Thursday, February 28, 2008

Target First Saturdays @ The Brooklyn Museum, March 1, 2008

At the Brooklyn Museum's Target First Saturdays, thousands of visitors enjoy free programs of art and entertainment each month from 5–11 p.m. All evening long, the Museum Café serves a wide selection of sandwiches, salads, and beverages, and a cash bar offers wine and beer. Parking is a flat rate of $4 starting at 5 p.m. All other Saturdays, the Museum closes at 6 p.m.

Please note that due to limited capacities, some Target First Saturday programs require tickets. Ticket lines often form 30 minutes before ticket distribution at the Visitor Center located in the Rubin Lobby. Programs are subject to change.
Photos Videos MySpace Mailing List

Celebrate Women's History Month Carnival-Style

6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. Music
Hall of the Americas, 1st Floor

Lucía Pulido puts her own spin on traditional Colombian rhythms.

6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. Poetry
Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Forum, 4th Floor

Chilean poet and artist Cecilia Vicuña debuts a multimedia program involving poetry, film, and music, based on the Paracas Textile. A Q & A follows. Free tickets (30) are available at the Visitor Center at 5 p.m.

6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m. Hands-On Art
Education Division, 1st Floor

Sculpt an animal-inspired clay pot. Free timed tickets (380) are available at the Visitor Center at 5:30 p.m.

6:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m. Dance
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, 3rd Floor

Ballet Folklorico Perú performs traditional Peruvian dance and music. A Q & A follows. Free tickets (330) are available at the Visitor Center at 5 p.m.

7:00 p.m. Young Voices Gallery Talk
Meet at the entrance to American Identities, 5th Floor

Student guides present an interactive tour "Looking At Art: Critical and Formal Perspectives" in American Identities.

7:30 p.m. Young Voices Gallery Talk
Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, 4th Floor

Grace Opper, a Student Guide, leads an interactive gallery talk in the exhibition Ghada Amer: Love Has No End.

8:00 p.m. Curator Talk
Hall of the Americas, 1st Floor

Nancy Rosoff, with a Sign Language interpreter, leads a multisensory tour of the Andean textile collection. Free tickets (30) are available at the Visitor Center at 7 p.m.

8:30 p.m. Film
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, 3rd Floor

Witness the power of music to overcome violence in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in Favela Rising (Matt Mochary and Jeff Zimbalist, 2005, 80 min., NR). A Q & A with director Jeff Zimbalist follows. Free tickets are available (330) at the Visitor Center at 7 p.m.

9:00 p.m.–11:00 p.m. Music
Hall of the Americas, 1st Floor

Tango band Los Chantas performs.

9:00 p.m.–11:00 p.m. Dance Party
Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Pavilion, 1st Floor

BrazilianBeat Brooklyn's DJ Sean Marquand spins Brazilian dance music, Mardi Gras rhythms, and soca beats saluting carnivals of the world.

Sponsored by Target

Made possible by the Wallace Foundation Community Programs Fund, established by the Wallace Foundation, with additional support from DLA Piper US LLP, The Ellis A. Gimbel Trust, KeySpan Energy, and other donors. Also supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Community Trust. Media sponsor: New York Times Community Affairs Department.

All images and text courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Rare Footage of Jean Michel Basquait: 1960-1988

Please check out this extremely rare documented footage of one of the most prolific graffiti artist to ever grace the face of earth. Enjoy!!

For more information on this artist, please visit Basquait's website.

The Sound of Art Announces The Launching Of The Peralta Project Website 4.0


The Peralta Project Was first launched in 2000 under the name, which served as a digital portfolio for M.Tony Peralta's work. As the years passed and M.Tony's work evolved from "Graphic Design" to painting, screen printing and a indie t-shirt line,The Peralta Project was born. The Peralta Project showcases his latest work, paintings and t-shirts. The new site is much more clean and stylized showing M.Tony's maturity in graphic design and letting his body of work speak for itself. This new site is comprised of 3 components: WORK (The portfolio), SHOP (The Online Store), and BLOG (a look into his thoughts and progress.) So log on, and Witness this great up and coming artist's life in progress.


Image courtesy of the artist's website.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Charlie Rose Discusses Romare Bearden

Black History Month Artist Spotlight #9: Romare Bearden

In a Green Shade, 1984. Collage and watercolor on board, 30 x 22 in.

Romare Howard Bearden was born on September 2, 1911, to (Richard) Howard and Bessye Bearden in Charlotte, North Carolina, and died in New York City on March 12, 1988, at the age of 76. His life and art are marked by exceptional talent, encompassing a broad range of intellectual and scholarly interests, including music, performing arts, history, literature and world art. Bearden was also a celebrated humanist, as demonstrated by his lifelong support of young, emerging artists.

Romare BeardenRomare Bearden began college at Lincoln University, transferred to Boston University and completed his studies at New York University (NYU), graduating with a degree in education. While at NYU, Bearden took extensive courses in art and was a lead cartoonist and then art editor for the monthly journal The Medley. He had also been art director of Beanpot, the student humor magazine of Boston University. Bearden published many journal covers during his university years and the first of numerous texts he would write on social and artistic issues. He also attended the Art Students League in New York and later, the Sorbonne in Paris. In 1935, Bearden became a weekly editorial cartoonist for the Baltimore Afro-American, which he continued doing until 1937.

After joining the Harlem Artists Guild, Bearden embarked on his lifelong study of art, gathering inspiration from Western masters ranging from Duccio, Giotto and de Hooch to Cezanne, Picasso and Matisse, as well as from African art (particularly sculpture, masks and textiles), Byzantine mosaics, Japanese prints and Chinese landscape paintings.

From the mid-1930s through 1960s, Bearden was a social worker with the New York City Department of Social Services, working on his art at night and on weekends. His success as an artist was recognized with his first solo exhibition in Harlem in 1940 and his first solo show in Washington, DC, in 1944. Bearden was a prolific artist whose works were exhibited during his lifetime throughout the United States and Europe. His collages, watercolors, oils, photomontages and prints are imbued with visual metaphors from his past in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Harlem and from a variety of historical, literary and musical sources.

