THE FINAL DAYS OF THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION are playing out in a handful of states, battlegrounds with key electoral votes likely to determine the outcome of a hard fought, stranger-than-fiction race for the White House. There are 538 electoral votes up for grabs and 270 are needed to win. The campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and their surrogates, are making multiple visits to toss up states such as Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

The U.S. electorate is the most diverse in U.S. history, according to the Pew Research Center. Democrats and Republicans are focused on voter turnout, particularly among women, young people, African Americans, and Latinos, in closely watched states. Art enthusiasts should note a number of must-see exhibitions on view in these states featuring Kara Walker, Titus Kaphar, Fred Wilson, Sanford Biggers, Southern artists, self-taught artists, and important 20th century African American photographers, among others. After you vote, visit these shows in cities including Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Durham, and Tampa.


There are 29 electoral votes in Florida where Titus Kaphar, and Latino and Cuban artists are presenting exhibitions. According to The Upshot, Clinton has a 70 percent chance of winning the state’s electoral votes.


The collection assembled by the chair of the museum’s board and his artist wife emphasizes women artists from diverse backgrounds. Works on view are by artists such as Wangechi Mutu, Lorna Simpson, Mickalene Thomas, and Kara Walker. Shown, SHINIQUE SMITH, “By the Light,” 2013 (ink, acrylic, fabric and paper collage on canvas over panel). | Collection of Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz, © Shinque Smith, Courtesy David Castillo via NSU Art Museum

“Belief & Doubt: Selections from the Frances Bishop Good and David Horvitz Collection” @ NSU Art Museum, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. | Aug. 26, 2016-Jan. 22, 2017

TITUS KAPHAR, Front Page, 2012 (oil on newspaper on canvas). | Courtesy of the artist and GMAF. Photography by John Lam, © Titus Kaphar; Courtesy Lowe Art Museum

“TITUS KAPHAR: The Vesper Project” @ Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Fla. | Sept. 8-Dec. 23, 2016

Organized in collaboration with the Bronx Museum of the Arts, this is the first survey of contemporary Cuban art presented by the Tampa museum. Shown, HUMBERTO DIAZ, “Libertad Condicional (Conditional Liberty),” 2011 (photographs printed on Hahnemuhle photo paper 200g, Edition 5 of 5). | The Bronx Museum of the Arts Permanent Collection via Tampa Museum of Art

“Complicated Beauty: Contemporary Cuban Art” @ Tampa Museum of Art, Fla. | Oct. 8, 2016-Jan. 22, 2017

This exhibition is described as reframing American folk art through the concept of ‘self-taught genius,’ a notion whose meaning has evolved over time. Thornton Dial Sr., William Edmondson, Lonnie Holley, Ronald Lockett, Horace Pippin, Bill Traylor, are among the many artists included. Shown, JESSIE B. TELFAIR, “Freedom Quilt,” 1983 (cotton, pencil). | Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York, Photo by Gavin Ashworth via Tampa Museum of Art

Self-Taught Genius: Treasures From the American Folk Art Museum, Tampa Museum of Art, Fla. | Oct. 16, 2016-Jan. 16, 2017

Installation view of the transmedia project launched in 2012 to provide “a platform for an authentic exchange about life in America for black men.” | Courtesy Question Bridge: Black Males and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York via Norton Museum of Art

“Question Bridge: Black Males” @ Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Fla. | Oct. 18-Dec. 18, 2016

Featuring work dating from the 1950s, this exhibition is drawn from the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s collection of Latino art and includes artists of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Dominican descent. | Video by Museum of Fine Arts

“Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art” @ Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Fla. | Oct. 27, 2016-Jan. 22, 2017

The state of Michigan where exhibitions by Mark Bradford and Sanford Biggers are on view, has 16 electoral votes. According to The Upshot, Clinton has a 92 percent chance of winning the state’s votes.


