Frederick Douglass' life and legacy the focus of new art exhibition in Rochester

(WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y. - A new art exhibition in Rochester focuses on the life and legacy of civil rights figure Frederick Douglass.

“No Soil Better,” commemorates 200 years since Douglass’ birth. It features the work of 10 artists and focuses on the impact Douglass’ work still has to this day.

The exhibit opened to the public Friday at the Rochester Contemporary Art Center.

“I think a number of the artists have looked at his legacy, and specifically they’ve worked with his words – his powerful words from his speeches – and they’ve integrated his ideas into their artworks, and they’ve attempted to update those and make those more visible and relevant today," said Executive Director Bleu Cease.

Carvin Eison, the general manager of Rochester Community Television and the project director of The Re-energizing the Legacy of Frederick Douglass Committee, hopes the exhibition encourages visitors to reflect on how Douglass' actions and words are still important in 2018.

"Rochester does have deep roots in the progressive social justice movement of the 19th Century, and actually even into the 20th Century," said Eison. "And, in some ways, we’ve moved away from that. But this idea of Frederick Douglass is extraordinary because it’s bringing us back to that. It’s making us think again, anew. People who see the world through 280 characters, it’s making them think about, what would Frederick Douglass consider if he was here? What would Frederick Douglass think about the community? What would he think about this art show? What would he think about the 45th president of the United States, for example?

For more about the exhibition and related events, click here.

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