Romare Bearden
In 1954, Bearden married Nanette Rohan, with whom he spent the rest of his life. In the early 1970s, he and Nanette established a second residence on the Caribbean island of St. Martin, his wife's ancestral home, and some of his later work reflected the island's lush landscapes. Among his many friends, Bearden had close associations with such distinguished artists, intellectuals and musicians as James Baldwin, Stuart Davis, Duke Ellington, Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison, Joan Miró, George Grosz, Alvin Ailey and Jacob Lawrence.

Bearden was also a respected writer and an eloquent spokesman on artistic and social issues of the day. Active in many arts organizations, in 1964 Bearden was appointed the first art director of the newly established Harlem Cultural Council, a prominent African-American advocacy group. He was involved in founding several important art venues, such as The Studio Museum in Harlem and the Cinque Gallery. Initially funded by the Ford Foundation, Bearden and the artists Norman Lewis and Ernest Crichlow established Cinque to support younger minority artists. Bearden was also one of the founding members of the Black Academy of Arts and Letters in 1970 and was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1972.

Romare BeardenRecognized as one of the most creative and original visual artists of the twentieth century, Romare Bearden had a prolific and distinguished career. He experimented with many different mediums and artistic styles, but is best known for his richly textured collages, two of which appeared on the covers of Fortune and Time magazines, in 1968. An innovative artist with diverse interests, Bearden also designed costumes and sets for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and programs, sets and designs for Nanette Bearden's Contemporary Dance Theatre.

Among Bearden's numerous publications are: A History of African American Artists: From 1792 to the Present, which was coauthored with Harry Henderson and published posthumously in 1993; The Caribbean Poetry of Derek Walcott and the Art of Romare Bearden (1983); Six Black Masters of American Art, coauthored with Harry Henderson (1972); The Painter's Mind: A Study of the Relations of Structure and Space in Painting, coauthored with Carl Holty (1969); and Li'l Dan, the Drummer Boy: A Civil War Story, a children's book published posthumously in September 2003.

Bearden's work is included in many important public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and The Studio Museum in Harlem, among others. He has had retrospectives at the Mint Museum of Art (1980), the Detroit Institute of the Arts (1986), as well as numerous posthumous retrospectives, including The Studio Museum in Harlem (1991) and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (2003).

Bearden was the recipient of many awards and honors throughout his lifetime. Honorary doctorates were given by Pratt Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Davidson College and Atlanta University, to name but a few. He received the Mayor's Award of Honor for Art and Culture in New York City in 1984 and the National Medal of Arts, presented by President Ronald Reagan, in 1987.

Text and image courtesy of the Bearden Foundation.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Black History Month Artist Spotlight #8: Norman Lewis (1909-1979)

Yellow Hat (1936)

Norman Lewis, born in 1909 in New York, was the first major African American abstract expressionist. Lewis, like fellow artist, Jacob Lawrence attended the art workshops in Harlem. At the art centers Lewis studied African art and was introduced to Howard University professor, Alain Locke's ideas about art, which Locke believed, should derive from African themes and aesthetics. However Lewis saw limitations in the New Negro ideals and questioned its effectiveness in expressing his own identity and interests of the African American community. Lewis later moved from abstract figuration to modernism, as exemplified by artists Wassily Kandinsky and Pablo Picasso. His paintings from this time are devoid of realistic imagery and focused more on conceptual expression, often referring to African American settings and culture. Lewis, always active in the art community, in the 1960s was a founding member of the Spiral Group, a group of African American artists who sought to contribute through their art to the civil rights movement.

All text and imagery courtesy of

Canvas Paper and Stone Gallery and Reconstruct Art Presents Contemporary Interpretation of History and Culture

Canvas Paper and Stone Gallery hosts an Artists Gallery Talk featuring William Mwazi & Willy Kingler Bercy on Saturday, February 23, 2008 from 4-6pm.

Please RSVP to Gallery at 212-694-1747 or

For more information, visit the gallery's website here.

Image courtesy of Canvsas Paper and Stone Gallery.

Target Family Sunday @ The Detroit Institute of Arts, 02/24/08

Target Family Sundays

Sunday, February 24, 2008 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Storytelling: Madelyn Porter
2 p.m.
Join storyteller Madelyn Porter for Black History Month as she weaves tales of joy, wisdom and spirit with an exuberant presentation that brings her stories to life and makes them live on in your memory.

Drop-In Workshop: Senufo Painting
1–5 p.m.
(12 and under must be with an adult)

Explore a West African form of painting on fabric.

Drawing in the Galleries for Adults and Youth
1–5 p.m.
(Ages 6 and older, children 12 and younger must be accompanied by an adult)

Artist/instructors help participants create pencil drawings to take home. No experience necessary; materials provided.

Location: Contemporary Galleries, Level 2

Adventures in Drawing
1–5 p.m.
(Ages 5 and younger. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Please remain with your children at all times. DIA is not responsible for children left unattended.)

Children explore creative expression through drawing with assistance from museum instructors.

Location: Family Room, Level 2

Presented by Target!

General Information about DIA

Detroit Institute of Arts
5200 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48202
Main Line: 313.833.7900
Weekend Hotline: 313.833.7530
TDD: 313.833.1454

Wednesdays and Thursdays 10 a.m.—5 p.m.
Fridays 10 a.m.—10 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m.—6 p.m.
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays

$8 per adult
$4 per youth (ages 6—17)
$6 seniors
Members get in free. Click here for more information about becoming a DIA member.

Box Office
Tuesdays—Sundays, 9 a.m.—5 p.m.
Tickets may be purchased in advance for exhibitions, programs and events. The Box Office is located at the Farnsworth lobby. For general information: call 313.833.4005. For information on group tours call, 313.833.1292. Please note: Although the Box Office is open on Tuesdays, the museum remains closed.

