Monday, February 28, 2011

Richard Mayhew: Artist Talk

The Museum of the African Diaspora (MoDA) in San Francisco hosted an exhibition of paintings by Richard Mayhew. The MoAD exhibit, The Art of Richard Mayhew, ended March 7, 2010. Read more at MoAD.  A catalogue accompanied this exhibition. 

Spiral: Perspectives on an African-American Art Collective, an exhibition currently on view at the Birmingham Museum of Art, features works by Richard Mayhew. This exhibit ends April 17, 2011. See an earlier post: SPIRAL

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Swann Galleries: African-American Fine Art, Sale 2237

Swann Auction Galleries' recent (February 17, 2011) African-American Fine Art Sale was successful in selling 78% of the 148 lots offered. According to Nigel Freeman, Director of African- American Fine Art at Swann Galleries, "As the art market rebounds, we are seeing a surge in collectors seeking African-American fine art - especially scarce and important works. The sale began with intense competition for 19th century paintings by Duncanson and Porter, and the momentum was sustained all the way to the final section, a celebration of Romare Bearden's centennial year, where two of his collages from the early 1970s sold in the high five figures." Freeman's statement is substantiated by the fact that the top five selling lots were bought by collectors.

Elizabeth Catlett, Untitled (Standing
African-American Woman)
Cast bronze with dark brown patina,
1967, 47" x 20" x 8" (without the
 The sale's top lot was Elizabeth Catlett's Untitled (Standing Africa-American Woman), a cast bronze sculpture from 1967 that sold for $108,000, which is the highest prize ever for an Elizabeth Catlett bronze sculpture. As stated in the catalogue, "This stunning bronze figure is a wonderful discovery from Mexico--this is the first time this important sculpture by Elizabeth Catlett has been exhibited in the United States. ...This is one of the largest bronze works by the artist that is not a public commission...." More images and discussion.

Vincent Smith, The Voices are Stilled,
Oil on masonite, 1965,
47½” x 45½”
Vincent Smith's The Voices are Stilled (Lot 70) was also an artist record at $21,600. "The Voices Are Stilled is a striking and important early painting by Vincent Smith, and the first significant work by the artist to come to auction. With intense nocturnal colors, Smith captures the light of an evening street populated by his typically quirky and expressive figures. This Brooklyn street scene also includes the small Bedford-Stuyvesant storefront office of the Congress of Racial Equality (or C.O.R.E.)." In the case of both Catlett and Smith, the art works did not reach their high auction estimates of $180,000 and $25,000, respectively. It is hoped that with continued exposure and knowledge of the value and importance of these works by African American artists that the auction prices will consistently approach or toppled the upper estimates. 

In addition to Catlett's Standing African-American Woman bronze sculpture, the top five lots included these four additional pieces: Romare Bearden's Tidings, a circa 1973 collage, $96.000; Le Balayeur, a 1958 oil on canvas by Beauford Delaney that also sold for $96,000; Bearden's The Stubborn Old Lady, a 1971 collage, $72,000; and Robert Scott Duncanson's Untitled (Landscape), a circa 1860-1865 oil on board, $45,600. Bearden's Tidings and Duncanson's Landscape both exceeded their high estimates. The prices quoted are inclusive of Buyer's Premium.     

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Select Art Exhibitions During Black History Month

Brentwood, Maryland
Gateway Arts Center

The Brentwood Arts Exchange and the Prince George's African American Museum and Cultural Center present Resonant Forms: Alonzo Davis, Martha Jackson-Jarvis, Frank Smith. The exhibition, Resonant Forms, will be on view at the Gateway Arts Center (1st floor, 3901 Rhode Island Avenue) until April 9, 2011.

Resonant Forms "is intensely visually rich. Its works frame a spectrum of artistic modes that range between expressing through pure color and speaking directly through the conceptual weight of material. Both means are important in each artist's work, while each artist approaches them in different ways."

There is an Opening Reception on Friday, February 11, 2011 from 5 - 8 pm. In addition there are a series of related programs:
  • Artist Talk with Alonzo Davis, Martha Jackson-Jarvis and Frank Smith Saturday, February 12, 2011, 2 - 4 pm
  • Message in the Bottle: A Discussion with Martha Jackson-Jarvis and A.M. Weaver, Saturday, March 19, 2011, 2 - 4 pm
  • Alonzo Davis and The Bamboo Muse, a book of Davis’ artwork paired with the poetry and prose of twelve writers inspired by his work, Saturday, April 2, 2011, 2 - 4 pm

Chicago, Illinois
G. R. N'Namdi Gallery

Charles White, Jubilee, Oil on Board,
39" x 31½"
Charles White: The Shaping of Black America will be on view at the G. R. N'Namdi Gallery until  March 5, 2011. This exhibition consists of twelve pieces originally commissioned and acquired by the Johnson Publication Company in 1974 that tell the story of enslavement to liberation. To read more and view additional images of works from the exhibition, see: N'Namdi Gallery.

Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

Willie Cole, Pressed Iron Blossom No. 3,
2005, Lithograph on two sheets
of Somerset paper, 35" x 47¾"

Deep Impression: Willie Cole Works on Paper is on view February 12 - May 8, 2011 at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.

This exhibition of over 30 prints, drawings, and photographs by Willie Cole encompasses works from 1979 to 2010. "Although best known as a sculptor, ...Cole has created a series of works on paper that incorporate his characteristic subjects: ironing boards, hairdryers, and shoes, among other manufactured products. He manipulates and reproduces these objects, imbuing them with several levels of meaning that address personal as well as economic, racial, and political issues. For example, he uses irons—some of which he found and some that were given to him by his grandmother, who was a domestic worker—to scorch patterns into paper." Read more at Brooks.

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art is located at 1934 Poplar Avenue; phone: 901/ 544-6200.

New York, New York 
D C Moore Gallery

D C Moore Gallery presents Romare Bearden: Idea to Realization as one of its inaugural shows at the gallery's new location at 535 West 22nd Street. Romare Bearden is on view through March 12, 2011. An illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition.

"This focused show features a rare and vibrant group of original artworks that blend paint, photographic images, and abstracted cut-paper elements. Created as maquettes for murals, mosaics, book jackets, and other projects, most of them are being exhibited for the first time." For additional information, see Bearden. View other images at the gallery

Romare Bearden, Bessie, Duke, and Louis, c. 1981,
Collage on fiberboard, 12 ¼" x 43", D C Moore Gallery

Sacramento, California
Evolve the Gallery

Kamal Mansour, Hammerin' Hank,
Digital, fabric, found objects,
mixed media collage on canvas,
44" x 44"
Evolve the Gallery, in collaboration with the California Legislative Black Caucus, presents Made in America: An African-American Fine Art Perspective on February 10 -26, 2011. Evolve the Gallery is located at 2907 35th Street, Historic Oak Park.

The exhibition will include over 30 artists from across the country, including Richard Mayhew, Charles Bibbs, Gilbert Young, Kevin O'Keith, Charly Palmer, Alonzo Adams, Cindy Cephus, Kamal Mansour, Kelvin Curry, Kevin Cole, Marcella Muhammad, Milton Bowens, Rosalind McGary, Tamara Natalie Madden, Warren Goodson, and others.

Related Programs: 
  • Art Premiere and Artist Reception, Thursday, February 10, 2011, 6 - 9 pm
  • Opening Reception, Saturday, February 12, 2011, 6 - 9 pm
  • Art Talk and Discussion will be held at The Guild Theater, 2828 35th Street, Historic Oak Park, Tuesday, February 15, 2011, 6 - 8 pm. This program will be moderated by Milton 510 Bowens and will include the following speakers: Senator Curren D. Price, Jr., Assemblyman Mike Davis, Bryan Keith Thomas, Akinsanya Kambon, and Elaine O'Brien.
For contact and more information, see Evolve the Gallery.

Sacramento, California
40 Acres Art Gallery
Milton 510 Bowens, American as Sweet Potato Pie,
Mixed media on canvas, 40" x 40", (Studio shot)

Milton 510 Bowens presents The Encyclopedia Blacktannica: A Contemporary Art Anthology of the African American Experience at the 40 Acres Art Gallery from February 10 - April 9, 2011. The Encyclopedia Blacktannica, consisting of a collection of 105 contemporary fine art paintings, navigates the interior landscape of the African American culture. "Bowens with his unique brand of Abstract Pop influenced mixed media paintings envelop the viewer as witness, participant, and long lost relative. This exhibition conjures reflections on history, family, struggle, perseverance and cultural pride."

Related Programs:
  • Special Preview / Reception: Thursday, February 10, 2011, 5 - 9 pm  
  •  Opening Reception: Saturday, February 12, 2011, 5 - 9 pm
  • Black Face: An Art Talk with Milton 510 Bowens (The artist will be discussing the value of controlling our cultural image): Saturday, February 19, 2011, 3 - 6 pm
  • Portrait of Post Racial America (panel discussion focused on the state of race relations in America today): Saturday, February 26, 2011, 3 - 6 pm
40 Acres Art Gallery is located at 3434 Broadway, Sacramento, California. For more information contact: Gail Williams, 510/ 417-1500, ( or Michael Craft, 916/ 670-2932, (   

Savannah, Georgia
The King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation 

Rik Freeman, Moses Train, 2008,
Oil on canvas, 60 " x 72"
The King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation  presents an exhibition, Rik Freeman: The Chittlin Circuit Review on view February 6 - May 28, 2011. This series of paintings that the artist began in 1994 is based on the origin and roots of Blues music. The exhibit will feature 20 or more oil on canvas works. The underlying objective of the works is "to portray the reality of circumstances that birthed the musical genre, including but not limited to socio-political and cultural aspects of the African American lifestyle in the Deep South...."

