The Night is Our Friend by Dominic Chambers

Arizona Cardinals offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum and his wife, Jessica, are lending ten paintings from their art collection to SMU’s Hamon Arts Library for an exhibit Feb. 18 – May 22. Each piece represents a unique visual narrative of the Black experience, according to a press release  provided by Beachum’s alma mater Southern Methodist University.

“We are sharing these pieces from our collection to bring recognition to the artists,” Beachum says. “We believe that their brilliant work and shared insights will start a conversation and bring people together in a new way. We are excited to be stewards of their work as well as catalysts for promoting their perspectives and ideas.”

The four-year starter (offensive tackle) for the Mustangs (through ’12) and his bride began acquiring art in 2013, they report, as “a way to understand life through the lenses of visual artists.”

In nine years, they have assembled a significant collection of works by both well-known and emerging artists.

The exhibit, Narrative as Reality: A World Reimagined/ Selections from the Jessica and Kelvin Beachum Family Collection, includes an oil on canvas by Dominic Chambers, recently included on Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list as one of the most exciting emerging artists of his generation.

Artist Ryan Cosbert’s painting, Mayhem No. 2, is part of a series she started after George Floyd’s 2020 death.

Multidisciplinary artist Robert Hodge used reclaimed paper from the sidewalk and movie posters in his Houston neighborhood for his work, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

Other artists represented in the exhibit include Mario Moore, Robert Pruitt, Nelson Makamo, Delita Martin, Sungi Mlengeya, Athi-Patra Ruga and Ferrari Sheppard.

“A glimpse into the Jessica and Kelvin Beachum Family Collection reveals an artistic world of hope, Black joy, reality and aspiration,” exhibit curator Valerie Gillespie says.

It’s in the Mildred Hawn Gallery in SMU’s Hamon Arts Library in the Owen Arts Center and is open to all students and off-campus visitors.

Some of the exhibiting artists — Chambers, Cosbert and Hodge included — will visit students in studio art classes and as well as students studying U.S. civil rights history, those “traveling on the same civil rights pilgrimage that inspired Beachum as an SMU student,” according to the organizers of the event.

Beachum graduated from SMU in 2010 with a B.A. in economics, and he earned a master of liberal studies in organizational dynamics in 2012.

He continues to serve his alma mater as a member of the Executive Boards for the Simmons School of Education and Human Development and Lyle School of Engineering.

He honored the late Dennis Simon, his political science professor and mentor, by endowing SMU’s annual Civil Rights Pilgrimage in Simon’s name.

The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Beachum in 2012, and he has played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, the New York Jets and now the Arizona Cardinals.

Twice nominated for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, Beachum is a known advocate for equity in education and business, ending hunger, providing access to clean water and encouraging under-represented youth to pursue STEAM disciplines. He also serves on the African Acquisitions Committee for the Tate Foundation.

Here are details about the exhibit on campus.

EXHIBIT: Narrative as Reality: A World Reimagined/ Selections From the Jessica and Kelvin Beachum Family Collection

HOURS AND DATES: 8 a.m.-10 p.m., Monday-Friday; noon-5 p.m., Saturday; 2 p.m.-10 p.m., Sunday.

Feb. 18-May 22.

LOCATION AND PARKING: Mildred Hawn Gallery, Hamon Arts Library, Owen Arts Center, 6101 Bishop. Visitor parking.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Hamon Arts Library, 214.768.3813.

RENOVATION ENTRANCE: Enter Owen Arts Center from the south entrance due to building renovation.