Detroit Film Theatre Box Office
DFT tickets may be purchased before the film. The Box Office is located at the DFT entrance on John R. Click here for a full schedule. For information call, 313.833.2323.

CaféDIA has plenty to please all art-lovers palates! Click here for information on CaféDIA and the Kresge Court Coffee Stop.

Hotel Packages
Hotel Packages are now available at the new DIA:
1. The Inn of Ferry Street
2. The Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center
3. Courtyard by Marriott
4. The Dearborn Inn, A Marriott Hotel

Click here for detailed directions to the DIA.
For the most up-to-date road construction information click here.


* Valet parking is available at the Farnsworth Street entrance ($8).
* Secured self-parking is available directly behind the museum on John R Street.
* Self-parking is also available at the Underground parking garage on the corner of Woodward and Farnsworth.
o This lot is owned and operated by the City of Detroit. To confirm hours and pricing, please call (313) 221-2500 or click here to visit their website.

Special Needs
Facilities are wheelchair and stroller-accessible via the Farnsworth entrance; for information, call 313.833.7940.

Guidelines for Visiting
The DIA belongs to all of us, and to ensure that everyone enjoys their visit, please observe the following guidelines:

* Please check coats, backpacks, tote bags, briefcases, umbrellas and portfolios at the attended coatroom at the Farnsworth entrance. This is a complimentary service. In addition, please be aware that all bags must be inspected upon entrance to the museum. We appreciate your cooperation, and apologize for any inconvenience.
* To protect the art, food, drink, gum and candy are not allowed in the galleries. Food and beverages may be purchased and enjoyed in CaféDIA and Kresge court.
* The DIA is a non-smoking building.
* Because a small amount of oil and dirt can cause damage, visitors are asked not to touch the artwork. Younger guests can learn more about this policy by visiting Artie the Donkey.
* In most cases, sketching is permitted in all galleries of the DIA. Sketching permits can be obtained from the welcome desks at the Farnsworth entrance. Sketching is generally not permitted in special exhibitions.

Family Fun
Open your child's eyes to the fascinating world of art with audio tours and guides designed especially for families. Visit the Farnsworth entrance to pick up family guides and access audio tours.

Drop-in art workshops, drawing in the galleries, storytelling, live music and family performances also provide engaging experiences for families. The DIA is open until 10 p.m. on Fridays with kid-friendly food, music and, of course, great art. Sundays are dedicated to families with activities from puppet shows and theater to live music and storytellers.

Daily Guided Tours
Get to know your new DIA. Meet in Farnsworth Lobby for free guided tours Wednesdays & Thursdays at 1:00 p.m., Fridays at 1:00, 6:00 and 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays & Sundays at 1:00 and 3:00 p.m.

Audio/Multimedia Tours
Director’s Choice and Youth Audio Tours are available for $2 at the Farnsworth entrance. Tours are available in Spanish and Japanese.

The Rivera Court Multimedia Tour is available for $3 at the information desk in Rivera Court. The tour is available in Spanish.

Hospitality DIA
Let a museum ambassador personalize your visit. The DIA offers this service to groups of 10 or more adults. A trained ambassador helps with arrangements over the phone and meets your group at the museum. This service is free with museum admission. Phone 9 a.m.—5 p.m. 313.833.0247.

All text and imagery courtesy of The Detroit Museum of Art.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Black History Month Artist Spotlight #7: Beauford Delaney (1907-1979)

Self Portrait, Yaddo
Pastel, watercolor and charcoal on paper, 15 x 12 in.

In Amazing Grace: A Life of Beauford Delaney, author David Leeming offers a tender and well written biography of the life and passing of a talented 20th century African-American expatriate artist.

Born in 1901, Delaney spent his childhood and teen years in Knoxville, Tennessee. He then moved to Boston, then to Harlem and other New York City locations, and finally to France, mostly Paris. We follow his artistic development and see him gain fame and notoriety as he spends his entire professional adult life as a painter of pictures. He dies on March 25, 1979, in Paris.

Along the way, Delaney befriends a young author, James Baldwin, and a lifelong friendship ensues. Likewise with author Henry Miller, who introduced many people to Delaney in his essay "The Amazing and Invariable Beauford Delaney." These are but a few of the blue chip intellectuals to whom Delaney was kindred soul, friend, and mentor.

Predictably, early critics of Delaney's paintings lauded his wit and eye, yet insisted upon pigeon-holing him as a "Negro artist" -- handicap implied but never articulated. If we must categorize or label, let us call him a "black genius."

Delaney's love of and life carried him through many economic and spiritual crises. Early critics, reviewing his paintings, rarely put aside racial prejudices for Beauford. But then nonwhites and women of any race have never truly been admitted to the uppermost clubs of Western art history and the art market it serves.

A natural draughtsman, Delaney went beyond the rendering of likeness onto the rendering of feelings, of emotional temperatures. Truly plastic in his technical ability, Delaney worked both in the realistic and the abstract modes, with great kinaesthetic implications.

A selection of color plates at the center of the book show Delaney's great range as an artist. They reveal paintings that show great human strength in one, great human frailty in the next.

In Delaney, we find a metaphysical and metamorphic artist at work. There is great variety in what he eye sees. Indeed, in many it is as if he sees through different sets of eyes, not only his own. Some paintings are painted as a bird might have perceived the scene, or as a street lamp might. There is an active search for artistic truth going on here.

Like so many of us, Delaney suffered from alcoholism and its attendant problems. In the early 1960s he was diagnosed by one psychiatrist as having paranoid delusions aggravated by alcohol. Regardless of the psychiatric diagnosis, clearly Delaney was a very sensitive person stressed by slow art sales, friends departing, and his own poor nutritional habits. These predisposing conditions precipitated depression, followed by heavy drinking.

