The Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn is planning two days of events in connection with its current exhibits to celebrate Juneteenth, also known as African American Independence Day and Freedom Day, to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. The events include two artists talks, two storytelling sessions, and a community flag project.

All artist lectures and storytelling events are free to the public and will take place online via Zoom. Pre-registration is required; to sign up, please visit our website.

The lecture series will begin with an artist talk by Terry Plater at 6 p.m. Friday, June 18. Plater’s solo exhibition titled “Harriet’s Legacy” will be on view at the Schweinfurth Art Center and the Cayuga Museum of History and Art as part of the Emerging Artist Exhibition series. Plater’s will discuss her exhibition which speaks to “the intergenerational history, value, and ownership of our collective American story as embodied in slavery and emancipation, and the acknowledgement of Harriet Tubman as a local figure and national treasure.”

On June 19 at 6 p.m., Sarah Bond will give her lecture “Modern Quilts from my Grandmothers.” Much of her recent work responds to quilts made by her foremothers, whom she has traced back to her great-great-grandmother Jane Arthur Bond and her great-grandmother Louvinia Clarkson Cleckley, both of whom spent a period of their lives enslaved. Bond’s quilts will also be on view at the Art Center in her solo exhibition, “Threads Across Time.”

The Schweinfurth is also offering special children’s and family programming for the art center’s Juneteenth celebration. Artist and storyteller Vanessa Johnson of Syracuse will perform two stories online via Zoom: “Oh Freedom!” at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 19, for ages 6 to 10, and “Marching On to Freedom Land!” at 12:30 p.m. June 19 for ages 11 and up.

Artists and community members are invited to create a flag to celebrate, recognize, or educate about the contributions of people of color, whether in our community or nationally. The flag can also be used to comment, raise awareness, or educate about the issues of social justice and current events related to people of color in our nation. 

Blank flags will be provided and will be available for pick up during regular business hours at the Schweinfurth Art Center, and on June 19, 2021, at the Equal Rights Heritage Center. Artists are free to use their own style whether that be painting, printmaking, collage, fiber art, etc.

Flags must be completed and returned to the Schweinfurth Art Center by July 31, 2021. The flags will be displayed at the Schweinfurth Art Center and the Equal Rights Heritage Center starting Aug. 21, 2021.

For more information on the exhibits and Juneteenth activities, contact the art center at 315-255-1553.

Thank you to our event sponsor, the Skaneateles Area Arts Council!