The Houston Endowment (HEI), a place-based philanthropic organization, recently opened a solo exhibition of work by local artist Corey De’Juan Sherrard Jr., one of the 2023 Jones Artist Award recipients.
In 2022, following the relocation of its headquarters, HEI launched an open call for artists to exhibit in its lobby. Of the over 140 submissions, nine artists were selected to be exhibited in two group shows and one solo show. These nine artists were also each honored with the Jones Artist Award, receiving between $4,000 and $12,000, depending on the number of artists and artworks selected for each exhibition.The inaugural exhibition, Salvation is my heart on display, featured works by Shavon Morris, Jakayla Monay, Raul Rene Gonzalez, and Jessica Phillips.
Mr. Sherrard’s solo exhibition, Songbook for Black Constellations, for Trio, will be on view through October. The show presents data on Black life in the U.S. through multidisciplinary works that pair painting and music. The artist’s map-based paintings include data points related to cities with the highest Black populations by number and percentage, which the artist refers to as Masses and Meccas respectively, cities that are home to historic Negro League Baseball teams, and cities with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Mr. Sherrard took those same data points and converted them into musical notes to compose the accompanying songs, which can be heard via headsets available in the gallery.
In a press release, Ann B. Stern, President and CEO of HEI remarked, “Art fosters connectivity and conversation. It helps us explore cultures, perspectives, and experiences different than our own and adds to the vibrancy of our community. We’re honored to recognize Corey De’Juan Sherrard Jr., as well as other local artists, through the Jones Artist Awards Program and provide an opportunity for their voices and stories to be heard and seen.”
Though HEI is not open to the public, Mr. Sherrard’s paintings and musical scores can be accessed via the HEI website.