The book came to me via Marty N. of the Oakland Lifering Secular Recovery group. Marty obtained it from another American expatriate artist and longtime SOS member, Charley Boggs -- a longtime friend of Delaney's. Boggs helped his troubled friend with financial support, lodging and friendship during times that were some of the least graceful in Delaney's life -- when his mind and body were falling apart. This extension of friendship to a troubled friend is particularly poignant for myself as another person who shouldn't drink alcohol. If others hadn't been there for me, where might I be now? A toast to you, Charley!

Author David Leeming tells the story of Delaney's life clearly and without saccharine sentiment or needless decoration. Although tough times descend on Delaney over and over again, to dwell upon the sadness would obscure the phoenix of joy and humanity that springs out of Beauford Delaney's body of work.

Text courtesy of
Image courtesy of The Minnesota Museum.

Swann Galleries Present Printed & Manuscript African Americana, Thursday, 02/21/08

Date: February 21, 2008
Time: 1:30 PM
Exhibition: Wednesday, Feb. 13, 10-6
Thursday, Feb. 14, 10-6
Friday, Feb. 15, 10-6
Saturday, Feb. 16, 10-4
Monday, Feb. 18, 10-6
Tuesday, Feb. 19, 10-6
Wednesday, Feb. 20, 10-6
Thursday, Feb. 21, 10-noon

The sale offers selections related to Slavery and Abolition as well as pieces from Jefferson Davis' brother to Madame C.J Walker to Black Panther posters and much more.

Contact: Wyatt Houston Day

Swann Galleries, Inc.
104 East 25th Street
New York, NY 10010
tel: 212-254-4710
fax: 212-979-1017

All images courtesy of Swann Galleries, Inc website.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Swann Galleries, African-American Fine Art Auction, February 19, 2008

Aaron Douglas, Emperor Jones, 1926, gouache on paper. Estimate $35,000 to $50,000

Tuesday, February 19, 2008 at 1:30pm

Exhibition Date & Times:
Wed 2/13-Fri 2/15: 10am-6pm
Sat 2/16: 10am-4pm
Mon 2/18: 10am-6pm
Tues 2/19: 10am-noon

The sale offers 250 paintings, drawings, collages, prints and sculpture by notable artists from Henry Ossawa Tanner to Elizabeth Catlett.

Contact: Nigel Freeman, Director of African-American Art

Swann Galleries, Inc.
104 East 25th Street
New York, NY 10010
tel: 212-254-4710
fax: 212-979-1017

For more informationa, contact Swann Galleries.

Event Pics from The National Black Fine Art Show

This past weekend, I had the privilege to attend The Natitonal Black Fine Art Show in NYC, SoHo(courtesy of Essence Magazine). Gallery owners from every corner of the country and abroad gathered to present the best in African American art, contemporary and traditional. I would loved to have purchased a piece of art by a master painter but I did not leave empty-handed; I purchased a couple of exhibition catalogues ( African-American Artists-III and Abstractionists Visions: Works on Paper-Beauford Delaney and Norman Lewis). Listed below are a a few pictures (i was not suppose to take any) as well as participating galleries. Enjoy!!

Participating Galleries included:

Aaron Galleries, Chicago, IL
Peg Alston Fine Arts, Inc., New York, NY
Art 70th Gallery, Ltd., New York, NY
Art Around Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
ArtJaz Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Avisca Fine Art, Marietta, GA
Carter Studio, Dix Hills, NY
Cernuda Arte, Coral Gables, FL
Dolan/Maxwell, Philadelphia, PA
E & S Gallery, Inc., Louisville, KY
Galerie Bourbon-Lally, Petionville, Haiti
Gallery Guichard, Chicago, IL
Golden Galleries, Brighton, CO
William Greenbaum Fine Art, Gloucester, MA
M. Hanks Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
Hatch-Billops Collection, New York, NY
Hearne Fine Art, Little Rock, AR
Bill Hodges Gallery, New York, NY
Intemporel, Paris, France
International Visions Gallery, LLC., Washington, DC
Stella Jones Gallery, New Orleans, LA
Joysmith/Sunsum Gallery, Memphis, TN
Jubilee Fine Art, Hartford, CT
Just Lookin' Gallery, Hagerstown, MD
Kenkeleba Gallery, New York, NY
Lusenhop Fine Art, Chicago, IL
Michelle's of Delaware, Wilmington, DE
Mojo Portfolio, Union City, NJ
NCA Gallery, Detroit, Detroit, MI
Nicole Gallery, Chicago, IL
G.R. N'Namdi Gallery, Chicago, IL
Panopticon Gallery of Photography, Boston, MA
Parish Gallery-Georgetown, Washington, DC
Spence Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
Sragow Gallery, New York, NY
Seth Taffae Fine Art, New York, NY
Vargas Fine Art, Inc., Lanham, MD
Sande Webster Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Special thanks to Essence Magazine and the other sponsors for making this event possible.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Black History Month Artist Spotlight # 6: Aaron Douglas

Song of The Towers (1934)

Born in Kansas in 1898, Douglas received a BA in art from the University of Nebraska. Douglas taught art in Kansas City for a few years until he decided to pursue a career as an artist and headed to New York to earn his MA from Columbia University. Douglas also studied with Winold Reiss, an illustrator from Germany, who encouraged him to look to African art and themes for inspiration in his work. Douglas soon began integrating African design in his work which caught the attention of Alain Locke, who later called Douglas the "pioneering Africanist." Douglas designed and illustrated Alain Locke's "The New Negro" and contributed regularly to such widely read journals as the NAACP's THE CRISIS and The Urban League's OPPORTUNITY. In 1928, Douglas became the first president of the Harlem Artists Guild, which was successful in helping African American artists obtain projects under the Works Progress Administration. In 1940 he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where he founded the Art Department at Fisk University and taught for 29 years.

Image courtesy of Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
Text courtesy of

HEATH GALLERY NEW YORK presents "deep folk"

paintings, collages and mixed media by Patrick-Earl Barnes

February 1-March 2, 2008

Opening Reception
Saturday, February 9, 2008
6:00-9:00 p.m.

Gallery Talk
Friday, February 15, 2008
7:00 p.m.

