Tag Archives: Jacob Lawrence

AMBER ROBLES-GORDON | David C. Driskell Center

18 Oct

David C. Driskell Center to Present Community Selector Show Aimed at Helping to Tell the Story of the David C. Driskell Center

  1. Home 
  2. News

September 06, 2022

Rest Stop (1979) by Phoebe Beasley

The David C. Driskell Center is proud to present its fall 2022 exhibition, Telling Our Story: Community Conversations with Our Artists, on view September 9 through December 2, 2022. 

Contact: Ms. Tamara Schlossenberg
Title: Collections Manager
Phone: 301-314-2615, Email: tschloss@umd.edu


COLLEGE PARK, MD. – The David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora at the University of Maryland, College Park, is proud to present its fall 2022 exhibition, Telling Our Story: Community Conversations with Our Artists; the exhibition is on view at the Driskell Center from September 9 through December 2, 2022. The exhibition is the second in a series focused on telling the story of the David C. Driskell Center. The exhibition is curated by Kayleigh Bryant-Greenwell, Associate Director of Outreach and Operations at American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center, assisted by Tamara Schlossenberg, Collections Manager at the David C. Driskell Center and Professor Curlee R. Holton, Director of the David C. Driskell Center. 

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION: Telling Our Story: Community Conversations with Our Artists is a show focused on the art of dialogue—the dialogue between art, artists, and the viewer. The Center invited a group of guest selectors to view the Center’s collection of art online and select five works for possible inclusion in the exhibition. They were then invited to come view the works in person and select two that resonated with them.  In the spirit of David Driskell and his famous letter writing to artists, each selector was asked to write a letter to the artists of their chosen artworks stating why they like the piece, how it captured their interest, and why it is significant to them. They were encouraged to express any historical, personal, or societal significance that led to the selection process. Prof. Curlee Holton remarked: 

When an artist creates a work of art, it reflects their constant dialogue, both internal and external, with their identity and the world they inhabit. By encouraging the audience to explore and develop an interpersonal connection to the work they’re viewing, it allows us to have access to a diverse, multifaceted, and multigenerational perspective while broadening and enhancing the appreciation of the creative genius of the visual arts, especially that of the African American artists.

More than forty works were selected for the exhibition representing the art of thirty-one artists from the David C. Driskell Center’s Permanent Collection. The works are on display along with accompanying letters both handwritten and typed.

The show includes works from the following artists:

Emma Amos (1937-2020)
Phoebe Beasley (b. 1943)
Robert Blackburn (1920-2003)
Lillian Thomas Burwell (b. 1927)
Milton Bowens
Elizabeth Catlett (1915-2012)
Ed Clark (1926-2019)
Allan Rohan Crite (1910-2007)
Barbara Chase-Riboud (b. 1939)
Kevin Cole (b. 1960)
Louis Delsarte (1944-2020)
Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller (1877-1968)
Herbert Gentry (1919-2003)
Robin Holder (b. 1952)
Manuel Hughes (b. 1938)
Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000)
Samella Lewis (1923-2022)
Delita Martin (b. 1972)
Arcmanoro Niles (b. 1989)
Mary Lovelace O’Neal (b. 1942)
Gordon Parks (1912-2006)
Jefferson Pinder (b. 1970)
Amber Robles-Gordon (b. 1977)
Alison Saar (b. 1956)
Augusta Savage (1892-1962)
Frank Stewart (b. 1949)
Renee Stout (b. 1958)
Walter H. Williams (1920-1998)
Richard Wyatt (b. 1955)

Twenty guest selectors as well as guest curator Kayleigh Bryant-Greenwell each selected one to two works of art to be included in the show. Selectors include: Mr. Steven Bell and Mr. Burdette Brown, Mr. Reginald Brown, Ms. Zoë Charlton, Mr. David Cronrath, Ms. Cheryl Edwards, Mr. Larry Frazier, Mrs. Juanita and Mr. Mel Hardy, Ms. Gia Harewood, Mrs. Juanita and Mr. Neil Hartbarger, Ms. Barbara Luke, Mr. Taras Matla, Ms. Rhonda Matheison, Mr. Rodney Moore, Ms. Erica Bondarev Rapach, Ms. Halima Taha, Mr. Riley Temple, and Dr. Sheila Wright.

