New Louisville Exhibit Celebrates The Life of Breonna Taylor

Protesters march against police brutality in Los Angeles, on September 23, 2020, following a decision on the Breonna Taylor case in Louisville, Kentucky. - A judge announced charges brought by a grand jury against Detective Brett Hankison, one of three police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Taylor in March. Hankison was charged with three counts of "wanton endangerment" in connection with the shooting. (Photo by Apu GOMES / AFP) (Photo by APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images)

New Louisville Exhibit Celebrates The Life of Breonna Taylor

“Promise, Witness, Remembrance” brings together artists from across the country to honor the legacy of the young woman who was killed by police.

Published 2 weeks ago

Written by Jamila Bey

In the year since Breonna Taylor was killed by Louisville, Ky.,  police, global protests rose calling for justice for her death. But the city’s Speed Art Museum guest curator Allison Glenn decided that there could be a way to make meaning and even beauty from the sadness of the killing of Breonna Taylor. 

Glenn has curated an exhibition that celebrates the life of the 26-year-old EMT worker, and even had conversations with her mother, Tamika Palmer, to help her make certain the exhibition was a respectful and worthy commemoration of her daughter’s life. The show is called “Promise, Witness, Remembrance.” 

Glenn told The New York Times that speaking with Palmer about her daughter’s life was a key component to putting the show together.

“First, I spoke with Breonna’s mother, and asked how we might think of her daughter’s legacy, and translated that into the three ideas: promise, witness, remembrance. Then I convened a national panel,” Glenn said.

The free, and open to the public exhibition is being shown at Louisville’s Speed Art Museum. It premiered April 7, and features artists from Louisville and across the United States. 

Glenn developed the exhibit with the guidance of Taylor’s family and others including a Steering Committee of Louisville artists, activists, mental health professionals, researchers, and community members, and a National Advisory Panel selected by Glenn.

According to W magazine, Glenn decided to use the cover of last September’s Vanity Fair as the main visual. 

The centerpiece of the show was Amy Sherald’s portrait of Taylor, dressed in turquoise, wearing the engagement ring she died before having the chance to receive from her fiance. 

Glenn told the Times that it was important that this show be something that was representative of Breonna and the people of her community as well. “A lot of people feel that museums aren’t accessible, aren’t reflective of who they are. This exhibition is about a woman who lived in Louisville, whose family lived in Louisville; it’s about what happened to her, and in response to these things. There will be people who may come to the museum for the first time.”

“Promise, Witness, Remembrance” is open through June 6.

Photo: APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images

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