24 West 120th Street
New York, NY 10027

For more information, go to the Heath Gallery New York site.

Image courtesy of Heath Gallery New York.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Black History Artist Spotlight #5: Augusta Savage (1892-1962)

Gamin, ca. 1930. Augusta Savage.
Painted Plaster, 9x5 5/8 x 4 1/4 in.

Augusta Savage was born on February 29, 1892 in Green Cove Springs, Florida. Augusta knew at an early age that she wanted to become a sculptor. Unfortunately, Savage's father, a Methodist minister, disapproved of his daughter's love for art because he believed her creations were pagan. As a result, Augusta experienced periods in her life when she was unable to practice her sculpting. In 1915, the Savage family left Green Cove Springs and moved to West Palm Beach. It was in West Palm Beach that Augusta realized that her future was in sculpting. At a 1919 county fair, Savage was given an award for a group of her sculptures and was inspired to become a professional artist. Soon after her success, Augusta Savage moved to Jacksonville, Florida in search of work as a sculptor. Like so many blacks living in the South around this time, Savage's efforts to establish herself proved unsuccessful. In 1921, Augusta Savage moved to New York believing that the North would provide her with the artistic opportunity she desired; a belief shared by many blacks during the Migration era.

When Augusta Savage reached Harlem, it did not take long for her to establish herself not only as an artist, but also as a teacher. Most of Savage's sculptures, in some way, reflect an aspect of African-American culture. For example, The Harp was a sculpture influenced by Negro spirituals and hymns, most notably James Weldon Johnson's "Lift Every Voice and Sing." Ms. Savage was unique from other artists in that most of her sculptures focused on black physiognomy. This is readily seen in a sculpture of her nephew entitled Gamin. It was this sculpture that won Augusta Savage the Julius Rosenwald Fellowship in 1929 and the opportunity to study in Paris for one year. After returning home from Europe, Savage was ready to share he art with the Harlem community through teaching.

In 1932, Augusta established the Savage Studio of Arts and Crafts at 163 West 143rd Street. Savage used this studio as a way to provide adults with art education. In 1937, she became the first director of the Harlem Community Arts Center, an institution funded by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The Arts Center was a place where African Americans could learn about their culture through the study of fine arts. One of the greatest highlights of Augusta Savage's life was her involvement with the the "306" Group--so named because of the location of Charles Alston's studio (306 West 141st Street). This group was comprised of a variety of WPA artists who worked out of the studio on 141st Street. Some of the other "306" members included Charles Alston, Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, and Morgan and Marvin Smith. After 1945, Augusta Savage reduced the amount of sculpting she did and fell into seclusion. Though no longer in the spotlight, Savage continued to teach sculpting and other art to both children and adults throughout New York.

Both text and image courtesy of Kenyon College website.

RECOGNIZE! Hip Hop and Contemporary Portraiture @ The Smithsonian

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five By Kehinde Wiley
Oil on canvas, 2005
Collection Glenn Fuhrman, New York; (c) Kehinde Wiley

The six artists and one poet whose work is included in "RECOGNIZE!" have approached hip hop culture through the lens of portraiture, and, in combination, their contributions highlight its vitality and beauty. Hip hop has inspired people throughout its history to use their minds and their talent to create something larger than simply themselves. Whether they have found expression DJ-ing, MC-ing, break-dancing, or art-making, hip hop has given voice and visibility to a new generation.

Grand opening Friday, February 8 - 11:30a

Face to Face: David Scheinbaum: Artist David Scheinbaum will speak about his photograph KRS One, Paramount, Santa Fe, New Mexico. It is one of his many photographs on display in the exhibition.
Saturday, February 9 - 2 pm
The National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution tells the stories of America through the individuals who have shaped U.S. culture. Through the visual arts, performing arts, and new media, the Portrait Gallery portrays poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists who speak American history.
The National Portrait Gallery is conveniently located at Eighth and F Streets, NW, in Washington D.C., above the Gallery Place–Chinatown Metrorail station (red, yellow, and green lines).

Museum Hours:
11:30 a.m.–7:00 p.m. daily. Closed December 25.

Admission: FREE
For more information on visiting the museum, please visit the National Portrait Gallery's Web site.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Book Signing & Conversation with David C. Driskell @ The High Museum of Art

Book Signing and Panel Discussion: A Conversation with David C. Driskell
Saturday, February 16, 2 p.m.
Hill Auditorium
Free with Museum admission and free for members

Artist, educator, historian, curator, and humanitarian, David Driskell will talk with Michael Harris, the High's Curator of African American Art, and Julie McGee, author of David C. Driskell: Artist and Scholar. They will discuss Driskell's southern upbringing, his education in Washington, DC, at Howard and Catholic Universities, and the many people with whom his life has intersected, including artists Romare Bearden and Jacob Lawrence, all of which helped to set the stage for Driskell’s remarkably productive and influential life.
In 2000, he was the recipient of the National Humanities Medal from former President Bill Clinton. One year later, the University of Maryland, College Park, established the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora.

Please make sure to check out this event at one of the nation's most prestigious and my former employer The High Museum of Art. David C. Driskell, an accomplished historian and renowned artist, is known for writing and producing "The Other Side of Color" which takes a look inside the astounding African American Art in the Collection of Camille O. and William H. Cosby Jr. The University of Maryland-College Park has established The David C. Driskell Center For The Study of The Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and The African Disapora in his honor. Attending this event will be an honor and privilege so please take advantage of this rare opportunity.

For more on The High Museum of Art, click here.

For more on The David C. Driskell Center, click here.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Black History Artist Spotlight #4 : Edward Mitchell Bannister

Boston Street Scene (Boston Common), 1898-1899

Edward Mitchell Bannister was born in 1828, in St. Andrews, Canada, the son of a woman of Scottish descent and a father from Barbados, in the West Indies. Since he was born in Canada, he did not suffer from slavery like many African Americans who lived in the United States.

