February Exhibits to Celebrate Black History Month
In honor of Black History Month, the Creative Arts Guild is proud to host an exhibit of works on paper by almost 30 of the country’s leading African American post-War and contemporary artists.
“The Profound Responsibility of Individuality: A Selection of Works by Prominent African-American Artists” will open in February in the Guild’s Gallery FIVE20 with an opening reception on February 4, from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m. The Guild’s exhibits and the reception are free and open to the public. The works will remain on display until February 28.
This exhibit is curated by Joshua Guerrier and Robert Webb, with works from their collections supplemented by a recently acquired suite of prints from the prestigious Brandywine Workshop in Philadelphia. The show includes lithographs, serigraphs, silkscreens, etchings, wood block prints, lino cut prints, collages, watercolors and drawings. The work ranges from 1957 to 2013 and features major artists from most regions of the United States.
“Joshua and Robert have chosen works that reflect many powerful stories and many methods of making art,” said Guild Executive Director Amanda Brown. “This show offers a depth and variety that people across this area will be eager to see. We even have a piece by George W. Bush’s art instructor.”
Artists in the exhibit include Benny Andrews, Roland Ayers, Chakaia Booker, Moe Brooker, Samuel Brown Jr., Elizabeth Catlett, Nanette Acker Clarke, Adgar Cowans, Melvin Edwards & Jayne Cortez, Reginald Gammon, Marcus Glenn, Albert Gold, Raymond Howell, Sedrick Huckaby, Edward Hughes, Paul Keene, Glenn Ligon, Thomas Malloy, Evangeline “EJ” Montgomery, Julie Oshana, Howardena Pindell, John T. Scott, Charles Searles, Edgar Sorrels-Adewale, Phyllis Thompson, Larry Walker, Richard Watson, Shirley Woodson and more.
“The title of the exhibit is derived from a comment that artist Jennifer Packer made in a 2020 interview,” said Webb, a Dalton-based art collector and founder of the Guild’s sculpture garden. “All of these artists are strong individuals whose careers often required great perseverance to gain recognition for their remarkable talents. In my art history courses, we rarely studied the work of People of Color. Within the academic world, these African American artists simply didn’t exist beyond Basquiat or perhaps Jacob Lawrence or Henry Ossawa Tanner. I hope this exhibit will inspire people to explore the rich diversity of American art and discover the work of hundreds of gifted African American artists who are a critical part of our shared history.”
The Guild has provided exhibition, instructional and mentorship opportunities for artists across the region for almost 60 years. This exhibit reflects the institution’s ongoing efforts to offer the community access to important art at no cost.
“This show is very balanced with figurative, expressionist and abstract work,” said Brown. “You see the ways in which these artists explore the human condition, addressing questions of identify, relationships, social structures, aging and loss. It’s an exhibit deeply rooted in humanity and how people of great talent share the stories of their lives through their work.”
Following the exhibit, many of the prints will go on display in a public building to ensure ongoing access to the work and stories of African American artists. Guerrier is also donating a collection of books about these and other artists as a resource for the Guild and the community.
“Inspiration is all around us but seeing someone who looks like you achieve the success you desire is empowering and affirming,” said Guerrier. “I hope the books will provide a window into what’s possible.”