Monday, September 28, 2009

Nubian Clock

I have been asked on a number of occasions, what is the object in the picture that appears on your Blog? It's referred to as a Nubian clock. The picture shown at the right is a clearer image of the Nubian clock; a piece that I purchased during my long collecting period of black memorabilia; less time is now spent in that collecting field since I have been consumed by my love for collecting and documenting black art. However, the two collecting fields are so compatible, and I am always pleased when I see the number of visual artists who incorporate memorabilia into their artwork.

There is a companion piece to the clock that appears in the form of a television (t v) lamp; it has the same "Art Deco like" color theme and the same pose. They were designed whereby the two pieces face each other, creating a wonderful unit. Both pieces are at least sixty (60) years old, and are of equal fine condition for their age. They were purchased at different times, the lamp in Virginia and the clock in Kensington, Maryland about two years apart. As you can see, they are still being used and enjoyed.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

CALL for ARTISTS: Black Creativity Juried Art Exhibition

January 13 through February 28, 2010
The Museum of Science and Industry commemorates Black History Month with the Black Creativity program, which includes one of the country’s oldest African-American art exhibitions. Prominent artists from around the globe submit their work to the Juried Art Exhibition in the categories of ceramics, drawings, mixed media, paintings, photography, print media, sculpture, textiles, and video. Participants are recognized at the annual Juried Art Reception, a gathering celebrating the diversity of African-American participation in the applied arts.

Ceramics • Drawings • Mixed Medium • Paintings
Photography • Sculpture • Textiles • Video

A panel of judges will choose artists to receive prizes. Prizes will be distributed
as follows:
1st place: $3,000
2nd place: $2,000
3rd place: $1,000
Best of Media Prize Ribbons
All artists whose work is featured in the 2010 Juried Art Exhibition will receive a certificate of recognition.

All African-American artists are eligible to enter. Each artist may submit up to four entries. Work must have been completed in the past three years and not previously shown in the Black Creativity exhibition.

Do not submit actual artwork at this time. Only JPEGs will be accepted for consideration, with no more than two JPEGs for each item entered. Identify each JPEG with title of work, dimensions of work and date completed. JPEGs will be returned at the time of notification. Please write the art titles and your name on the CD.


The completed entry form, artist statement and biography accompanied by JPEGs and fee,must be received by the Museum of Science and Industry no later than Friday, November 6, 2009.

A non-refundable entry fee of $50, payable to the Museum of Science and Industry, by money order only, must accompany the entry form and JPEGs.


The Museum will not accept works that are not ready for hanging or installation suitable for final presentation. Drawings, paintings, photography and prints must be framed under plexiglas or glass, and wired for hanging. If work is accepted into the exhibition, all work must be delivered to the West Entrance (west parking lot) of the Museum. Deliveries will be accepted from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (CST) on December 18 and 19. The artist is responsible for the cost of crating, shipping and delivery to the Museum. Sculptures and other fragile pieces should be delivered in person or shipped with special handling instructions. Because of the potential for artwork to arrive damaged, work shipped in cardboard boxes and nailed crates will be returned unopened at the artist’s own expense. Shipped work must be sent in prepaid wooden crates screwed together suitable for return. At the close of the exhibition, shipped work will be returned and insured at the Museum's expense. Work delivered in person must be picked up in person from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 5 and 6, 2010 at the West Entrance (west parking lot). The Museum will not store or be responsible for artwork not retrieved by these dates. Submission of entry form indicates acceptance of these conditions.

At the close of the exhibition, shipped work will be returned and insured at the Museum’s expense. The Museum will not be responsible for any damage,delay or loss in shipping; the only recourse will be against the shipping
company or insurer.

Both the Museum of Science and Industry and the Black Creativity program disclaim any responsibility for any offer, purchase, sale or any other transaction between visitors of the Juried Art Exhibition and artists featuring works at the exhibition. In no event shall the Museum of Science and Industry or the Black Creativity program be liable for any damages (whether special, incidental, consequential or otherwise) with respect to any such transaction. For further information, call (773) 947-4161.

ENTRY FORM: Apply online: or mail to: Black Creativity, Juried Art Exhibition Museum of Science and Industry 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60637-2093

November 6 Deadline for receipt of all items December 7 Jury notices mailed to artists of accepted workDecember 18, 20 Accepted artwork delivered to MuseumJanuary 13 Artists’ reception, press preview and awards ceremonyJanuary 14 Juried Art Exhibition opened to the publicFebruary 28 Final day of exhibitionMarch 5, 6 Deadline for pick up of artwork

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Who is Mark Hewitt?