As an adult, he moved to Boston, Massachusetts, a city that had a reputation of having a liberal, intellectual atmosphere. There he met and married Christina Carteaux of Rhode Island, a descendent of the Narragansett Indians, and a prosperous owner of beauty salons in both Boston and Providence, Rhode Island.

Although primarily known as a landscape painter, Bannister also painted portraits.

Bannister and his wife were active in anti-slavery and other social causes. But life in Boston was not easy and Bannister had a difficult time finding an artist with whom he identify because of his race.

Bannister was the first African American artist to receive a national art award - the first prize bronze medal at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876 - and was part of a handful of African American artists who received prominence during the 19th century.

Bannister became an important and well-respected artist in New England and was one of the original board members who helped start the Rhode Island School of Design, which is a prominent art and design school today.

Bannister died in 1901 at which time was the subject of many tributes. His friends organized an exhibition of over 100 of his paintings at the Providence Art Club (which he also helped create), and later erected a stone monument that still stands on his grave in North Burial Ground in Providence, Rhode Island.

Text and image courtesy of Baltimore City Public School System.

12th Annual National Black Fine Arts Show, Thursday, Feb 14-Sunday, Feb, 17, 2008

Thursday, February 14-Sunday, February 17, 2008

Opening Night Charity Preview, Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Beneficiary: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
The Puck Building, 295 Lafayette at Houston Street, SoHo, New York City

If you are located in the NYC or Tri-State area, please make sure and check out this annual event which is entering its 12th year. Art galleries and dealers from North America as well as the Caribbean join forces to present the very best in 19th and 20th century photography, mixed media, painting and much more. This show is possible with the aid of the following sponsors:

New York Times Community Affairs Department
Black Enterprise
American Legacy

For more information, please visit the National Black Art Show here.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Black History Artist Spotlight #3: Henry Ossawa Tanner

The Thankful Poor, 1984, oil on canvas, 35 1/2 x 44 1/4 in.

One of the first African-American artists to achieve a reputation in both America and Europe, Henry Ossawa Tanner worked in the Naturalist and genre traditions of American art. Though his work grew increasingly mainstream and allegorical, his early depictions of humble black folk about their daily lives are regarded as classic statements of African-American pride and dignity.

The son of an African Methodist Episcopal minister, Benjamin Tucker Tanner, and his wife Sarah, who had escaped on the Underground Railroad as a child, Henry Tanner's parents gave their son his middle name in honor of the Kansas town where the white militant Abolitionist John Brown had first launched his anti-slavery campaign. Tanner was raised primarily in Philadelphia and began to paint when he was thirteen. From 1879-1885 he studied with the dean of the American Naturalist school, Thomas Eakins, at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts before setting up his own Philadelphia studio. With the patronage of Bishop and Mrs. Hartzell, Tanner traveled to Europe in 1891, settling in Paris, which would become his primary residence for the remainder of his life.

European & American Acclaim

Not only did Tanner enjoy the relative freedom from prejudice he experienced in Paris, but he also found it refreshing to be judged solely on his artistic merits without any of the baggage associated with race and color. Before long his work was accepted by the principal French salons and galleries, where he continued to exhibit for the rest of his career. European acclaim brought with it recognition in America, too. In 1899 Booker T. Washington visited Tanner in Paris and published an article which helped to establish Tanner's artistic reputation in America--a reputation that continued to grow through his numerous exhibitions in Philadelphia, Boston, New York, Chicago, Washington, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and other major art centers. By 1925 THE CRISIS, the historic African-American journal, featured Tanner on its cover along with W.E.B. Du Bois, Frederick Douglass, Samuel Taylor-Coleridge as models of African-American creative geniuses.

After graduating from the imitative style of his pre-Parisian works, Tanner found his idiom first in landscape and genre works notable not only for their compositional clarity and atmospheric effects, but also for the narrative sypathy he was able to engender. The most famous of these are THE BANJO LESSON (inspired by Paul Laurence Dunbar's poem, A BANJO SONG) and THE THANKFUL POOR, which stand alongside William Sidney Mount's paintings in the 19th century for the nobility and simplicity of portraiture of African-Americans. In them Tanner was able to encase deeply personal and poignant themes in the visual language of the great masters. In his later work Tanner, influenced by his travels to Tangiers and the Holy Land, focused on Biblical subjects using a subtle palette and lyrical luminism to portray psychologically modern interpretations of archtepypal themes.

The very color-blindness Tanner aspired to in the judgement of his own work, he applied as a credo to his later opus. His protagonists-- black, white, Arab, Jewish--and his Christian themes are compelling in their universal humanity.

Image & Text courtesy of

Artist Daniel Edwards presents The Oprah Sarcophagus

Artists Daniel Edwards has decided to immortalize our beloved Oprah Winfrey in a gold statue titled The Oprah Sarcophagus. Edwards says "the statue pays homage to the closest thing America has to a living deity," the Chicago Sun-Times said Wednesday.

The sculptor's other celebrity-themed works include "The Birth of Sean Preston," the controversial "Paris Hilton Autopsy" and the memorable Suri Cruise's First Poop, the newspaper also went on to note.

Honestly I dont know how I feel about this one. I'll let you all decide. I dont think Harpo is too happy about this one.

Black History Month @ DIA (Detroit Institute of Art)

Listed below is a listing of all events being held at The New DIA in honor of Black History Month. Be sure to check them out before month's end.


Tour of African American Art Galleries
Saturday, February 9, 2 p.m.

Alain Locke Award: "Posing Beauty," A Lecture by Deborah Willis
Sunday, February 10, 2 p.m.

Laylah Ali
Sunday, February 24, 2 p.m.


Senufo Painting
Sundays, February 3, 10, 17 and 24, 1–5 p.m.


Shaping Identity
Friday, February 8, 5:30–7:30 p.m.


Storytelling: Tonya Dallas
Sunday, February 3, 2 p.m.

Storytelling: Tonya Dallas
Sunday, February 10, 2 p.m.

Storytelling: Madelyn Porter
Sunday, February 17, 2 p.m.

