The Peoria Riverfront Museum spotlights the work of the world’s leading contemporary black male artists with “American Verses: Terry Adkins, Mark Bradford & Kerry James Marshall,” a new exhibition opening Saturday, March 13. The yearlong show, in partnership with Art Bridges Foundation and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, runs through March 2022. 

“'American Verses’ focuses on a selection of works by three of the most important contemporary Black male artists, Terry Adkins, Mark Bradford, and Kerry James Marshall,” said Bill Conger, museum chief curator. “They were chosen in response to the use of literary references that inform their works, offering insightful perspectives of the Black American male experience and inviting deeper conversations.” 

The artwork featured in the exhibition includes Adkins “Native Son (Circus),” a sculpture made of cymbals; Bradford’s “Thelxiepeia,” an 8-ft. x 18-ft. mixed media painting; and Marshall’s preparatory drawings for “Our Town,” which explores themes of racial identity and belonging. The works are on loan from Art Bridges and Crystal Bridges. 

Also opening March 13 is “Community: African American Freedom, Perseverance & Leadership During Migration,” a special exhibition on the shaping of America and in particular the Illinois communities of Brooklyn and New Philadelphia by freedom-seeking Black achievers, including former Peoria and Brooklyn resident Annie Malone, America’s first Black woman millionaire. It is sponsored by the Visionary Society. 

Entry is free for members and Every Student Initiative Student+Family Fun Pass holders, $11 adults, $10 seniors age 60+ and students with ID, and $9 youth ages 3-17. The Giant Screen Theater experience is extra. For more information call 309.686.7000 or visit

Peoria Riverfront Museum 

The only multidisciplinary museum of its kind in the nation, the Peoria Riverfront Museum uses art, science, history and achievement to inspire confidence, lifelong learning, and talent. Since opening in 2012, the privately funded museum has provided more than one million experiences through major exhibitions, a permanent collection, interactive galleries, a dome planetarium, giant screen theater and educational programming including curricula-related student visits. The AAM-accredited, Smithsonian-affiliated private nonprofit museum is supported by more than 4,000 members and donors and is housed in a county-owned LEED Gold-certified building on a campus overlooking the Illinois River. 

CONTACT: Cathie Neumiller, VP Marketing & Communications, Peoria Riverfront Museum | 309.863.3006 |