Barry Jones of Austin Peay State University uses Baldwin texts in his latest exhibition on empathy – Clarksville Online

Clarksville, TN — Austin Peay State University (APSU) Professor Barry Jones’ art exhibit titled “Lesson 6 (James Baldwin)” is scheduled to open August 17, 2022 at Union Grove Gallery in University of Alabama at Huntsville.

And from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. on opening night, Jones will screen a video outside the gallery and give a talk about the show.




Jones’ exhibition is truly a family affair – and an exploration of empathy and compassion.

“For several years I have been working on a series of video projection pieces called ‘Lessons’ which record my efforts to teach my children about empathy and morality through culturally meaningful texts,” Jones said in his statement to artist about the show. “I strongly believe that reading is one of the best ways to become an empathetic person and develop a compassionate worldview.”

During the gallery installation, Jones and his teenage son Aidan read “My Dungeon Shook: Letter to My Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Emancipation” from Baldwin’s “The Fire Next Time”. And Jones created the outdoor projection with his youngest son, Elliott, using quotes from Baldwin’s essay “White Man’s Guilt” and “Black English: A Dishonest Argument,” a speech the author gave in 1980. at Wayne State University.

Barry Jones of Austin Peay State University.  (APSU)
Barry Jones of Austin Peay State University. (APSU)

“We turned to James Baldwin because right now there’s a lot of debate in the United States about how to teach American history and what should and shouldn’t be included,” Jones said. in his artist statement. “James Baldwin taught us how history makes us who we are right now, how we are not far from it: ‘We are our history.'”


“Lesson 6 (James Baldwin)” runs until September 15. For more information about the exhibition and gallery hours, visit the exhibition webpage.

Barry Jones is Professor of New Media in the Department of Art and Design at Austin Peay State University.

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