Storytelling: Madelyn Porter
Sunday, February 24, 2 p.m.


LaKela Brown
Saturday, February 16, 1–5 p.m.


Honeydripper ($)
Friday and Saturday, February 8 and 9, 7 p.m.
Sunday, February 10, 4 and 7 p.m.

War/Dance ($)
Thursday, February 7, 7:30 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, February 8 and 9, 9:30 p.m.


Friday, February 1, 7 and 8:30 p.m.

Abuakwa African Music and Dance Ensemble ($)
Saturday and Sunday, February 9 and 10, noon

Rodney Whitaker and Carl Allen
Friday, February 8, 7 and 8:30 p.m.

Randy Weston
Friday, February 15, 7 and 8:30 p.m.

Pyeng Threadgill
Friday, February 22, 7 and 8:30 p.m.
An Evening with Aku Kadogc and Jessica Care Moore
Friday, February 22, 6:30 and 8 p.m.

Brunch with Bach: Harlem Quartet ($)
Sunday, February 24, 11:30 a.m.

Monica Blaire
Friday, February 29, 7 and 8:30 p.m.

Sponsored by Macy's

Programs are made possible with support from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the City of Detroit.

All imagery & text courtesy of The Detroit Instittue of Art.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

October Gallery Arts News: Sustained Gesture Drawing

Gaille Hunter breaks down the essentials of design and drawing. Please enjoy!!!

Black History Artist Spotlight #2: Robert S. Duncanson & The Hudson River School Movement

Robert S. Duncanson (1821-1872)

Blue Hole, Little Miami (1851)

Duncanson painted in the style of the Hudson River School movement, whose panoramic images of the American landscape gained wide popularity in the mid-19th century. Duncanson's romantic paintings of landscapes untouched by man epitomize the Hudson River School style.

Robert S. Duncanson was born in Seneca County, New York in 1821 to an African American mother and a Scottish Canadian father. Duncanson spent his early childhood in Canada and later he and his mother moved to a small community near Cincinnati, Ohio. It is not known where Duncanson received his artistic training, but by 1842 he was exhibiting in the Cincinnati area. With the help of the Freedman's Aid Society of Ohio, Duncanson traveled to Glasgow, Scotland to study painting in 1853. Upon his return to the United States around 1854, he began painting portraits of prominent white abolitionists from Detroit and Cincinnati, the cities where he was artistically active. His portraits include that of James G. Birney, editor of the Philanthropist, an abolitionist newspaper and of Lewis Cass, an abolitionist senator from Michigan.

Duncanson gained international recognition for his landscape paintings, which were influenced by the Hudson River School. The Hudson River School was a group of artists who painted romantic images of America's wilderness, untainted by man. Their landscape paintings often included moral messages or literary associations and provided a unique American artistic identity. An extensive traveler, Duncanson depicted numerous landscape scenes throughout North Carolina, Pennsylvania, England, Canada and Scotland. In 1863, he again left for Europe to escape the soured race relations brought on by the Civil War. Four years later, he returned, continuing his work in landscapes and enjoying a particular success in Cincinnati and Detroit where he had previously exhibited.

Image courtesy of Harmon Collection/National Archives.
Text courtesy of PBS African American World.

The African American Museum of Philadelphia + Bank of America Present Lois Mailou Jones: Prints & Works on Paper

Lois Mailou Jones: Prints & Works on Paper
One of the most prominent African American woman artists of the twentieth century is represented through a selection of more than 45 works on paper. She was one of the first artists of color to pay tribute to her African heritage through the implementation of African motifs and patterns into her art. For more than 50 years, Lois Mailou Jones enjoyed a consistently successful career as a painter, teacher, book illustrator and textile designer. Jones has worked extensively in France, Haiti, Senegal and the United States. Born in 1905 in Boston, Mass., she died in 1998.

Please check out this event if you are in Philadelphia or the Tri-State area. I am not sure of the admission but the experience of this great 20th century master painter is priceless; she was and still is an American treasure.

Friday, February 8, 2008 ~ 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Opening Reception
LOIS MAILOU JONES: Prints & Works on Paper

*Artist’s Insight with Edmund Barry Gaither
Exhibition on view from February 8 through May 25, 2008
Saturday, February 9, 2008 ~ 3 p.m.

This exhibit is presented by Bank of America.
Image courtesy of Howard University Libraries.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Barkley Hendricks' Traveling Perspective @ The Nasher Museum + Mention in Vogue February 2008 Issue

For all those interested, Hendrick Barkley is having a traveling perspective at Duke University's Nasher Museum on Thursday, February 7, 2008. Those of you in the area please go check out this amazing artist and his works of art. I will be there in spirit but will be posting pics courtesy of The Nasher Museum of the opening reception. Stay tune and enjoy the press release as well as photos listed below.

Duke University Office of News & Communications

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, October 2, 2007

CONTACT: Wendy Hower Livingston
(919) 660-3414 (office); (919) 247-8223 (cell)


DURHAM, N.C. -– “Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool,” the first career retrospective of the American artist’s paintings, will be on view at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University from Feb. 7 through July 13, 2008.

Hendricks’ work connects the art movements of American realism and post-modernism, occupying a space between portraitists Chuck Close and Alex Katz and pioneering black conceptualists David Hammons and Adrian Piper. Best known for his life-sized portraits of people of color from the urban northeast, Hendricks’ bold portrayal of his subject’s attitude and style elevates the common and overlooked person to celebrity status.

“Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool” will include 60 paintings from 1964 to the present. The exhibition will travel to the Studio Museum in Harlem in fall 2008, the Santa Monica Museum of Art in spring 2009 and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston in early 2010. Trevor Schoonmaker, curator of contemporary art at the Nasher Museum, is the organizer of the show.

“The work of Barkley Hendricks is a wonderful discovery -– often elegant and sometimes confrontational, but always stunning” said Kimerly Rorschach, the Mary D.B.T. and James H. Semans Director of the Nasher Museum. “We are proud that this unprecedented show of one of America’s most important, yet long overlooked, artists will originate at the Nasher Museum.”

