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Songbook for Black Constellations at Houston Endowment

  • Type


  • Artist

    Corey De’Juan Sherrard Jr.

  • Date

    Summer 2023

  • Location

    Houston Endowment

The exhibition “Songbook for Black Constellations, for Trio” is the second of Houston Endowment’s Jones Artist Awards Program, which showcases artists who call Houston home. Curated by Weingarten Art Group, this program reflects the diverse stories and perspectives of our region and lifts emerging artistic talent.

In this exhibition, artist Corey De’Juan Sherrard Jr. presents data on Black demographics and institutions in the U.S. through a unique pairing of painting and music. Sherrard takes data on Black life in the U.S. — the cities with the highest black populations by number (Masses) and percentage (Meccas), the cities home to historic Negro League Baseball teams, and the cities with Historically Black Colleges and Universities — and plots it onto his map-based paintings. He then converts the plotted points into musical notes to compose the data into scores. In doing so, Sherrard creates an audio-visual language that connects art to real-world social conditions.

Through this program at Houston Endowment, Sherrard was able to expand his Songbook for Black Constellations series, taking the artworks to a new scale and, for the first time, incorporating live recording. The music was performed by Corey De’Juan Sherrard Jr. on alto saxophone, Joseph Hamilton on drums, and Richard Rodriguez on upright bass.

Photos by Lawrence Elizabeth Knox