KESHA BRUCE, VICTOR EKPUK & AMBER ROBLES GORDON speak at James A Porter Colloquium on African American Art – 2018 Schedule

8 Mar


Kesha Bruce, I Am A Black Ocean. 2017.  48 x 36 in Mixed-Media on Canvas.

The 29th Annual James A. Porter Colloquium on African American Art and Art of the African Diaspora

The 2018 Porter Colloquium, titled “Abstraction: Form, Philosophy, & Innovation,” will explore topics related to the history of abstraction in art across the African diaspora. It will offer a platform for new scholarship and artistic perspectives on abstract art by African American and African diasporic artists.

This colloquium will trace the progression and aesthetic influence of African art to figurative and non-objective abstraction. Another significant goal of the event is to investigate how artists use abstraction in terms design, innovation, and the introduction of new epistemologies by way of visual culture.

Among other notable presenters, the 29th Porter Colloquium will showcase Chakaia Booker, Valerie Cassel Oliver, Mary Lovelace O’Neal and Fred Eversly.



April 6th Day 1

10:30 Opening Remarks

Day Moderator: Melani Douglass, Director of Public Programing, National Museum for Women in the Arts

11:00-11:50 Opening Lecture: “Freedom / Expression / Abstraction”

Nikki A. Greene, Assistant Professor of Art, Wellesley College

11:50-12:00 Q&A

12:00-12:50 LUNCH ON YOUR OWN

1:00-2:00 Collaboration from the Smithsonian’s American Art Journal: Washington Modernism and the Exhibition of Works by Negro Artists (1933)

“Toward a History of Washington Modernism: The 1933 Display of African American Art at the Smithsonian National Museum”

Charles Brock, National Gallery of Art – “Negro Artist exhibitions at the National Gallery, 1929-1933”

Michèle Gates Moresi, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture – “Herring, Porter, and Locke’s Perspectives on the 1933 exhibition”

Tobias Wofford, Virginia Commonwealth University – “How Children Became Modern: The Place of Students in the Exhibition of Works by Negro Artists and in Interwar Washington”

Seth Feman, Chrysler Museum of Art – “From Newspapers to Networks: Broadcasting Art of African Americans in the Nation’s Capital”

John A. Tyson, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Moderator: Tuliza Fleming, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Organizer: Robin Veder, Smithsonian American Art Museum

2:00-2:15 Q&A

2:15-2:35 New Photographic Histories Presentation

Romi Crawford, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Visual and Critical Studies, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

2:35-3:20 Curator’s Panel: Curating African American Abstract Art


  • Kevin Tervala, Associate Curator of African Art, Department Head, Arts of Africa, the Americas, Asia, and the Pacific Islands, Baltimore Museum of Art
  • George N’Namdi, Founder, N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art
  • Evelyn Hankins, Senior Curator, Hirshhorn Museum


Panel Moderator: TBD

3:20-3:30 Q&A

3:30-4:00 New Art Histories of the African Diaspora Lecture

  • Freida High W. Tesfagiorgis, PhD, Evjue-Bascom Professor Emerita, Department of Afro-American Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison


4:00-4:45 Concerning the Practice of Diaspora Artist Panel

  • Kesha Bruce
  • Victor Ekpuk
  • Representative from the editorial team of MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora

Panel Moderator: Lanisa S. Kitchiner, Ph.D., Head of Education and Scholarly Initiatives, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution

4:45-5:00 Q&A

5:00 Floyd Coleman Lecture – Chakaia Booker 

“Back Ground Check”

6:30-8:30   Howard University Faculty Exhibition Reception, Howard University Blackburn Gallery

April 7th Day II

10:30 Opening Remarks

Day Moderator: Jessica Stafford Davis, Founder, The Agora Culture

11:00-11:15 New Media Artist Talk – Adrian Loving

11:15-12:15 New Art Histories Scholars Panel

  • Zoma Wallace, MFA, Curator, DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities
  • Melissa Messina, Independent Curator & The Mildred Thompson Legacy Project
  • LeRonn P. Brooks, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Africana Studies, Lehman College, CUNY

