Musical Expressionism Opens 2019–20 Season at Hunt Gallery

August 20, 2019

Sax Man, acrylic on canvas, 24”x36”

From September 2 to 27, 2019, the exhibition Musical Expressionism by Philip “Muzi” Branch will be on view at Mary Baldwin’s Hunt Gallery.

Sax Man, acrylic on canvas, 24”x36”

Branch, a native of Richmond, received both his bachelor of fine arts and master of art education from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). He has taught at Virginia Union University, Saint Paul’s College, and Virginia State University. He is currently director of cultural programs for the VCU Health System, and previously served as assistant director for the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School.

His award-winning paintings are included in public and private collections and have been exhibited in America, Africa, and Europe. Branch is also an accomplished bassist and performs with the internationally acclaimed musical group, Plunky and Oneness.

Branch writes the following about his work:

As an African American visual artist, I create images that articulate the essence of my culture. Through my artwork, I illustrate history, acknowledge the present, and make statements regarding my hopes for the future.

At the very core of African American culture is music. I feel that it is important to pay homage to the collective genius that created Black music. This body of work seeks to express the emotional experience of Black music and impressions of the men and women who created the music. Black musicians have created genres of music that are embraced and emulated by all cultural groups on the planet. Black music has achieved a level of commercial success that has allowed it to move out of the “Chitterling Circuit” clubs to the concert stage and mainstream American life.

In my opinion, African American visual art is on the verge of receiving the same societal credibility as African American music. The visual art of African American culture continues to develop and progress as the soulful creative expression and unique aesthetic of a distinctive people.

A reception will be held for the artist from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on September 9 in Hunt Gallery. The public is invited to attend.

Hunt Gallery is dedicated to the exhibition of contemporary work in all media by regionally and nationally recognized artists. The gallery is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday during the academic year. Hunt Gallery’s schedule for the 2019–20 academic year can be found online.