In this this six-minute video installation, MARK BRADFORD performs stand up comedy using humor to address a number of challenging social issues. His image does not appear on the screen, rather visitors see a red spotlight and hear the audio of his disembodied voice which is paired with the words in his act, displayed caption-style on the screen against a black background. A rare medium for Bradford, a mixed-media painter, versions of this video work were first presented at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and later at Hauser & Wirth Gallery in New York. | Image via Hammer Museum

“MARK BRADFORD: Spiderman” @ University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, Mich. | July 29-Nov. 27, 2016

Using a variety of media, SANFORD BIGGERS has created an immersive, interactive experience throughout the museum. Shown, “Shatter,” 2015 (production still). | Courtesy of the artist via MoCAD

“SANFORD BIGGERS: Subjective Cosmology” @ Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit | Sept. 9, 2016-Jan. 1, 2017

Photographer Zanele Muholi, Hank Willis Thomas, and Southern artists are featured in exhibitions in North Carolina where 15 electoral votes are up for grabs. According to The Upshot, Clinton has a 66 percent chance of winning them.


This focused exhibition presents Charlotte native Romare Bearden’s Odysseus Series, a suite of 20 watercolors. Shown, “The Return of Odysseus,” circa 1977. | Lent by the McConnell Family Trust. © Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York, NY. Photography courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY via Mint Museum

“ROMARE BEARDEN: Odysseus Series” @ Mint Museum Uptown, Charlotte, N.C. | May 18, 2016-TBD

A tightly curated exhibition featuring about a dozen works—paintings, drawings, prints, and a sculpture—by John Biggers, who was born in Gastonia, N.C. Shown, “Family Arc,” 1992 (lithograph). | Collection of The Mint Museum. © Estate of John Biggers, Courtesy Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLC via Mint Museum

“JOHN BIGGERS: Wheels in Wheels” @ Mint Museum Uptown, Charlotte, N.C. | July 20, 2016-TBD 2017

This exhibition presents 15 “apron studies” by PRECIOUS LOVELL that through culturally diverse quilting techniques explore personal and universal narratives. Shown, “Perlina Arnold,” 2014 (hand dyed cotton, cotton muslin, chief value cotton batting, cotton thread, cotton embroidery floss). | Image courtesy Winston Aron Photography via CAM Raleigh

“PRECIOUS LOVELL: The Ties that Bind” @ Contemporary Art Museum Raleigh, N.C. | Aug. 28, 2016-Jan. 8, 2017

This group exhibition explores Southern identity through the work of more than 60 artists, including TAMEKA NORRIS, “12 Times Table,” 2014 (acrylic and oil on fabric). | Courtesy of the artist and Ronchini Gallery, London, United Kingdom. © Tameka Norris via Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University

“Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art” @ Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, N.C. | Sept. 1, 2016-Jan. 8, 2017

HANK WILLIS THOMAS, “Bounce back to normal,” 1933/2015, 2015 (digital chromogenic print). | Courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York via Weatherspoon Art Museum

HANK WILLIS THOMAS, “Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915–2015” @ Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, N.C. | Sept. 2-Dec. 11, 2016

ZANELE MUHOLI, “Mbala Zulu, KwaThema, Springs, Johannesburg, 2010,” 2010, printed 2014 (gelatin-silver print). | Purchased with funds from the Friends of African and African American Art, © 2010 Zanele Muholi, image courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery via North Carolina Museum of Art

ZANELE MUHOLI: Faces and Phases @ North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, N.C. | Oct. 1, 2016-Jan. 8, 2017

There are 18 electoral votes in Ohio, where Kara Walker, photographer Zanele Muholi, and Fred Wilson are presenting exhibitions. According to The Upshot, Trump as a 54 percent chance of winning the state’s electoral votes.


