NOIR II: The Migration

May 26, 2022 to November 28, 2022

The Illinois State Museum presents its second annual Juneteenth art exhibition NOIR II: The Migration.  In collaboration with Springfield's Juneteenth, Inc., and national artists and co-curators, Korbin "Kas" King and Michelle "Micki" Smith, NOIR II is an exhibition of Black art by people of color depicting the migration of Black Americans. It tells the story visually, provoking viewers to think and talk about what freedom looks like for people of color in the United States.  

"This year, we want to explore life after Juneteenth. Now that we're free, what do we do? How do we survive? As last year's exhibition encouraged a conversation, that goal remains the same this year," said co-curator Smith. "We want to tell a story visually, provoking viewers to think and talk about what freedom looks like for people of color in the United States."  

King and Smith are seeking to tell the story of the Great Migration from southern states to northern states, more specifically:

  •  How Black Americans created a living for themselves once receiving their freedom.
  •  The migration of Black culture into White America.
  •  What does freedom look like to Black Americans and the United States as a whole?

"Ultimately, we want to take a difficult conversation and breathe life into it from different perspectives," explained King. "As we embark on plans for NOIR II: The Migration, we're elated to have another chance to push and shift the culture for the generations of artists to come. Juneteenth didn't free enslaved people; it freed doctors, scientists, and creatives. That's what the Migration represents, the movement of a people that influences the world through culture."

First, second, and third place will receive ribbons. There is also a Best in Show purchase award. The purchased artwork will become part of the Illinois State Museum's permanent collection courtesy of the Michelle and Guerry Suggs Diversity Collections Acquisition Fund.

Keyon by Cbabi Bayoc.
  • Keyon by Cbabi Bayoc.
  • Soul (Spirit of Universal Language) by Tyrell Bronner
  • Keyon by Cbabi Bayoc. Detail
  • Soul (Spirit of Universal Language) by Tyrell Bronner. Detail.

Visitor Information

502 S. Spring St., Springfield, IL 
(217) 782-5993
Admission: FREE
Hours for ISM: Open Tu-Sa 10 - 4 p.m.
Closed New Year's Day, Thanksgiving & Christmas