presented by the Kinsey African American Art and History Collection at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Khalil Kinsey removes from plastic form an artwork on display at a Kinsey African American Art and History Collection exhibit at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • From left, Senior Vice President of Business Operations Matt Kittle, Senior Director of Community Affairs and Engagement Jason Witt, Shirley Kinsey, Khalil Kinsey and Bernard Kinsey of the Kinsey African American Art and History Collection pose for a photo at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Left to right, Shirley, Khalil and Bernard Kinsey pose for a photo in front of an exhibit presented by The Kinsey African American Art and History Collection at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood on Friday, January 21, 2022. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Photographer Contributor )

The Kinseys, who now live in Pacific Palisades, share their finds, which include paintings, photographs, sculptures, rare books, postcards and more that document the African-American experience from the 16th century to the present day. Each piece highlights the untold stories of African Americans throughout US history – exploring slavery, emancipation, the civil rights movement as well as the work of artists, inventors, thinkers and more – and the collection was created to “educate, motivate and inspire”. Shirley said.

“We love sharing this work because we know it changes lives,” Bernard said. “I assure you that when people come in here and start to understand this sweep of history, they can’t go back. Most people, black and white, don’t really know what happened in this countries and the Kinsey collection provides that filament so you can nuance what happened. The idea is really that even though we try to give the artistic and historical aspect, what really drives all of this is the idea that you too can make a difference and that you matter.

In 2010, Khalil, the Kinseys’ son, began curating the exhibit and bringing in new elements, including digital artwork, graphics, and even animation. Although the collection has been displayed in many prestigious museums, Khalil said he enjoyed the challenge of presenting it in more non-traditional spaces such as Epcot at Walt Disney World in Florida, where it was displayed for five years. . Building the experience inside a football stadium also presented some interesting challenges and opportunities, he said.

“It allowed a lot of creativity in the approach,” he said, showing paintings and a series of photographs from the 1800s that had been enlarged and hung on the wall. “We want to try to engage people who wouldn’t normally walk through the doors of a museum or who might not feel welcome in a museum, so we want to grab their attention.”

As for adding more contemporary works, including digital elements and creating spaces for visitors to take selfies and engage with the collection, Khalil said it was the natural progression. of the exhibition. The public can also view much of Kinsey’s collection of African American art and history through a virtual gallery on Google Arts & Culture online.

“We’ve realized the power and the potential of that and how to share it in so many ways, both conventional and unconventional, and it’s been beneficial on our journey,” he said of the refinement. experience. “It’s just another extension of where we want to go and you have to expand the way people receive information. We want to be able to do things dynamically and follow as many approaches as possible.

Some of the standout items in the exhibit include a painting and sculpture by May Howard Jackson, who was born in 1877 and became the first African-American woman to attend the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. There is a large abstract landscape painting by Richard Mayhew, an activist and artist, still living and working in Santa Cruz at the age of 97.

There are also several works on display by the late artist and former San Diego shipper Ernie Barnes, including the 1971 painting known as “High Aspirations” and another titled “The Maestro,” which the Kinseys say were both so powerful that they had to display them together. There’s also a bit of Kinsey history in the collection, as Canadian painter and sculptor Artis Lane was commissioned by family friends to paint a portrait of Shirley and Bernard for their 35th wedding anniversary.

Talks to bring the exhibit to SoFi Stadium began in the summer of 2020, said Jason Witt, senior director of community affairs and engagement for SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park. During the months of lockdown, staff engaged in a series of virtual fireside chats, including Bernard Kinsey, who was brought in to talk about the significance and history of Juneteenth, the federal holiday that commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States.

Since the Kinseys feel so connected to the city of Inglewood and Los Angeles, they have decided to present the collection in the stadium and the Bernard and Shirley Kinsey Foundation for Arts and Education will organize a multitude of activities communities, working directly with non-locals. -benefits and schools to facilitate field visits to the exhibition and various workshops and conferences. Proceeds from the exhibit will also benefit the new Hollywood Park Foundation.

“The foundation is dedicated to uplifting the youth of Inglewood and Los Angeles and surrounding areas in education, health and wellness,” Witt said. “Access to education and food and learning healthy eating habits, these elements are essential stepping stones and the basis for success, so we want to train the young people around us.”

Kinsey’s Collection of African American Art and History

When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday to Monday from February 23

Or: SoFi Stadium, 1001 Stadium Drive, Inglewood

Tickets: $15 for ages 16 and up; $12 5-15 years; $12 students, seniors, active military, and Inglewood residents with ID; Group rates and more available at sofistadium.com/kinsey. Parking is free.

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