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Ming Smith: Wind Chime

Panoramic photo of a Black person in a billowing white tunic walking next to a long, tall white wall. Two trees in the foreground frame the figure.

Explore spirituality, movement, and feminism in a solo exhibition pairing recent work by Columbus-raised artist Ming Smith with the photographic series that started her career in 1972.

Visitors will experience Smith’s reflective approach throughout the galleries. The works on display also expand beyond photography. The centerpiece, a multimedia commission that animates a series of photographs using  projection, marks an entirely new direction in her practice. Also on view are recent collages and color photographs—all set to an ambient soundscape created by Smith’s son, Mingus Murray.  
  
The exhibition also includes nearly 30 black-and-white photographs from Smith’s Africa series, taken during her travels to Senegal, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, and Egypt over the span of three decades. The series began in 1972 on Smith’s first trip to Africa, when she traveled to Dakar, Senegal, on a modeling assignment. The expansive series of  photography documents everyday scenes from across the continent as they happened and shares a narrative of the places she visited from her perspective as a Black woman. As Smith has stated: “I was affected by the spirituality of the people. Somehow it seemed that our cultures are very different, but we are very much connected.” 
  
Ming Smith: Wind Chime is part of the FotoFocus biennial. Learn more about the program and related events

This exhibition is part of a simultaneous presentation of work by Ming Smith, also at the Columbus Museum of Art and The Gund at Kenyon College.

IMAGE CAPTION 
Ming Smith, Dakar Roadside with Figures, 1972. Archival pigment print, 24 x 36 in. Courtesy of Ming Smith Studio. 
 

About the Artist

Ming Smith chevron-down chevron-up

Harlem-based, Detroit-born artist Ming Smith attended Howard University in Washington, DC. She was the first female to join Kamoinge, a collective of Black photographers in New York in the 1960s and the first black woman photographer included in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. She participated in MoMA’s exhibition Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography; Brooklyn Museum’s We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85; and Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, organized by Tate Modern in collaboration with the Brooklyn Museum; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas; and The Broad in Los Angeles. Her work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of Art in New York; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Detroit Institute of Arts; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York; and the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC, among other institutions.

Learn more about the artist.

Ming Smith: Wind Chime is organized by Kelly Kivland, former head of exhibitions at the Wexner Center for the Arts and director and lead curator at Michigan Central.
 
THIS PRESENTATION IS MADE POSSIBLE BY
National Endowment for the Arts
FotoFocus

EXHIBITIONS 2024–25 SEASON MADE POSSIBLE BY  
Bill and Sheila Lambert  
Crane Family Foundation  

FREE GALLERIES MADE POSSIBLE BY  
PNC Foundation

WEXNER CENTER PROGRAMS MADE POSSIBLE BY  
Greater Columbus Arts Council

The Wexner Family 

Institute of Museum and Library Services

Mellon Foundation
Every Page Foundation
Ohio Arts Council
, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts 
CampusParc


Nationwide Foundation

Ohio State’s Global Arts + Humanities Discovery Theme

The Columbus Foundation 
Axium Packaging

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT PROVIDED BY
Ohio State Energy Partners  
Ohio History Fund/Ohio History Connection  
David Crane and Elizabeth Dang

Melissa Gilliam and William Grobman
Rebecca Perry Damsen and Ben Towle

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Ming Smith: Wind Chime