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Cincinnati Museum Center art exhibition On Her Shoulders explores Black women’s experience to encourage dialogue

CINCINNATI – Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) is showcasing the work of internationally acclaimed artist and poet Annie Ruth in a new exhibition that celebrates the diversity of voices and experiences in our country. Through 12 murals, On Her Shoulders shares an intimate look at the lives of Black women. The exhibition, which is free with museum admission, was created in part through ArtsWave’s Truth & Reconciliation grant and opens July 9 at Cincinnati Museum Center.

On Her Shoulders features 12 mural-sized paintings and other new works from Ruth to convey the heart and soul of Black women. With the paintings, Ruth hopes to provide a lens through which the community can gain a better understanding of Black women’s experiences.

“As Black women, we have always had to lift as we climb, often bearing the weight of the world on our shoulders, pushing through trauma, injustice and abuse to achieve,” said Ruth.

The works will help build a greater understanding and appreciation of our differences. The paintings will also be a springboard for multigenerational and multicultural story sharing and conversations.

“Representation matters. We want to provide a platform so that those voices that are quieted or never given a microphone can tell their story,” said Elizabeth Pierce, president & CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. “On Her Shoulders is an opportunity for each of us to expand our view of the world around us, to recognize and appreciate others’ experiences.”

Ruth will host an opening gallery talk on July 16 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the gallery. The gallery talk is free with museum admission.

On Her Shoulders will be open from July 9 through August 30 in CMC’s Museum of Natural History & Science. For more information, visit