The Chittlin Circuit Review represents a collaboration between the King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation and the Savannah Black Heritage Festival. The Opening Reception and Artist Talk are scheduled for Sunday, February 6, 2011, 3 - 5 pm at The Beach Institute which is located at 502 East Harris Street; phone: 912/ 234-8000. Follow this link to read more about the exhibition.

Sterling, Virginia
The Waddell Art Gallery

The Waddell Art Gallery, on the Loudoun Campus of Northern Virginia Community College, presents Claudia Gibson Hunter's Suspicious Activities from February 21 - March 25, 2011.

Claudia Gibson-Hunter,
Code Red: Insurgent,  2008,
Bleach, colored pencil, acrylics,
30" x 22"
Suspicious Activities is a series of over 40 works produced during the Bush administration that  explores the contradictions of terrorism, occupation, and war during that administration. According to Gibson-Hunter, "The damage language can induce not only to the originator of the speech, but to the speaker, the subject of the words and the society the words are spoken in is the subject of these pieces. Bone, muscles, blood sweat, tears, hearts and even souls, are rendered exempt null, void, through words spoken or left unsaid, by the military, the journalist, the scholar and the everyday American citizen."

The Waddell Gallery is located on the 1st floor of the Waddell Building, 1000 Harry Flood Byrd Highway. For additional information, contact: Don Depuydt, 703/ 450-2627.

Washington, DC
The Charles Sumner School, Museum and Archives

Black Artists of DC present The Black Exhibition at The Charles Sumner School, Museum and Archives through March 31, 2011. The Black Exhibition includes the following artists: Cedric Baker, Anne Bouie, James Brown, Jr., T. H. Gomillion, Bruce McNeil, Daniel T. Brooking, Adjoa J. Burrowes, Carlton Wilkinson, Michael B. Platt, Amber Robles-Gordon, John Earl Cooper, Alec Simpson, Kristen Hayes, Gloria C. Kirk, Carol A. Beane, Claudia "Aziza" Gibson-Hunter, Willard G. Taylor, Viola Burley Leak, and Jacqueline Lee.

Opening Reception: Thursday, February 10, 2011, 6:30 - 8:30 pm. The Charles Sumner School, Museum and Archives is located at 1201 17th Street, NW.

Washington, DC
International Visions - The Gallery

International Visions - The Gallery presents its Annual Small Works Show from February 10 - March 12, 2011. Thirty-eight artists will be featured including David C. Driskell, Wadsworth Jarrell, April Harrison, Annie Bouie, Kevin Cole, Tim Davis, Verna Hart, Helen Zughaib, Betty Press, Sam Gilliam, James Phillips, and others. For a full list of artists and additional information, visit: International Visions Gallery.

Reception: Saturday, February 12, 2011, 6:30 - 9:00 pm. International Visions Gallery is located at 2629 Connecticut Avenue, NW.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Select News Announcements, Upcoming Programs and Activities

Alexandria, Virginia

Alexandria Black History Museum presents genealogist Char McCargo Bah discussing In Search of Parker and Gray: Two African American Education Icons, an illustrated lecture on how she researched two noted Alexandria educators. "Ms. Bah will share her research into John F. Parker and Sarah A. Gray, early African American educators in Alexandria for whom the Parker-Gray School was named during segregation. Despite recognition of their names today, little was known about Parker or Gray. Through genealogical research, Char has uncovered previously unknown history about both of them and she will reveal her successful research techniques. Participants will learn the importance of collateral lines, how to distinguish among people with the same name, and other tips that will help them document their family’s history."

The program is schedule for Saturday, February 19, 2011 from 11 am - 1 pm at the Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe Street. For more information or to register, call 703/ 746-4356 or visit

Atlanta, Georgia

Spelman College Summer Art Colony, founded in 1997 by Dr. Arturo Lindsay, A Panamanian born artist and Professor of Art and Art History at Spelman College "to provide students from colleges and universities throughout the United States with an opportunity to live, work and study in an idyllic Caribbean setting." The Art Colony is housed at Taller Portobelo, an artist cooperative, in the village of Portobelo on the Caribbean coast of the Republic of Panama. The experience provides participants an opportunity to spend three weeks of uninterrupted communion with their muse.

Dates: May 15 - June 5, 2011. For further information or to apply, see: Art Colony or contact Dr. Arturo Lindsay at 404-270-5452; email: 

Gaithersburg, Maryland

The National Black Memorabilia, Art, Doll and Collectible Show, celebrating it 27th year, will be held Saturday and Sunday, April 16 - 17, 2011 at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Plans have been well underway and are led by Lindsey B. Johnson of L. Johnson Promotions, Ltd. Johnson indicates "the show is now 2 days and in addition to black memorabilia, we are highlighting black fine art and African American dolls."