Panel Moderator: TBD

12:15-12:30 Q&A

12:30-1:15 LUNCH ON YOUR OWN

1:30-1:40 The Impact of Edward Spriggs

  • Margo N. Crawford, Ph.D., Professor of English, Department of English, University of Pennsylvania

1:45-2:15 Recalling a Legacy of Innovation: Defining the Frontiers of American Abstraction Artist Reflection

  • Reflection by Mary Lovelace O’Neal
  • Fred Eversley

2:15-3:15 Artist Panel: Materiality and Space

  • James Maurelle
  • Amber Robles-Gordon
  • Gregory Coates

Panel Moderator:  Margo N. Crawford, Ph.D., Professor of English, Department of English, University of Pennsylvania

3:15-3:25 Q&A

3:30-4:15 James A. Porter Lecture

  • Valerie Cassel Oliver, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

4:15-4:45 Trajectories Innovation Lecture – Torkwase Dyson

Closing Remarks

**Tentative Program open to minor adjustments.

Saturday Evening: GALA, Blackburn Ballroom

Gala Honorees

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Two-Dimensional: Mary Lovelace O’Neal
  • Three-Dimensional: Fred Eversley

Humanitarian Award

  • Edward Spriggs

James A. Porter Book Award

  • Valerie Cassel Oliver
April 8th Day III

April 8 – Sunday

Studio Visit: Reginald Pointer, Associate Professor, Ceramics, Howard University


The Nation features VICTOR EKPUK’s work on Achebe’s book covers at Smithsonian

7 Mar

Ekpuk exhibits Achebe’s book covers at Smithsonian


As part of global celebration of the 60th anniversary of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Nigerian-American artist based in Washington, DC, Victor Ekpuk, will hold an exhibition featuring artworks used as book cover books, including TFA, in the United States.

The exhibition will hold at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art on March 15, 2018. The event will also feature a panel discussion featuring Prof Nwando Achebe – Jack and Margaret Sweet Endowed Professor of History at Michigan State University – Ekpuk and others.

Ekpuk’s art reflects his experiences as a global artist.  “The subject matter of my work deals with the human condition explained through themes that are both universal and specific: family, gender, politics, culture and Identity” says Ekpuk on his works.

His art, which began as an exploration of nsibidi “traditional” graphics and writing systems in Nigeria, has evolved to embrace a wider spectrum of meaning that is rooted in African and global contemporary art discourses.

Guided by the aesthetic philosophy nsibidi, where sign systems are used to convey ideas, Ekpuk re-imagines graphic symbols from diverse cultures to form a personal style of mark making those results in the interplay of art and writing.

Link to full article.

Click HERE to view available artwork by VICTOR EKPUK.


Delicious Line Reviews posts on ‘Weapons for Spiritual Warfare’ KESHA BRUCE

3 Mar

02 Mar 2018

Kesha Bruce: Weapons for Spiritual Warfare

Morton Fine Art

Reviewed by Stephanie Lee Jackson

The patchwork symbols arrayed in Kesha Bruce’s luminous paintings feel like scraps of ancient garments, rescued from a flood. Squares of canvas, paint-logged, layered, and worn, are assembled in combinations that evoke a half-remembered ritual.

Bruce’s iconography derives from Hoodoo, a West African spiritual practice which evolved in the Mississippi Delta as a result of the slave trade. She absorbed the tradition as a child, watching her grandmother drawing spells in the kitchen. Recurring symbols, such as a crossroads, hold specific meanings – dispersal, banishment – which shift with context, like words in a poem. The act of painting becomes the working of a rediscovered spell.

Her paint handling mirrors the Hoodoo use of body fluids in spell casting. The rich textures appear to emerge from generations of handling, with few intermediary tools. The largest paintings exude the determined authority of a heritage shattered and painstakingly reconstructed.

Follow the hyperlink to view all available artwork by KESHA BRUCE on our website!  Please contact us here at the gallery for additional information and acquisition details.  ‘Weapons for Spiritual Warfare’ is up through March 7th, don’t miss out!

