"Visions of Our 44th President" Brings Dozens of Barack Obama Busts to Miami

"Visions of Our 44th President" Brings Dozens of Barack Obama Busts to Miami
Artwork: © Louis Delsarte, Felandus Thames, Charly Palmer, Kadir Nelson, Tatyana Fazlaizadeh, Shirley Woodson

Feeling a little nostalgic about the eight-year tenure President Barak Obama is about to complete? Trying to get your mind off the pumpkin-colored, foulmouthed Twitter troll that's set to take his place in office? Beginning this week, Miami has just the thing to bring back a smile, if even temporary, to your face.

The Black Archives History and Research Foundation of South Florida Inc. continues the celebration of its 40th anniversary with the exhibit "Visions of Our 44th President Barack Obama," set to open to the public Thursday, December 1, and remain on display until early next year at the Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater Cultural Arts Complex.

The exhibit displays realistic, life-size busts designed, painted, and/or embellished by 44 contemporary African-American artists from across the nation. Each bust is covered in dreamlike visions that burst with eye-catching colors and effects.

"Visions of Our 44th President" Brings Dozens of Barack Obama Busts to MiamiEXPAND
© Barkley Hendricks

According to the exhibit's director, the "Visions of Our 44th President Barack Obama" is about so much more than just art.

“Showcasing 'Visions' in Miami not only highlights the historic term of our nation’s first African-American president,” says Timothy A. Barber, executive director of the Black Archives. “Through artistic expression, 'Visions' celebrates the accomplishments we have been able to achieve together, as a community, over the past eight years. Our goal is that this exhibit will extend beyond race, social status, or party affiliation to highlight the common threads among us and inspire a continued togetherness as this country moves into its next chapter.”

Each of the 44 artists began the project with an identical blank bust, upon which they were asked to add their art to honor the historical significance of President Barack Obama's tenure in the Oval Office. The artists were encouraged to let their self-expression and individuality shine through in the pieces, and the results are extraordinarily diverse. The busts have been such a hit that images of them have been compiled into coffee-table books and posters that are available for purchase online.

The exhibit — which runs through February 2017 — is organized by the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit and was curated by Peter Kaplan of Our World, LLC.

"Visions of Our 44th President" Brings Dozens of Barack Obama Busts to MiamiEXPAND
© Kadir Nelson

"Visions of Our 44th President Barack Obama"
Thursday, December 1, through February 2017 at the Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater Cultural Arts Complex, 819 NW Second Ave., Miami. Tickets cost $20, or $15 for seniors and students; Black Archives members, active U.S. military, and kids under 6 get in free. Visit bahlt.org.

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