An exhibition brochure with a full checklist of the works selected for the show will be available at the gallery.  The show will have an opening reception September 8 at 6PM; the first fully in-person opening since the pandemic closures.

Kayleigh Bryant-Greenwell remarked about the show: “Individually, this exhibition demonstrates the power of art to affect one-on-one. But collectively, this exhibition demonstrates the future of the Driskell Center, with new community engagement opportunities and a continued collaborative spirit.”

The exhibition will also feature a special tribute to the late Sam Gilliam (1933-2022) in the recently established David Clyde Driskell Gallery Space. The space will feature artwork and archives by and about Sam Gilliam from the David C. Driskell Center Permanent Collection and David C. Driskell Papers.  

The David C. Driskell Center Gallery is open Mondays-Wednesdays, and selected Saturdays [Sep. 17th, Oct. 22th, and Nov. 19th] 11AM-4PM, and Thursdays 11AM-6PM.

Cover Image: Rest Stop (1979) by Phoebe Beasley, oil on canvas, 23.50 x 47.50 in., © Phoebe Beasley, 2013, Gift from the Sandra and Lloyd Baccus Collection.

MAYA FREELON ASANTE & GA GARDNER’s artwork returns from 2.5 year loan to Art in Embassies

6 Jun

United States Embassy, Kingston, Jamaica

ART in Embassies Exhibition

This exhibition includes art by established and mid-career African American and Caribbean American artists. Works by masters of the first generation – notably Lois Mailou Jones, Jacob Lawrence, Norman Lewis, and Sam Gilliam – offer a visual representation of the foundations of African American Art. Contemporary works by Lorna Simpson, GA Gardner, Maya Freelon Asante, Ruben Ubiera, and Kehinde Wiley illustrate influences from their predecessors and more recent developments.

Just as the Harlem Renaissance was taking shape in 1923, Lois Mailou Jones had her first solo exhibition in New York City. By the 1930’s her paintings, which incorporated African forms, helped to define the movement. Norman Lewis and Jacob Lawrence both grew up in Harlem, New York, during the Harlem Renaissance and into the Great Depression. The American government’s Works Progress Administration (WPA) created the Federal Art Project (FAP), which in 1938 opened the Harlem Community Art Center. Lewis and Lawrence both took classes at the center and later worked for the WPA. While with the WPA, Lewis worked alongside Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock, who would later be part of the abstract expressionist group. During this period Lewis’s paintings became more abstract and influenced generations to come. In the 1960’s, while influenced by the abstract expressionists, Sam Gilliam also became associated with the Washington color school artists. During the Civil Rights Movement, Lois Mailou Jones became influential in the Black Arts Movement. Like the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Arts Movement included literature, music and theatre in order to redefine personal identity and self perception through solidarity, racial pride, and political involvement.

By the 1980s, many African American artists began thinking about their identity in a multi-cultural society. Lorna Simpson, born in 1960, was influenced by the Civil Rights Movement and the struggle for equality. Her art uses photographs and text to produce narratives that examine gender, identity and social dynamics. Contemporary works from the last decade diverge from the traditional themes of African American art. Their experience is different, drawing influences from various artistic legacies. Maya Freelon Asante calls herself and “artisvist,” an artist/activist. Her soaked tissue paper, bleeding with color, presents universal issues and personal memories through its reference to African American cultural traditions like quilt making. Caribbean American artists GA Gardner and Ruben Ubiera reflect on contemporary urban life and society by using visual language through a personal identity. Gardner uses his early life in Trinidad and Tobago to portray his current American surroundings through color and textures. Ubiera’s mixed media works present social commentary on the human struggle that can be felt through his technique and subject matter. Jo Anne Jones’ narrative paintings use ambiguous related imagery to convey the complexity of relationships. Kehinde Wiley paints heroic images of African American males using elements of portraiture associated with the paintings of European masters. Wiley alludes to history, race, class and power in contemporary youth culture and African-American identity.

