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Drum with carved figures, wood and hide, Indigenous throughout Africa

The University Galleries at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, in collaboration with Preservation Greensboro, will host a new traveling exhibit titled, “We Built This: Profiles of Black Architects and Builders in North Carolina.” The exhibit, opening Wednesday, Oct. 19, and running through Dec. 9 at the University Galleries, will feature the stories of those who constructed and designed many of North Carolina’s most treasured historic sites.

“This exhibition will highlight individuals who overcame racism and economic challenges to create some of North Carolina’s most beautiful landmark buildings,” said Roy Carter, associate professor and visual arts program director. “Many times, we walk into these facilities and admire them, and are not aware of those who built them.” 

Executive Director of Preservation Greensboro Benjamin Briggs said, “We thought it was important to bring this exhibit to our city. Greensboro and North Carolina A&T hold important places in this inspirational story, and it is exciting to feature this exhibit on the university’s historic campus.”

According to Briggs, Preservation Greensboro is the only local nonprofit that advocates for historic preservation of places. “We Built This” is part of a multi-faceted educational program about the history and legacy of Black builders and craftspeople in North Carolina and is produced by Preservation North Carolina. 

Spanning more than three centuries, “We Built This” provides more than two dozen personal profiles and historic context on key topics including slavery and Reconstruction; founding of historically Black colleges and universities and Black churches; Jim Crow and segregation; and the rise of Black civic leaders and professionals. “We Built This” acknowledges and celebrates the Black builders and architects who constructed or designed many of North Carolina’s most cherished historic places.

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Alma Thomas, Glimpse of Jupiter, 1970, Oil on Canvas

The exhibit will be open to the public during normal University Galleries hours, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays by appointment. Exhibitions are free. Group tours are welcome. For more information, call Carter at 336-334-3209. 

In addition to the onsite location, the University Galleries features virtual exhibitions, which include:

“Black Art Matters” 

https://www.ncat.edu/cahss/gallery/black-art-matters.php

“Rosa: The Works of Bryan Collier” 

https://www.ncat.edu/cahss/gallery/collier/index.php

“Songs from the Motherland: Musical Instruments from the Permanent Collection”

https://www.ncat.edu/cahss/gallery/songs-from-the-motherland/index.php

To learn more, visit the University Galleries website. 

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