Read previous post for more details: National Black Memorabilia...Show.

Los Angeles

February 15, 2011 is the deadline for receiving entries for the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art (LACDA) 2011 International Juried Competition. All styles of artwork and photography where digital processes of any kind were integral to the creation of the images are acceptable. Los Angeles Center For Digital Art is dedicated "to the propagation of all forms of digital art, supporting local, international, emerging and established artists." They have  an ongoing schedule of exhibits and competitions, and produce editions of wide format archival prints.

Winners announced: February 21, 2011; Exhibit dates: March 10 - April 2, 2011

Direct link to more details and registration: LACDA.

New York, New York

BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center located on the campus of the Borough of Manhattan Community College will serve as host for Dialogues in the Visual Arts, a panel discussion focusing on the Hatch-Billops Archives: A Celebration of 30 Years of Documentation. The program curator is Susan Fleminger. James V. Hatch will be the moderator and the following individuals will serve as panelists: Camille Billops, Robin Holder, and Dorothy Thigpen.

The Hatch-Billops Collection "began in 1975 while Camille Billops, an artist and filmmaker, and James Hatch, a theater historian, were teaching art and literature at the City College of New York. They realized that very little had been published about Black American art, drama, literature and music and began collecting materials for their students." For further discovery and exploration about the Hatch-Billops Collection, view this previous BAP blog post.

Dialogues in the Visual Arts panel discussion will be held on Wednesday, February 9, 2011, 7 pm at 199 Chambers Street, #S110c, New York, New York. The admission to this program is $5.00 and a reception follows. For those interested in attending the Dialogues in the Visual Arts panel discussion, see: Tribeca Performing Arts Center.

College Art Association (CAA) has announced the recipients of the 2011 Awards for Distinction, which honor the outstanding achievements and accomplishments of individual artists, art historians, authors, conservators, curators, and critics whose efforts transcend their individual disciplines and contribute to the profession as a whole and to the world at large. The recipients will be formally recognized at a special ceremony to be held during the 99th Annual Conference in New York, February 10, 2011 (Thursday) from 6:00–7:30 pm at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Faith Rinngold will be honored as the recipients of the CAA 2011 Distinguished Feminist Award. Other categories and winners may be viewed at CAA Awards.

 SWANN Auction Galleries presents African-American Fine Art auction with a special section in honor of Romare Bearden's centennial on Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 2:30 pm. The illustrated catalogue for this African-American Fine Art, Sale #2237 is available for $35.00 at order catalogue. View the online catalogue. Swann Galleries is located at 104 East 25th Street, New York, New York 10010 (telephone: 212/ 254-4710).

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Museum of Art 27 million dollar expansion will provide a permanent home for the Walter O. Evans Center for African American Studies. "The Evans Center will provide a permanent home for the Evans Collection as well as an interdisciplinary facility devoted to the study of African-American art, literature and culture that will include classrooms, exhibition space, event space and a theater. The center  will also create the opportunity for SCAD to develop more educational programs and relationships with public and private schools in Savannah and the Southeast."
For more information, read SCAD expansion.

Tougaloo, Mississippi

Tougaloo Art Colony celebrates its 15th year as a retreat for nationally acclaimed artists, emerging artists, art educators, art students, and interested adult learners "to engage in dialogue and to create works that help extend the multicultural dimensions of America's visual arts culture." Past instructors include David Driskell, David R. MacDonald, John McDaniel, Akemi Nakana Cohn, Moe Booker, Jamaal Sheats, Jerre Allen, Kevin Cole, Gail Shaw-Clemons, and Hyun Chong Kim.

The 15th Annual Retreat is scheduled for July 17 - 22, 2011. For additional information and contacts, visit Tougaloo Art Colony.

Washington, D C

Center for Advance Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA), National Gallery of Art, presents a program celebrating the publication: Romare Bearden, American Modernist on March 14, 2011 (Monday) at 4:30 pm in the East Building Auditorium. See announcement for complete program.

Creative Voices D C, a panel discussion, represents a collaboration between Millennium Arts Salon and The Phillips Collection, and is sponsored by the   D C Commission on the Arts and Humanities. The panelist will explore the topic of Washington artists, with a special focus on African American artists and their contributions to the creative milieu of DC. The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Richard Long (cultural historian), panelists include Judy Greenberg (director, the Kreeger Museum), Claudia Rousseau (art historian and critic), Adrienne Child (art historian), Lisa Gold (director, Washington Project of the Arts), and Billy Colbert (artist). Reservations are required (by donation): The Phillips Collection. Creative Voices D C will be held on February 7, 2011 (Monday) from 6 - 8:30 pm at The Phillips Collection.