These artists present aspects of African American experience, evoking themes of daily life, community, belonging, and history, through imagery which spans social issues of identity, gender, race, and the nature of relationships in contemporary life. Their aesthetic explorations and viewpoints have enriched the history of American art and continue to redefine it in the twenty-first century.

Imtiaz Hafiz, Curator, Washington, DC, April 2013



“In 2005 I discovered a stack of brightly colored tissue paper tucked away in my grandmother’s basement. After unfolding the tissue, I noticed that water leaked onto the paper and left an intricate stain. This event inspired a shift in my creative process. Since then I have worked with ‘bleeding’ tissue paper, witnessing its deterioration. Tissue Ink Monoprints are created by saturating the tissue paper with water, thus releasing the ink from the fiber; the tissue is then pressed on to a heavy weight paper, which absorbs the bright ink permanently. The Tissue Ink Monoprints represent a recorded history of formation, which pays homage to the stains it now bears.

I contemplate global issues of war, poverty, waste, ageing and beauty, searching for what fuels our desire to preserve or protect. Giving reverence to my ancestors and meditating on the beauty of now, my art represents the freedom to create challenging work with an objective of universal peace and understanding. The peace starts with the community in which I’m sharing my work; interaction is ever present and essential.”

Maya Freelon Asante attended The American University in Paris, France in 2004, and in 2005 received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Layfayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania. In 2007 Asante received her Master of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts.

Migration, undated, Tissue and ink, 29"x20", Courtesy of the artist, and Morton Fine Art, Washington, D.C.

Migration, undated, Tissue and ink, 29″x20″, Courtesy of the artist, and Morton Fine Art, Washington, D.C.


GA GARDNER (b. 1969)

“This body of work is a reconstruction and redirection of the energy resulting from the over saturation of media and its original intended target. My work is a visual representation of the proliferation of media and information in contemporary society and the resulting cacophony of messages it engenders. The goal of my work is to dissect and neutralize the white noise found in these forms of media; create cohesive stories that integrate my cultural background as an immigrant from Trinidad and Tobago living and working in the USA. I present a Caribbean aesthetic in my art by utilizing colors, textures, and environments as the lens through which I see urban contemporary life in America, weaving my cultural identity back into the fabric of our society.”

GA Gardner began his professional art career in New York City, creating and exhibiting large format 3D computer fine art in 1996. Gardner studied fine art at San Francisco State University, California, from which he earned both his Bachelor’s of Arts and Master’s of Arts degrees. Gardner crafted mixed media art and animation at The Ohio State University, Columbus, where he earned a Ph.D. in Art Education in 1995. Gardner has served as a professor of art and animation at various universities, including William Paterson University (Wayne, New Jersey); University of the District of Columbia; and George Mason University (Fairfax, Virginia), and has been a lecturer at The Ohio State University.

GA Gardner, PPS 107, 2010, Mixed media on wood, 24"x20", Courtesy of the artist, and Morton Fine A

GA Gardner, PPS 107, 2010, Mixed media on wood, 24″x20″, Courtesy of the artist, and Morton Fine Art, Washington, D.C.


GA Gardner, PPS 100, 2010, Mixed media on wood, 24"x36", Courtesy of the artist, and Morton Fine Art, Washington,  D.C.

GA Gardner, PPS 100, 2010, Mixed media on wood, 24″x36″, Courtesy of the artist, and Morton Fine Art, Washington, D.C.


GA Gardner, Green City, 2010, Mixed media on wood, 40"x48", Courtesy of the artist, and Morton Fine Art, Washington, D.C.

GA Gardner, Green City, 2010, Mixed media on wood, 40″x48″, Courtesy of the artist, and Morton Fine Art, Washington, D.C.




(202) 628-2787


28 Aug

Visit Art in Embassies online to view the latest featured artwork for Kingston, Jamaica. http://art.state.gov/

Featured artists include:

Maya Freelon Asante, GA Gardner, Sam Gilliam, Jo Ann Jones, Lois Mailou Jones, Jacob Lawrence, Norman Lewis, Lorna Simpson, Ruben Ubiera, Kehinde Wiley