30 Americans: Exhibition Information and Themes

About the Exhibition
What does it mean to be a contemporary artist and an African American today? The artists in 30 Americans explore these questions through art. Drawn from the collection of the Rubell Family Foundation in Miami, Florida, the exhibition features paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, video, and more made by African American artists since 1970. Their artwork addresses issues of race, gender, sexuality, politics, and history.

Find a full list of the 30 Americans artists here.

The thirty contemporary African American artists featured in this exhibition explore many different themes in their work. This walkthrough focuses on three such themes: 1. art as history, 2. art as social commentary/critique, and 3. art and portraits.

These are by no means the only overarching concepts that can be found in the exhibition. We encourage you to find your own themes and to adapt the walkthrough accordingly for your group.

How to Use This Guide
Each thematic trail briefly explains the works that fit within the concept, and provides discussion prompts to use with your students for conversation in the galleries or the classroom. Feel free to adapt the questions to your students and/or to add artists whose work you feel fits the theme. Further resources are also available, including videos to show in your classroom, on all the artists featured in the show.

See which themes fit best for your group with a visit to the exhibition in advance. Remember: Wisconsin K-12 teachers receive free admission with ID through August 31, 2013.

Thematic Trails