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:

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