Kevin Jerome Everson offers a new vernacular of American cinema, training his eye on the practice of everyday life and Black experience.

*Photo above: Kevin Jerome Everson, still from Grand Finale, 2014. Courtesy the artist; Trilobite-Arts DAC; Picture Palace Pictures.World premiere.

Oct 1 - Dec 1, 2014

Kevin Jerome Everson is an artist whose films offer a frank and poetic worldview of life and labor in America, particularly in the South. Everson interweaves vernacular culture, fictional and documentary modes of storytelling. His is a cinematic consciousness that represents Black experience as a palimpsest where place, everyday life, and historical imagination come together.

Gather Round consists of films by Everson shot in the South and Southeast, including North Carolina, as well as objects Everson has fashioned that make cameos in these films. Remembered floods, divided cities, imagined activist histories, disavowed industries, such as the auto industry—these forms of life and issues are regarded by Everson with as much care as the people in his films: rural elders with personal recollections, boisterous young girls at a fairgrounds, day laborers, cowboys and magicians.

Uncommonly exacting in his vision, Everson lingers on that which mainstream films either deny or caricature: the durational experience of work, culture and collective memory that imbues the present, the state of American industry, as well as creativity and resourcefulness summoned in the practice of everyday life.

Artist Kevin Jerome Everson's work ranges from paintings, sculpture and photographs, to a prolific output of films. His filmography includes six features (Spicebush, 2005; Cinnamon, 2006; The Golden Age of Fish, 2008; Erie, 2010; Quality Control, 2011; The Island of St. Matthews, 2013) and over 100 short form works, which have been exhibited internationally at festivals, cinemas, museums, art institutions and art biennials. Much of Everson's work depicts everyday details in the lives of working-class Americans. In 2012, Everson was awarded the prestigious Alpert Award for Film/Video.

Curated by Cora Fisher, SECCA Curator of Contemporary Art.

Exhibition Programs

Gather Round Symposium, presented by WSSU/ SECCA

Gather Round, a symposium held in partnership with Winston-Salem State University (WSSU), brings together preeminent scholars of Everson's work, of cinema studies, history and visual culture, as well as fellow artists, to convene around the artist's work. In morning and afternoon panel discussions, Everson's artistic perspectives and output will be explored through and alongside questions of regionalism, history and the representation of black experience in film, particularly in the South.

Thursday, October 2, 2014 @ 9am-7pm

FREE and Open to Public

Location: Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) Campus

WSSU is located at:

601 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

Winston-Salem, NC 27110

The panel discussions will be held in Hill Hall (Room L 05) and at the Diggs Gallery.


Terri Francis: Associate Professor, Communication and Culture, Indiana University

Michael B. Gillespie: Assistant Professor of Film, School of Interdisciplinary Arts, School of Film, and the Department of African American Studies, Ohio University

Sabine Gruffat: Media artist, filmmaker and Assistant Professor of Art at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Claudrena N. Harold: Associate Professor of History and African American Studies and African Studies at the University of Virginia

Wesley C. Hogan: Director, Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University; historian of the civil rights movement

Greg Tate: Writer, cultural producer, musician and Sterling Brown '22 Distinguished Visiting Professor of Africana Studies at Williams College


Cora Fisher: Curator of Contemporary Art, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA)

Endia Beal: Artist, Interim Director of Diggs Gallery at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU)

Corey D. B. Walker: Dean, College of Arts, Sciences, Business and Education/ John W. and Anna Hodgin Hanes Professor of the Humanities, Winston-Salem State University (WSSU)

Gather Round Symposium is organized by Corey D. B. Walker, Dean, College of Arts, Sciences, Business and Education/ John W. and Anna Hodgin Hanes Professor of the Humanities, Winston-Salem State University and Cora Fisher, Curator of Contemporary Art, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA).

Screening Series

Join us for a special screening series of films by artist Kevin Jerome Everson with an informal discussion to follow. 

Evening 1: Memory and Place

October 9, 6:30-8:30pm

Everson activates memory and oral history to ask what defines community in specific places in the South.

This evening's series will include an introduction by Dr. Corey D. B. Walker, Ph.D., Dean, College of Arts, Sciences, Business and Education at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU).

"Fifeville" (2005, 15:00, 16mm, Black & White, Sound)

An exploration of economic change and the evolving identity of Fifeville, a neighborhood in Charlottesville, Virginia. Made in collaboration with Fifeville residents and Dr. Corey D. B. Walker, Ph.D., Dean, College of Arts, Sciences, Business and Education at Winston-Salem State University.

"The Island of St. Matthews" (2013, 64:00, 16mm, color, Black & White, Sound)

The citizens of Westport, a community just west of Columbus, Mississippi, reminisce about the 1973 flood of the Tombigbee River as well as the sacred and profane role of water in their everyday lives.

Evening 2: Shorts

October 30, 6:30-8:30pm

This evening includes two world premier showings and an introduction by Cora Fisher, Curator of Contemporary Art at SECCA.

Part 1: Enacting History

Everson's use of archival footage adapts and enacts history to inflect the present.

"According to…" (2007, 8:30, 16mm, Black & White, Sound)

With a rich source of found and original footage, this short film presents several versions of tragic events in the rural South.

"Rhinoceros" (2012, 6:21, VHS, Black & White and Color, Italian Language with English Subtitles)

In this historical adaptation, Renaissance politician Alessandro de'Medici is recast as a televisual revolutionary making a passionate broadcast to rally the people of Florence.

Part II: Gather Round

These short films bear witness to a variety of everyday experiences, many rooted in the South, from work to recreation.

"Stone" (2013, 6:50, HD, Color, Sound)

Stone is getting his hustle on. A group of kids gather. Shot in Columbus, Mississippi.

"Sound That" (2014, 11:40, 16mm, Color, Sound)

Employees of the Cleveland Water Department are on the hunt for leaks in the infrastructure in Cuyahoga County, listening to the water below.

"Company Line" (2009, 30:00, Mini DV, Photographs, Color and Black & White, Sound)

A reflection on the Black Migration and change, Everson returns to Mansfield, Ohio, where he was born and raised, inviting residents and city employees to narrate their families' experiences of migrating from the South.

"A Saturday Night in Mansfield Ohio 2? (2014, 2:22, 16mm, Color, Silent)

In this film, double exposure creates a layered effect of time playing on an old-fashioned pastime.

"Juneteenth Columbus, Mississippi" (2013, 2:10, 16mm, Color, Silent)

This fairgrounds outing is celebrated one frame at a time.

World premiere: "Grand Finale" (2014, 4:41, HD, Color, Sound)

The end of a lovely evening in Windsor, Ontario.

Evening 3: Erie

November 16, 2-4pm

This evening enjoy one of Kevin Jerome Everson's feature films, "Erie."

Introduction by Cora Fisher, Curator of Contemporary Art at SECCA.

"Erie" (2010, 81:00, 16mm, Black & White, Sound)

Between dream and social documentary, this film stitches together single-take shots of communities near Lake Erie, recalling the Great Migration from the Southmeshed passages of contemporary life.

Screenings take place in the SECCA McChesney Scott Dunn Auditorium.