The Appleton Museum of Art, College of Central Florida, will present two exhibitions this summer from June 8-Oct. 20, “Do Not Bleach: Stephanie Brown” and “Urban Chatter: Sharon Kerry-Harlan.”
Through a series of mixed media installations, “Do Not Bleach” expresses and encourages melanin positivity, whether one is dark-skinned, light-skinned, or somewhere in between. The exhibition will also feature a selfie interactive station, where visitors are encouraged to try on one of Brown’s signature “Do Not Bleach” T-shirts and take a photo. Shirts will be available for purchase in the Appleton Store and are part of the artist’s public art campaign that allows people to advocate for their melanin. Other installations include “Soaps in Various Skin Tones,” which references Fenty Beauty, pop icon Rhianna’s cosmetics brand that is known for its inclusivity of all skin tones.
The youngest of five siblings, Brown grew up a first-generation American in Delray Beach. Her parents are Jamaican immigrants. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from Savannah College of Art and Design and received her master’s degree in interdisciplinary arts and museum studies certificate from the University of Michigan.
On view at the same time, “Urban Chatter” features the work of Sharon Kerry-Harlan. Using thread and sun-baked cloth, “the density of contemporary city living,” provides the inspiration for
this series. The figures and faces seem to meld abstraction, African sculptures and ritual masks among mid-century urban music references from the Harlem jazz scene. Born in Miami, the artist splits her time between Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, and Hollywood, Florida. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Marquette University and studied art at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. Her body of work includes textiles, mixed media and photography.
Opening Reception and Spoken Word Showcase
Saturday, June 8, 5–7 p.m.
Celebrate with artist Stephanie Brown at the opening of “Do Not Bleach: Stephanie Brown” and “Urban Chatter: Sharon Kerry-Harlan” with a reception from 5-6 p.m. At 6 p.m. in the auditorium, a spoken word showcase will feature performances on the topic of appearance. There is no fee to attend. Hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be provided.
Owned and operated by the College of Central Florida, the Appleton Museum of Art is located at 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, east of downtown on SR 40 (exit 352 east off I-75 or exit 268 west off I-95). Parking is free. For more information, call 352-291-4455 or visit AppletonMuseum.org.