Watchfires exhibit reception, artist meet-and-greet set for March 3 at Rosa Parks Museum

"Watchfires," an exhibit by artist V.L. Cox, will be on display at the Rosa Parks Museum through June 18. A reception is set for March 3.

Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum will host a reception and meet-and-greet with artist V.L. Cox, whose exhibit “Watchfires” is currently on display in the museum’s gallery, at 6 p.m. on March 3.

The exhibit, which will be on display through June 18 and is available for free viewing during the museum’s regular hours of operation, features works that employ authentic and found objects to comment on social justice and human rights issues that are still relevant today.  

“The museum’s goal with this show is to promote equality, social justice, education, and to encourage voting rights through a visual historical timeline,” said Madeline Burkhardt, the museum’s Adult Education Coordinator and Curator. “We also want visitors to fully understand that the struggle for civil and human rights is still ongoing – it did not end with Rosa Parks.”

Cox was born in Shreveport, LA, and raised in Arkansas. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Henderson State University in 1991. A professional artist for 31 years, Cox has been highly active in projects that involve human rights and equality.

Through the “Watchfires” series of work, Cox addresses the divisions within the United States that she believes have reached dangerous levels, only to be made worse against the backdrop of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

“I chose the name ‘Watchfires’ for this body of work for a reason,” Cox said. “Those who have paid the ultimate price to fight against the spread of evil, authoritarianism, and fascism, would be shocked at how the values they fought to protect are being purposefully eliminated. Those heroes and sentinels are gone. Now is the time for us to pick up the light that has fallen and take their place – we must be the ‘Watchfires.’ Now more than ever, we need the ‘Watchfires’ to burn again through the night to light up the darkness as a beacon of hope, strength, freedom, equality and civility, and to illuminate the path that once was traveled, so people can find their way home.”

In 2020, Cox was one of twenty artists in the nation to be featured in “Ministry of Truth: 1984/2020,” a New York City billboard project providing “a platform for artists to comment on the current state of US politics and increasing polarization just in time for the election.”

Cox’s work has opened at prominent locations such as The LGBT Center in New York, The Virginia Longwood Center for the Visual Arts Museum in collaboration with the Moton Museum where the Vice-Presidential debates were held, the Rosa Parks Museum coinciding with the Equal Justice Initiative, National Memorial for Peace and Justice opening, and the Virginia Holocaust Museum in Richmond. In 2019, her work was featured at the Delta Cultural Center in Helena-West Helena (Phillips County) as part of the centennial commemoration of the Elaine Massacre of 1919.

Cox currently lives in Peekskill, New York and resides in the Artist District.