NFL player and SMU alumnus Kelvin Beachum’s collection of art by Black artists featured in SMU Libraries exhibit

couple outside in front of cactus
Kelvin and Jessica Beachum are lending ten paintings from their art collection to SMU’s Hamon Arts Library for an exhibit February 18 through May 22. Kelvin Beachum is an offensive tackle for the Arizona Cardinals and a graduate of SMU. Courtesy photo

Exhibit Runs From February 18 through May 22

DALLAS (SMU) – Arizona Cardinals offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum and his wife, Jessica, are lending ten paintings from their art collection to SMU’s Hamon Arts Library for an exhibit February 18 through May 22.   Each piece represents a unique visual narrative of the Black experience.


“We are sharing these pieces from our collection to bring recognition to the artists,” Beachum says. “We believe that their brilliant work and shared insights will start a conversation and bring people together in a new way.  We are excited to be stewards of their work as well as catalysts for promoting their perspectives and ideas.”


Jessica and Kelvin Beachum began acquiring art in 2013 as a way to understand life through the lenses of visual artists.  In nine years, they have assembled a significant collection of works by both well-known and emerging artists.

oil painting
Dominic Chambers, “The Night is Our Friend,” oil on canvas.

The exhibit, “Narrative as Reality: A World Reimagined/ Selections from the Jessica and Kelvin Beachum Family Collection,” includes an oil on canvas by Dominic Chambers, recently included on Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list as one of the most exciting emerging artists of his generation. Artist Ryan Cosbert’s painting, Mayhem No. 2, is part of a series she started after George Floyd’s 2020 death. Multidisciplinary artist Robert Hodge used reclaimed paper from the sidewalk and movie posters in his Houston neighborhood for his work, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.


Other artists represented in the exhibit include Mario Moore, Robert Pruitt, Nelson Makamo, Delita Martin, Sungi Mlengeya, Athi-Patra Ruga and Ferrari Sheppard. “A glimpse into the Jessica and Kelvin Beachum Family Collection reveals an artistic world of hope, Black joy, reality and aspiration,” says exhibit curator Valerie Gillespie.


The exhibit will take place in the Mildred Hawn Gallery in SMU’s Hamon Arts Library. Located within the Owen Arts Center, the exhibit will inspire arts students as well as off-campus visitors.  Exhibiting artists Dominic Chambers, Ryan Cosbert and Robert Hodge will visit students in studio art classes and as well as students studying U.S. civil rights history and traveling on the same civil rights pilgrimage that inspired Beachum as an SMU student.


About Jessica and Kelvin Beachum

Kelvin Beachum graduated from SMU in 2010 with a B.A. in Economics and earned a Master of Liberal Studies in Organizational Dynamics in 2012. A four-year starter as offensive tackle for SMU Mustang football, he continues to serve his alma mater as a member of the Executive Boards for the Simmons School of Education and Human Development and Lyle School of Engineering. Named an SMU Emerging Leader in 2018, Kelvin honored the late Dennis Simon, his political science professor and mentor, by endowing SMU’s annual Civil Rights Pilgrimage in Simon’s name.


Drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2012, Kelvin has played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, the New York Jets and now the Arizona Cardinals during his 10-year NFL career. Twice nominated for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, Beachum is an advocate for equity in education and business, ending hunger, providing access to clean water and encouraging under-represented youth to pursue STEAM disciplines. Beachum also serves on the African Acquisitions Committee for the Tate Foundation.


Jessica Beachum graduated from Baylor in 2011 with a degree in Sociology. She earned her B.S. in Nursing in 2017 from Duquesne University and her M.S. in Healthcare Delivery in 2021 from Arizona State University.




EXHIBIT: “Narrative as Reality: A World Reimagined/ Selections From the Jessica and Kelvin Beachum Family Collection”


HOURS AND DATES: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday-Friday; noon to 5 p.m., Saturday; 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday. Exhibit runs February 18 through May 22.


LOCATION AND PARKING: Mildred Hawn Gallery, Hamon Arts Library, Owen Arts Center, 6101 Bishop Blvd. Visitor parking.


FOR MORE INFORMATION:  Hamon Arts Library, 214-768-3813.


RENOVATION ENTRANCE: Enter Owen Arts Center from the south entrance due to building renovation.