Cry Freedom, Never the Blues
with artist Tony Miller
September 16th to October 29th, 2023
The Durham Art Gallery is proud to present Cry Freedom, Never the Blues, an exhibition that presents a collection of Tony Miller's poignant visual narratives. Miller's work eloquently conflates history & heritage with his unique pictorial language to create magical atmospheres where fact & myth converge.
In the mid 1800s, both of Tony's great-grandfathers escaped slavery and traveled north via the historic Underground Railroad network. After initially settling in what was known as the Negro Creek settlement, both men and their families eventually settled in the village of Sydenham (Owen Sound) which was known as the Underground Railroad's northmost terminal. Many of their descendants remain there today. Miller's affable depictions chronicle the intimate details of these real lives lived, thereby giving complex and tangible voices to a valiant legacy.
This exhibition is accompanied by an informational media space, stocked with historic data, images, research and public screening of the documentary “As Is, Where Is” by Mikaela Roberts, Jason Menominee & Ben Heywood-MacLeod. All of the archival and informative information and archives were compiled and generously made available for this exhibition by the Direct Descendants and Community Friends of Negro Creek.
NOTE: the exhibition title is an homage to the introductory essay by the same name, written by George Elliott Clarke for Miller's graphic novel 'Daddy Hall; A Biography'