Art Exhibit: "To Come Together, To Get Together" by Marlon Tobias

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Program Description

Event Details

Often sourcing from old family photos, personally taken photographs, audio recordings, oral and documented histories, as well as collected objects, Marlon Tobias provides an intimate look into the individual people who have shaped his community's cultures and traditions.

Inspired by the O'Jays' classic hit, "Family Reunion," To Come Together, To Get Together reminisces on Marlon's summer trips to Florida for his maternal family's bi-annual reunion. Growing up as a transient cousin from New York, Tobias can relate his family reunions to a pilgrimage, returning to the place of his earliest-traced familial origin. It was a time to fellowship with extended family, recenter and heal oneself, learn more about the family history, and just kick it with kinfolk.

To Come Together, To Get Together serves a two-fold purpose. It is a body of work that celebrates those precious moments between a Black family and recognizes the contribution family reunions have made to keep Black families connected. But Tobias also uses this series to forward a question to the Millennials and Gen-Zers who are now adults and assuming leadership roles within their families; how do/how can traditional family reunions hold space in the 21st century?

Artist Talk and Reception: Meet the artist and learn more about his work on June 5, 6:30-8:00PM.

To Come Together, To Get Together is on view at the Main Public Library Gallery from May 21 to June 29.

More about the artist
Marlon Tobias is a New York-born visual artist and art educator whose work is deeply influenced by the marginalized narratives of the communities to which he belongs. Born to a mother of southern roots and a father of Jamaican descent, Marlon is informed by the history and multifaceted spirit of the African diaspora. His artistic practice revolves around using archival materials and collected objects as the basis for his research, with his paintings, installations, and sculptures telling stories that offer an intimate view of the people and places that have played a pivotal role in his life.

Tobias explores a range of themes in his work, including erasure, the Black, rural, southern tradition, the intersections of spirituality, religion, and place, domesticity, and the complex nuances within a family and community. By focusing on these issues, Marlon's work speaks to the shared experiences of many people, and his art serves as a powerful means of connection and reflection.

Marlon's works have been exhibited at prestigious venues such as the Museum of Florida Art and Culture, Art Center Sarasota, the Contemporary Art Museum in Tampa, Florida, and the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. He earned his Master of Fine Arts from the University of South Florida and his Bachelor's degree from Florida A&M University. Currently based in Chicago, Illinois, Marlon is a committed educator and active member of the artistic community.