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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

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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 featured in Callaloo Art & Culture in the African Diaspora

14 Jun
We are proud to announce that artist MAYA FREELON ASANTE has been prominently featured in the journal – Callaloo Art & Culture in the African Diaspora – published by  The Johns Hopkins University Press. Founded in 1976 by Editor Charles Henry Rowell, this renowned journal celebrates 40 years in print.
MAYA FREELON ASANTE’s feature can be found in Volume 38, Number 4, Pages 801-804 and 896-898. Some of you may recognize your acquisitions featured!
Contact Morton Fine Art for the full pdf version. 
Morton Fine Art
1781 Florida Ave NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 628-2787

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24 Nov

“Material Girls: Contemporary Black Women Artists”

350 Spelman Lane SW,
September 6–December 1

Sonya Clark, Seven Layer Tangle, 2005,plastic combs, glue, 7 x 30 x 30”.

Maren Hassinger’s Love, 2005–12, in the far corner of the gallery, displays inflated hot pink plastic shopping bags gathered in the shape of an obtuse triangle rising up to the ceiling. It is impossible to see Love and not think of the collective progress made by the gay rights movement that has used this symbol of a pink triangle since the 1970s, as well the individual acts that went into shaping the movement. The allegorical use of materials continues in Sonya Clark’sPlain Weave, 2008—a simple, elegant grid of gold-colored thread and black plastic combs held together in the royal kente cloth pattern––elevating throwaway objects by using them to represent this coveted textile.

Such are two instances of the ways in which Chakaia BookerMaya Freelon AsanteMartha Jackson JarvisJoyce J. Scott, and Renée Stout, in addition to Hassinger and Clark—challenge the social and cultural identities of objects, blurring the boundary between natural and industrial materials. Take, for instance, Booker’s contribution: masses of recycled rubber tires––some sliced into strandlike lengths, others cut to sharp, pointed, staccato shapes––elegantly manipulated into long sculptural tableaux or smaller, compact works that allude to organic material and figuration. Whereas irrefutable power, speed, and performance dominate the commercially driven affect of automobile tires, Booker’s use of these discarded, visibly worn wheels––in tandem with her subsequent manipulation in composing her sculptures––speaks to a range of experience by showing the tangible effects of the environment on the objects. It is in this way that “Material Girls” spurs a consideration of the desire for newness in commodity objects and stakes a claim for finding value in the materiality that marks our experience, in spite of its monetary equivalent.

— Amanda Parmer

MAYA FREELON ASANTE in “Material Girls: Contemporary Black Women Artists” opens at Spelman

21 Aug

Opens Sept. 6, 2012

Martha Jackson Javis, 'Scent of Magnolia I, II, III'_2_The seven artists featured in Material Girls: Contemporary Black Women Artists create three-dimensional works that exemplify the value of organic and man-made materials. Incorporating a range of materials including hair, beads, tissue paper, volcanic stone, rubber tires, and plastic, the artists are keenly attentive to the pleasures derived from the sense of touch. Using delicate and resilient materials, the artists have constructed monumental sculptures, shaped richly textured surfaces, applied intricate handiwork, and created provocative assemblages.

Above image is Martha Jackson Jarvis pulling Scent of Magnolia I, II and III, 2008.Stone, Concrete, Glass. Scent of Magnolia I, 3.5’ x 10’ x 3’; Scent of Magnolia II,3.5’ x 8’ x 3’; Scent of Magnolia III,3.5’ x 5’ x 3’. Courtesy the artist.

Material Girls: Contemporary Black Women Artists, features work by Chakaia Booker, Sonya Clark, Maya Freelon Asante, Maren Hassinger, Martha Jackson Jarvis, Joyce J. Scott, and Renée Stout. On view at the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art Sept. 6 through Dec. 1, 2012, this exhibition explores the innovative ways that Black women artists fuse fine art and craft.

Material Girls: Contemporary Black Women Artists was developed and organized by the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture. This exhibition was curated by Michelle Joan Wilkinson, Ph.D.

“Material Girls” Exhibition at The Lewis in Baltimore

29 Mar

“Material Girls” – a wonderful group exhibition of Contemporary Black Women Artists – is currently on view at the  Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore, MD. The exciting show runs  through October 16, 2011 and is most definitely worth a trip!  The 8 participating artists use materials as varied as wood, metal, glass, manufactured and re-purposed materials including plastic bags, tissue paper, rubber tires, combs and human hair. As the museum notes, “The materials they prod, ply and piece together play on a range of cultural meanings, personal memories, and social agendas.”

Featured contemporary artists include:

  • Chakaia Booker
  • Sonya Clark
  • Torkwase Dyson
  • Maya Freelon Asante (soon to be shown in MFA’s ‘Stories that Breathe’ which opens next week at MFA in DC)
  • Maren Hassinger
  • Martha Jackson Jarvis
  • Joyce J. Scott
  • Renee Stout

Additional details:

“Material Girls”, Contemporary Black Women Artists, Curated by Michelle Joan Wilkinson, PhD

Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American Culture & History, 830 E. Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21202

Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, Noon to 5 p.m.
Thursday (June to August), open until 8 p.m.
Sunday Noon to 5 p.m.