Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery showcases a visual history of church hats in new exhibit

Walter Griffin (l)and Beverly Tipton Hammond

The Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery (MAAHMG) will present an art exhibition featuring two local artists centered around the African-American fashion known as “church hats.”

The exhibition titled “Grace” will run from Nov. 1 through Jan. 31 at MAAHMG, 1256 Penn Ave. N., inside the Regional Acceleration Center/Copeland Arts and Training Center.

“Grace” tells the visual story of African-American women wearing hats, often called church hats, which has cultural and spiritual significance in the Black community. The exhibition features photography by Walter Griffin and paintings by Beverly Tipton Hammond. The exhibition also includes a collection of hats provided by Kevin Henderson of Mr. H’s hats.

Griffin’s work includes photographs of jazz musicians, cityscapes, cultural events, trees, dancers and the seasons of life, which create a universal visual history. Hammond is a writer, ordained elder, dancer, choreographer, visual artist, singer and songwriter. She began painting 12 years ago and has more than 80 paintings in acrylic on canvas and wood. Her work has been featured in Hennepin County exhibitions, and the Women’s Hat Luncheon.

An opening reception with the artists will be held Nov. 1, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. MAAHMG is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.; and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Admission is free. For more information go to www.maahmg.org.

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