Your #Panel61

In the final, 60th panel of The Migration Series, Jacob Lawrence leaves us with the words “And the migrants keep coming.” The story of migration is ongoing; what would the 61st panel look like today? Featured below are some thoughtful responses to this question by local artists. Submit your #Panel61 on our recently launched Jacob Lawrence website.


Judy Williams, Multitude Long Journey, 2016. 20 x 20 x 1.5, oil on canvas

Judy Williams
“My artistic production is my attempt to pay homage to the vast distribution of humanity seeking asylum and refuge from the abominations of war. Across the world a multitude of disparate peoples individuated by each one’s personal story are on the move, migrating, yearning to alter their path of destiny, creating a new geography. My daily practice of painting further attempts to represent those who now flee their homes in pursuit of new places of hope, peace, and love.”


Antionette Simmons Hodges, The Protesters. Acrylic, 20 x 16 in.

Antionette Simmons Hodges
“Surely, Lawrence would continue with themes related to social issues of life in the cities. To follow his themes of the conditions in the cities, I painted The Protesters, using Lawrence’s simple color palette and stylized figures. The painting is of a demonstration for human rights, which could have taken place in the sixties for racial equality, or today showing unity for a common cause pertaining to immigration or protesting the many shootings of unarmed African Americans.”


Antionette Simmons Hodges, Jo Joe & Billy (set). Acrylic, 24 x 12 in.

Antionette Simmons Hodges
“This could be any southern African American couple from the past, much like my parents. I never thought of my folks as part of the Great Migration, but they were! Wiley and Annie wanted to start a new life together, free from the limits of segregation. Mom and Dad came from large families, grew up farming the land in Wetumpka, Alabama. They decided in 1940, before I was born, to leave Alabama’s cotton fields, as did many of my aunts and uncles. My parents settled in Buffalo, NY, while other family members’ destinations became Cleveland and Detroit. All were looking for a better way of life for their families, which they found working in the steel mills and car factories.”


Melissa Lowry Mosley, True North No Boundaries

Melissa Lowry Mosley
“In keeping with Lawrence’s migration theme of internal personal shift and external societal movement, my artwork commemorates the first African American NASA astronaut (Guion “Guy” Bluford, August 30, 1983) in space, and therein remembers the thirteen African American men and women who would follow him into space—two of whom were killed in space shuttle disasters (including the second African American man in space), the two who would retire having never flown in space, the very first named African American Astronaut trainee who would die in an aircraft accident, and those waiting still! The watercolor bears the caption: Continuing to move North: True North. No boundaries. Slipping our surly bonds of ‘space’ and claiming our place among the stars.”

Joseph Holston’s Panel 61

The story of migration is ongoing. In the final, 60th panel of The Migration Series, Jacob Lawrence leaves us with the words “And the migrants keep coming.” The Phillips has invited contemporary artists to continue Jacob Lawrence’s work. Check the recently launched Jacob Lawrence website for additional works to be unveiled in this dynamic curated selection, or contribute your own #Panel61.


Joseph Holston, Facing the Future, 2016. Oil/Mixed Media, 28 x 36 in.

Joseph Holston, Facing the Future

What does it take for me—black boy, black girl—to get ahead, when even at home every kid in the world is my competition? My ancestors escaped slavery, migrated north—for a chance at a better life. But I still am left behind. Weak schools? Poverty? Racism? In an ever-churning global talent pool, I still struggle to be seen. Everybody has a story. More of us than ever are searching for that elusive better life. It’s still just out of reach. I will stay focused. I will do what I have to do.

“Autumn in my Heart Lingers Too Long”


Whitfield Lovell, Kin XLV (Das Lied von der Erde), 2011. Conté on paper and string of pearls, 30 x 23 x 1/8 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, The Dreier Fund for Acquisitions, 2013 © Whitfield Lovell and DC Moore Gallery, New York

Whitfield Lovell often uses allusive titles for his works that draw references from music, film, and poetry. In this case, his subtitle echoes the name of Gustav Mahler’s 1909 composition Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth). Mahler’s piece comprises six songs for two voices and an orchestra. In this Kin, Lovell portrays the female figure with tears of pearls streaming down her face, evoking the feeling of sadness captured in Mahler’s second song, “Der Einsame im Herbst” (“The Solitary One in Autumn”).

Der Einsame im Herbst
Herbstnebel wallen bläulich überm See; Vom Reif bezogen stehen alle Gräser; Man meint, ein Künstler habe Staub von Jade Über die feinen Blüten ausgestreut.
Der süße Duft der Blumen ist verfl ogen; Ein kalter Wind beugt ihre Stengel nieder. Bald werden die verwelkten, gold’nen Blätter Der Lotosblüten auf dem Wasser zieh’n.
Mein Herz ist müde. Meine kleine Lampe Erlosch mit Knistern, es gemahnt mich an den Schlaf. Ich komm’ zu dir, traute Ruhestätte! Ja, gib mir Ruh’, ich hab’ Erquickung Not!
Ich weine viel in meinen Einsamkeiten. Der Herbst in meinem Herzen währt zu lange. Sonne der Liebe willst du nie mehr scheinen, Um meine bittern Tränen mild aufzutrocknen?
The Solitary One in Autumn
Autumn fog creeps bluishly over the lake. Every blade of grass stands frosted. As though an artist had jade-dust over the fine flowers strewn.
The sweet fragrance of flower has passed; A cold wind bows their stems low. Soon will the wilted, golden petals of lotus flowers upon the water float.
My heart is tired. My little lamp expires with a crackle, minding me to sleep. I come to you, trusted resting place. Yes, give me rest, I have need of refreshment!
I weep often in my loneliness. Autumn in my heart lingers too long. Sun of love, will you no longer shine to gently dry up my bitter tears?
–from Gustav Mahler, Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth), 1909