BROWNWOOD, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Art can be a transformative experience, a language to share memories that live outside our own. The Brownwood Art Association is using the month of February to highlight stories that, too often, go untold. This month, the museum is proudly displaying the Coretta Scott King award-winning books and art on loan from the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature (NCCIL) in Abilene, along with photography of Louisiana done by center president, Anthony Reine.

“It’s a celebration. We grew up here, and to be able to see this happening is a little emotional but in all the best ways,” said Brownwood Chamber of Commerce member, Domonique Glaeske.

The subject matter is a first for the Brownwood Arts Association. Secretary LeCorya Finley presented the idea for the exhibit to the board just last year.

“It’s actually a very proud moment, not only because it’s the first time here, but… A lot of people say it’s Black History Month, but it’s actually American history,” Finley boasted.

Brownwood Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Kandice Harris continued down that same path, “It creates an avenue where we can discuss the ‘Black Experience’ in a healthy environment – Black joy and happiness, and family. But also, talk about some of those things in history that are difficult to talk about.”

On one wall, Reine’s Louisiana photography captures the architecture, and, at times, beauty of the state while shining a light on the disparity between races of years past.

“It’s informational and educational for most people to see things that they hear about but never seen,” Reine said.

Finely spoke to the artist’s work, “The way he captured the images… It really speaks to you.”

Black History, like all history, is multifaceted. For every painful memory, a happy scene sits just across the room. The culture, family, and love that comes with being Black in America shines through each piece in the Coretta Scott King exhibit.

“Mufaro’s beautiful daughters. I remember reading that in school, and to be able to see that on the wall kind of gave me warm feels,” added Glaeske.

Image from the book Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale by John Steptoe

Both sides of the exhibit offer an opportunity to learn and be reminded that their lived experiences are worth celebration.

“It’s really important,” Glaeske encouraged. “To see ourselves in any medium that’s available, it means a lot.”

The free to the public exhibit will be on display through February with special song and poetry presentations on Feb. 16.