FRED WILSON, “Liberation,” 2012 (acrylic on canvas, blown glass). | Photograph by Silvia Ros, © Fred Wilson, Courtesy Pace Gallery

“FRED WILSON: Black to the Powers of Ten” and “Wildfire Test Pit” @ Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio | Aug. 30, 2016-June 12, 2017

Annually a committee of local comic critics and curators selects a graphic artist from outside the area who shows an innovative approach to creating comics and graphic novels. The latest winner is Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Ronald Wimberly. | via Columbus Museum of Art

“Ronald Wimberly Graphic Novelist Residency Exhibition” @ Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio | Sept. 2, 2016-Feb. 19, 2017

The exhibition features new large-scale drawings by KARA WALKER influenced by time spent in Rome earlier this year. | Photo by Ari Marcopoulos via Cleveland Museum of Art

KARA WALKER, “The Ecstasy of St. Kara, New Work” @ Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio | Sept. 10-Dec. 31, 2016

Organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and the National Museum of African American History and Culture this show presents a set of unique and highly informative posters designed to celebrate the historic opening of African American museum in Washington, D.C., and reflect its objects and programming. | via Springfield Museum of Art

“A Place for All People: Introducing the National Museum of African American History and Culture” @ Springfield Museum of Art, Ohio | Sept. 20, 2016-Jan. 18, 2017

ZANELE MUHOLI, “Bester II, Paris,” 2014. | © Zanele Muholi. Courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery via National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

ZANELE MUHOLI: Personae @ FotoFocus 2016, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati, Ohio | Oct. 1, 2016-Jan. 23, 2017

At stake are 20 electoral votes in Pennsylvania, where exhibitions featuring the work of Terry Adkins, photographer Teenie Harris, and 1960s-era Chicago artists are on view. According to The Upshot, Clinton has an 89 percent chance of securing the state’s votes.


This exhibition is part of Creative Africa, a season of programming devoted to African art and design, including “Threads of Tradition,” also currently on view at the museum. Shown, Detail of installation view. | via Philadelphia Museum of Art

“Vlisco: African Fashion on a Global Stage” @ Philadelphia Museum of Art | April 30, 2016-Jan. 22, 2017

CHARLES “TEENIE” HARRIS, Vice President Richard Nixon and Pat Nixon greeting crowd from car, including Harold Irwin, Centre Avenue, Hill District, October 1960 (black and white: Kodak Safety Film). | Carnegie Museum of Art, Heinz Family Fund

“TEENIE HARRIS Photographs: Elections” @ Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pa. | Aug. 13-Dec. 5, 2016

Dedicated to the late TERRY ADKINS, a University of Pennsylvania professor, the exhibition features Adkins’s work with contributions by 10 former students inspired by his practice, including Jamal Cyrus, Nsenga Knight, Tamkea Norris, and WILMER WILSON IV (above), “The Western Union.” | Courtesy Arthur Ross Gallery

“Darkwater Revival: After TERRY ADKINS” @ Arthur Ross Gallery at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia | Aug. 27-Dec. 11, 2016

With a particular focus on the African American art scene on the South Side of Chicago, this group exhibition explores the connection between avant-garde jazz and experimental music of the late 1960s and contemporary art and culture. Shown, LILI REYNAUD-DEWAR, “La Grande Oreille (from eye to ear to ass to memory and back),” 2015 (mirrors, six speakers, sound system, wood structure, modified Tam-Tam stools with integrated ink fountains, wooden bench). | Photo byNathan Keay, Courtesy of the artist and C L E A R I N G, New York/Brussels via ICA Philadelphia

“The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now” @ The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia | Sept. 14, 2016-March 19, 2017

Presented in partnership with the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, Temple University Libraries, this exhibition explores the work of photographer John W. Mosley, who documented the African American community in Philadelphia from the 1930s to 1960s. Shown, JOHN W. MOSLEY, “Easter Sunday,” 1951. | John W. Mosley Photograph Collection, Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia PA via Woodmere Art Museum

“A Million Faces: The Photography of JOHN W. MOSLEY” @ Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia | Sept. 24, 2016-Jan. 16, 2017

Featuring more than 40 artists, this group exhibition reflects the diversity and complexity of African American art since the mid-20th century. Shown, RADCLIFFE BAILEY, “Until I Die/Georgia Trees and the Upper Room,” 1997 (color aquatint). | via Susquehanna Art Museum

“African American Art Since 1950: Perspectives from the David C. Driskell Center” @ Susquehanna Art Museum, Harrisburg, Pa. | Oct. 7, 2016-Jan. 22, 2017

Note: State-by-state electoral vote forecasts are based on early morning predictions posted on election eve (Nov. 7 by The Upshot.


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