Hendricks was born in Philadelphia in 1945, studied at and received his certificate from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fine arts from Yale University. He is a professor of art at Connecticut College in New London, Conn., where he has been teaching since 1972.

Hendricks made his mainsteam museum debut at the Whitney Museum of American Art in the 1971 show, “Contemporary Black Artists in America,” and the Studio Museum in Harlem organized his first major solo show in 1980. In 1994, his work was part of the Whitney’s “Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art.” In 2001, a large solo show, “The Barkley L. Hendricks Experience,” was organized by the Lyman Allyn Museum of Art, New London, Conn.

Hendricks’s oil portrait of Fela Kuti was an important new work in the 2003 New Museum exhibition, “Black President: The Art and Legacy of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti,” also curated by Schoonmaker. And in 2005, Hendricks’ work was included in “Back to Black -- Art, Cinema and the Racial Imaginary” at Whitechapel Art Gallery in London.

His work is represented in numerous public collections, including the National Gallery of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Columbus Museum of Art, the Chrysler Museum, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Yale University Art Gallery and the Nasher Museum.

“Barkley Hendricks has always been ahead of his time,” Schoonmaker said. “His work touches upon many of the movements of the ’60s and ’70s -– pop art, photorealism, minimalism, black nationalism -– but he has always done his own thing and avoided easy categorization. His ground-breaking work is as fresh today as it was 30 and 40 years ago and a generation of young artists is deeply indebted to him.”

The exhibition is composed primarily of full-figure portraits, for which Hendricks has been most recognized, as well as lesser-known early works and the artist’s more recent portal-like paintings of the Jamaican landscape, where he returns annually to paint “en pleine air.”

“Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool” will be complemented by programs at the Nasher Museum that include a preview lecture by the artist on Oct. 15, 2007, an opening DJ party, discussions with the artist during the exhibition, a music series, a film series, a Family Day event and teacher workshops, among other programming.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated 250-page color catalogue, distributed by Duke University Press, that will include essays from Schoonmaker; Richard J. Powell, Duke’s John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art and Art History; Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of the Studio Museum; and Franklin Sirmans, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Menil Collection.

The exhibition and related programs are sponsored in part by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation and the North Carolina Arts Council.
_ _ _ _

The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University

The Nasher Museum of Art, designed by Rafael Viñoly, is located at 2001 Campus Drive at Anderson Street. The museum, which opened Oct. 2, 2005, also includes a café and gift store.

The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday; and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The museum is closed Mondays. Suggested admission is $5 adults, $4 for seniors and members of the Duke Alumni Association, $3 for non-Duke students with I.D. and free for children 16 and younger. Admission is free to Duke students, faculty and staff with Duke I.D. Admission is also free to Durham city residents who present a valid I.D. with proof of residency, courtesy of The Herald-Sun.

Additional information is available at


Vogue Shouts Out Barkley in February 2008 issue

Whats Going On?
Oil and acrylic on canvas

Culture Editor Valerie rates "The Vogue 25: The Cultural Highlights of 2008" and among the list is African-American artist Barkley Hendricks first traveling retrospective which debuts this month at Duke University's Nasher Museum. A working artist since the 1960s, his blend of Pop Art, Photorealism, Black Nationalism and Renaissance portraiture showcases a creative portfolio from the eye of true black master painter. For more information please check out the latest issue of Vogue now on newsstands!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Black History Month Artist Spotlight: Joshua Johnson (c. 1765-c. 1830) + Vogue February 2008 issue spotlights Kermit Oliver & Hermes

James McCormick Family, by Joshua Johnson, c. 1805. Oil on canvas. 50 25/32 x 69 13/32 in. (129.0 x 176.3 cm.) Maryland Historical Society. Accession: 1920-6-1.

Isabella Douglas Millholland (Mrs. James Millholland), by Joshua Johnson, c. 1807. Oil on canvas. 30 x 26 1/16 in. (76.2 x 66.2 cm). Maryland Historical Society, Accession: 1980-18.

Joshua Johnston, c. 1765-c. 1830
Joshua Johnston is one of the greatest portrait painters of the early nineteenth century. He was popular nationally, due to his simple, unaffected depictions of his clients. Johnston painted with a warm sensitive style that gave his portraits life. Johnston's style is similar to that of Charles Wilson Peale. Peale was an artist who opened a drawing school in Baltimore in 1795. The school also encouraged the development of the Pennsylvania Academy in Philadelphia. Historians believe that Johnston may have been Peale's slave and learned the art by watching him, but there is no record to prove it. Others argue that Johnston saw his work or the work of his son Rembrandt Peale, and copied it.Another painting by Joshua Johnston (Johnson.) No matter where the truth may lie, Johnston remains a self-taught portrait painter who was, according to the Baltimore Directories between 1789-1824, a "free house-holder of colour, (and a) portrait painter." Records show that he lived at several addresses in the city of Baltimore all his free life. Johnston painted portraits for his clients until his death in 1830. No one is sure how many portraits he painted, but over two dozen have been uncovered. Bill Cosby owns three of his portraits, th Maryland Historical Society owns one,and the Corkran Gallery in Washington D. C. owns one.

All images courtesy of Maryland ArtSource (
Vogue February 2008
The February 2008 issue of Vogue Magazine suprisingly makes mention of two of the great African American artists in coordinance: Kermit Oliver and Barkley Hendrick. Andre Leon Talley reviews The New York Historical Society's exhibition "French Founding Father," and its feature of Hermes silk scarves designed by African-American artist and former Waco, Texas postman Kermit Oliver. Please make sure to pick up the latest issue of Vogue as well as visit the The New York Historical Society to view the exhibit in full; the NYHS has free admission on Fridays from 6-8pm. Enjoy the images below of Oliver's impeccable work.

The Pony Express, 1993

Kachinas, 1992

Kachinas, 1992