The 366th Infantry Regiment was a segregated (all African American or the more appropriate time-specific term, Negro) unit of the United States Army; it served with distinction in both World War I and World War II. This unit was particularly unique because it was one of the few Negro units with all its own officers and personnel.

The Spirit of 366th (oil, 1943), a permanent piece of the Clark Atlanta University Art Galleries, was the Second Purchase Award in the Atlanta University Art Annuals. It was painted by Mark Hewitt.
When I first saw Hewitt's work, then read the title, Spirit of 366th, I immediately reflected on thoughts of racism, unequal treatment, segregation, and all the ills associated with a segregated Jim Crow society. I was griped by the power and strength of character in the subject's face and started to wonder what thoughts might have been going through the subject's mind or even the mind of the artist as he painted the work. As I stood before the work, I was drawn into that deep penetrating, almost hypnotic gaze of the soldier. My immediate thoughts were who is the artist, Mark Hewitt? Then, who is the subject of this portraiture?

Almost a month after having seen the art work, the artist's name still lingered in my mind, so I began the process of investigation. I contacted the Clark Atlanta University Art Galleries and spoke with both Tina Dunkley (Director) and Sheena M. Earl (Curatorial Assistant) with questions about the artist. I discovered that there is little on file, but Tina has agreed to share with me what they have, and perhaps those pieces of information might lead me to other connections on this journey to discover more about the artist.

In the meantime, my library skills have been set in motion and I am on this investigative journey to explore and discover what information I might find in the literature. I am certain that my discovery will prove fruitful.

If any of you have any information about Mark Hewitt or his art, please share.
© 2009 Black Art Project... all rights reserved. For permission to reproduce contact:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Captured Memory: The National Black Arts Festival 2009

Two exhibitions, Streams of Social Change and Abstraction in the CAU Art Collection, opened at the Clark Atlanta University Art Galleries during the recent National Black Arts Festival 2009 (July/August). The exhibitions will be on view through spring 2010.

Noting the collection's significant history, Clark Atlanta University’s (CAU) permanent collection is replete with social commentary works that were acquired through annual art exhibitions held between 1942 and 1970. The Atlanta University Art Annuals, which were launched by Hale Woodruff, visionary artist and teacher, were a direct response to the overt exclusion of African-American artists from the contemporary art scene during that time period. Streams of Social Change clearly demonstrates and reflects the strength of CAU's collection relating to the theme of social commentary.

Streams of Social Change "features work that reference episodes in American history that have adversely affected African Americans—racial conflict, oppression, alienation, protest, politics, war, and displacement." One painting was particularly poignant because of the strength and pensive gaze of its sitter, a Black serviceman. I am referring to Mark Hewitt's Spirit of 366th, 1943. The Spirit of 366th was a Second Purchase Award in the 1943 Annuals.
Viewing this piece was a learning experience simply because I was not familiar with the artist, Mark Hewitt, so this has led me down a path of discovery and exploration, which is always an exciting experience.

Abstraction in the CAU Art Collection features older as well as recently acquired works of Sam Gilliam and Felrath Hines. "In this exhibit, the long standing debate between Modernism and Realism in which artists express their inner most concerns for formal and spatial elements of art are explored. After exploring the human figure early on in their careers, some African American artists were compelled to navigate between the expectations of the African American cultural establishment and their own creative freedom. When African American artists began exploring their African ancestral legacies, they were forced to reconcile the contradiction of European artists embracing non-European cultural expression while simultaneously being excluded from the discourse." A fine example from this exhibit is Felrath Hines (1918-1993), Intermission, 1989, oil on linen. (see image above) Intermission is one of six pieces donated to the Clark Atlanta University Art Galleries by Felrath Hines' widow, Ms. Dorothy Fisher.

The Galleries are located on the second floor of Trevor Arnett Hall on the corners of James P. Brawley and Greensferry Streets in Atlanta, Georgia. They are open from 11:00 am – 4:00pm, Tuesday – Friday and by appointment on Saturday. For more information call 404/ 880-6102, ext.6644.

© 2009 Black Art Project... all rights reserved. For permission to reproduce contact: