With Black America in a heightened state of awareness, given the calamity that has been caused by state-sanctioned brutality, the COVID-19 crisis, and more—the Fairfield University Art Museum (FUAM) will host a fall exhibition that you cannot afford to miss.

From Sept. 18 through Dec. 18, FUAM will host exhibitions by Carrie Mae Weems, Roberto Lugo, and Robert Gerhardt. Each art installation will focus on issues of racial justice, racism, police reform, and Black history in the United States. The Usual Suspects, which is by Carrie Mae Weems, will be found with the museum’s Walsh Gallery, while two concurrent exhibitions New Ceramics (Lugo) and Mic Check (Gerhardt), will be presented inside the museum’s Bellarmine Hall Galleries.

“This timely exhibition series reflects the museum’s commitment to uplifting the voices of Black artists,” said Carey Mack Weber, the Frank and Clara Meditz Executive Director of the museum, “and to creating an engaging and safe space to consider the issues surrounding systemic racism in our communities. These are difficult things to talk about, but we look forward to inviting all of our different audiences to join us in moving the conversations forward into action.”

One of the most imaginative and influential contemporary artists in the country, Carrie Mae Weems explores an array of topics from cultural identity to sexism to class to the consequences of power. In The Usual Suspects, Weems employs photographs, text, audio, digital images, and a fully illustrated catalogue within this piece that is a collaboration between the LSU College of Art + Design, the LSU School of Art and LSU Museum of Art.

The Usual Suspects will include recent photographic and video works that aim to pose the question about stereotypes that associate Black bodies with criminality. “All the Boys” and “The Usual Suspects” delve deeper into that topic with Black men and women as the focal point, forcing the view to confront the fact of judicial inaction in the face of systemic racism.

“People of a Darker Hue” is a meditative compilation of video, found footage, narration, and performance commemorating the deaths of George Floyd, Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor and, sadly, numerous others.

Lugo, an assistant professor of ceramics at Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University, uses shapes inspired from European and Asian ceramic traditions for his New Ceramics exhibition. Better known as the “ghetto potter,” Lugo’s all-new work will combine street art, contemporary iconography, and gun parts from decommissioned handguns obtained in a 2018 gun buyback program in Hartford, Connecticut, sponsored by #UNLOAD Foundation.

Lastly, Mic Check by photojournalist and writer Robert Gerhardt will utilize his massive amount of protest images to capture the righteous anger and frustration of protestors from 2014 through 2021 across New York City. On view in the Bellarmine Hall Galleries, Mic Check is a remarkable body of work that aims to amplify the Black Lives Matter protestors and hashtag, while commenting on the passion and purpose behind the movement.

Visitors to the museum will also be able to view VOTE! Black Lives Matter, a short film produced by the Mary and Eliza Freeman Center for History and Community by Pedro Bermudez.