Revitalized NCCU Art Museum Reopens with Ernie Barnes Exhibit, Nov. 3

Posted October 27, 2023, 6:30PM

North Carolina Central University (NCCU) announces the grand reopening of its newly- renovated NCCU Art Museum, with a significant exhibition entitled "Celebrating Ernie Barnes: A Homecoming," which will be displayed from Friday, Nov. 3 to Friday, Dec. 15, 2023.

Distinguished NCCU alumnus Ernest Eugene Barnes Jr. attended then-called North Carolina College (N.C.C.) at Durham (1956-60) on a full athletics scholarship and majored in art. Barnes credited his formal artistic and athletic training at N.C.C. as an integral foundation for his style and approach to art. 

Today, his art is internationally recognized, acclaimed, admired and has been exhibited in major museums, institutions and collections.

“It's only fitting that Ernie Barnes is the inaugural exhibition at his alma mater’s renovated art museum,” said Luz Rodriguez, founder of the Ernie Barnes Legacy Project. “The museum is adjacent to the Fine Arts Building where he spent an extraordinary amount of time while a student in his early 20s trying to become an artist.”

When Barnes was a student, the school’s art gallery space was in Room 106 in the Fine Arts Building. The museum broke ground on Nov. 4, 1977.

About the Exhibition

The "Celebrating Ernie Barnes: A Homecoming" presentation will allow visitors to immerse themselves in Barnes’ rich artistic and personal journey through a carefully curated selection of his significant works, many of which have never been showcased before.

To offer a well-rounded perspective on Barnes' multidimensional life, the exhibition will also feature personal memorabilia from his illustrious careers both in the realm of professional football and in the visual arts. This profound retrospective promises not only a visual delight but also an intimate glimpse into the life and times of a remarkable individual who has left an indelible mark in the fields he chose to venture into.

Whether a student, an art enthusiast or a history buff, this exhibition promises something for everyone. It is not just an exhibition; it is an experience, a testament to a life well-lived, and a rich legacy left behind.

About the NCCU Art Museum

The NCCU Art Museum is situated at the heart of NCCU’s campus, with a mission to offer immersive experiences through art, celebrating heritage, and nurturing creativity and learning in all its visitors. With its rich history and commitment to showcasing extraordinary talent, the museum stands as a beacon of cultural enrichment and artistic excellence.

It is located at 580 East Lawson St., across from the Farrison-Newton Communications Building. The museum is accessible to physically challenged visitors. Hours of operation are Sunday, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For general information, please call (919) 530-7048. For group visits, please call in advance. Admission is free. 

You May Also Like

John Bigger Jubilee Painting
The exhibition, "Selections from the NCCU Permanent Collection," will be available to the public beginning on Friday, May 31, 2024, through Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2024. 
James E. Shepard statue
A special call meeting of the NCCU Board of Trustees is scheduled for May 13, 2024, at 4 p.m., via video conference call.
Shepard Statue
The committee will meet on Monday, May 13, 2024, in Room 2315 of the NCCU Nursing Building on campus Durham.