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SITES is pleased to announce that two FREE apps are available in conjunction with our traveling exhibition "Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey."

For both iOS and Android, the first is a conversational audio tour (available for web here) with 20 stops that gives listeners new intellectual routes into the works of Romare Bearden and into the bewitching heart of Homer’s “The Odyssey.” Voices on the tour include Dr. Robert O’Meally, exhibition curator and Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He is joined by Diedra Harris-Kelley, Bearden’s niece and the co-director of the Romare Bearden Foundation. Artist, writer and musician, Paul Miller, aka DJ Spooky, provides additional perspective, contributing his own thoughts about Bearden’s genius. Jazz musician Branford Marsalis contributes to the audio tour with the song “Sea Breeze,” originally composed by the multi-talented Romare Bearden.


Bearden believed that “all of us from the time we begin to think are on an odyssey.” The "Romare Bearden: Black Odyssey Remixes" app (VERSION 2 is now available!) was created with Bearden's quote in mind. With this lively, colorful, and highly engaging iPad app, you can remix COLLAGES from Bearden's original series to create your own unique works of art, and express your personal journey. Choose from a variety of Bearden’s backdrops and layer in shapes and forms from other collages. Or cut your own shapes, add personal photos, change the colors of various elements and resize them. You can also add written words and descriptions.


Music played a big role in Bearden’s life and his art, so the app also incorporates sound. While you build your collages, you can mash up audio such as ocean waves, jazz riffs, warriors fighting, or even your own voice. Save your visual collages and post them to a public gallery--where they can be tagged and revisited by other users--and share with friends on Facebook, Twitter, or email. You can also learn more about the traveling exhibition, Bearden's life, and the companion exhibition audio tour app.

"Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey," from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), represents the first full-scale presentation of these works outside of New York City. “Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey” will debut at the Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem, N.C., October 13, 2012, and will remain on view through January 13, 2013, before continuing on a seven-city national tour through 2014. “Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey” and its related educational resources are supported by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.