The Washington Post reviews KESHA BRUCE ‘Weapons for Spiritual Warfare’

2 Mar
Kesha Bruce_Until I Break Skin_Full Size_FINAL EDIT web.jpg

Until I Break Skin, 2018, dyed/painted fabric on un-stretched canvas, 96″x 96″

The artworks in Kesha Bruce’s “Weapons for Spiritual Warfare” are a form of ancestor worship. Each one of the tradition-rooted pieces in her Morton Fine Art show is “an answered prayer,” writes the African American artist, who divides her time between the United States and France.

Most of these collage-paintings are small and consist of four rough-edged fabric squares daubed with simple geometric forms. The X, Y, + and # shapes are elemental, but rendered loosely to give evidence of the artist’s hand, as well as offer a sense of spontaneity. The largest and most complex are “The Sky Opened for Her,” which is cross-shaped and fringed with streamers, and “Between Starshine and Clay,” whose top third consists of overlapping black squares. The former resembles a ceremonial robe, while the latter evokes a sweeping view of a village under a nighttime sky — a universe conjured from tattered scraps and unstudied gestures.

Reviewed by Mark Jenkins, March 1, 2018.

Kesha Bruce: Weapons for Spiritual Warfare Through March 7 at Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave. NW. 202-628-2787.

Please follow the hyperlink to visit our website  for all available artworks by KESHA BRUCE, and contact us here at the gallery for additional information or acquisition details.


ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY exhibits “In Print” at Portsmouth Art & Culture Center

27 Feb
Rosemary Feit Covey, Fish, 2017, 72"x60", mixed media on canvas

Rosemary Feit Covey, Fish, 2017, 72″x60″, mixed media on canvas




Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center

400 High Street

Portsmouth, VA 23704-3622



Wednesday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.


PORTSMOUTH, VA – The Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center, located in historic Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia kicks off their exhibition season offering two new exhibits during an opening reception on Friday, March 2 from 5:00-8:00 p.m.  Portsmouth Here & Now II celebrates the creativity of those who work or live in the Portsmouth community.  In Print pulls artists from across the United States to present an exhibition that explores the innovative ways that contemporary artists have expanded upon printmaking techniques to create original fine art prints and mixed media works for the display.   The First Friday music series features Matt Thomas on acoustic & harp guitar.

In Print offers some of the longstanding and popular printmaking techniques; lithography, intaglio or etching, drypoint, woodcut or wood engraving, aquatint and soft-ground etching.  Over the last century, newer techniques such as serigraphy or screen-printing, collograph, mono-printing and photo-etching along with combinations of all of the above have enriched the printing techniques that artists use today.  New surfaces have also expanded how artists print and present their work.  Featured are many examples of these processes presented by prominent artists and printmakers Charles Beneke, Rosemary Feit Covey, Staci Katsias, Clay McGlamory, Althea Murphy-Price, Amanda Outcalt-Hoyt, Nicole Pietrantoni, Jenny Robinson, Tanja Softić, and Dominica Webb.  In Print continues through May 28, 2018.


Please click HERE to view available artwork by ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY.

Contact Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009 for acquisition.

(202) 628-2787

VIDEO: Artist KESHA BRUCE at Freedom House

22 Feb

Freedom House Brunch and Salon with Artist Kesha Bruce

On February 18, 2018 artist KESHA BRUCE came to Freedom House to talk about the meaning of her work. Catch her show “Weapons for Spiritual Warfare” at Morton Fine Art in Washington DC now through March 7, 2018. Visit Morton Fine Art’s website to see more of KESHA BRUCE’s work or to contact about purchases.

Weapons of Spiritual Warfare

A solos exhibition by KESHA BRUCE 

Morton Fine Art

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 11 AM – 6 PM, Sunday 12 – 5 PM


NATE LEWIS in Art in Embassies Exhibition/Catalog

18 Feb

We are pleased to announce that two pieces by artist NATE LEWIS have been included in an Art in Embassies exhibition in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. There is a catalog with the exhibition that features images and a write up about the work, which you can see below.

If you would like a PDF of the the introduction and Nate’s work, please contact the gallery.