This is your last weekend to see the first step in what may become one of the most ambitious and diversified projects on history, culture and athletics in the nation. Visual artist and Tennessee State University professor Michael McBride has joined forces with sculptor George Nock (a former NFL player now living in Atlanta), Grammy-winning producer Shannon Sanders and filmmaker Donnie L. Betts to celebrate the contributions of black jockeys to the development and growth of horse racing in America from 1607-1910. The project combines visual art with film, literature and music in a diversified salute to an overlooked era and uncredited athletic heroes. The current exhibit, which features 32 of the eventual 65 paintings and 15 of 25 sculptures (five in bronze), runs for just a few more days at TSU. Besides the exhibition, there are plans for a gallery, centers for environmental and equine studies, and many other items dedicated to chronicling the black experience and achievements in horse racing. But for now, sports and history buffs can acquaint themselves with a little-known chapter that fills in the missing gaps between race and racing.
Mondays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Starts: Feb. 8. Continues through March 27, 2010