The matter of interest in Afro-Americana in fine art has heightened significantly across the ethnocultural spectrum of collectors, institutions, performance, academia, and philanthropy.
To wit: the Katzen Arts Center presented a major show of recent works of Renee Stout, and “Riffing on the Legacy of the Black Arts Movement” featuring the artists collective “Delusions of Grandeur” in 2016; Emory University opened a tribute exhibition entitled “Still Raising Hell: The Art, Activism and Archives of Camille Billops and James V. Hatch” in September, 2016; The Phillips Collection just closed its dual exhibitions of Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Whitfield Lovell’s Kin Series in January; University of Maryland University College presents Africobra artist James Phillips which opened in January; the National Museum of African American History and Culture is the hottest ticket in town; the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia will show nearly 60 works by AfricanAmerican artists in the exhibition “Expanding Tradition: Selections from the Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Collection,” on view through May 7; Hemphill Fine Arts opened its exhibition of Early Alma Thomas works in February; The Cosmos Club opened its exhibition featuring selected works from The Hardy Collection of African American Art in February; The David C. Driskell Center at the University of Maryland opens “African American Women Artists and the Power of Their Gaze” in March; The National Gallery of Art presents its symposium on African American Art in the 21st Century in March; Swann Auction Galleries presents a superb presentation of works for auction in April; and The Porter Colloquium at Howard University presents its annual colloquium on African American Art featuring artists Fred Wilson and Lorna Simpson in April. Dedicated coverage of this material is noteworthy, with the superiorly important online publications Culture Type and The Black Art Project both originating in our Washington region. Black Art in America continues its national distribution of artworks and publication As does Black Artist News. In gratitude, the work abounds through our gallery friends in Washington, Baltimore, New York and points far and wide around our nation, and around our world.
This is most exciting and most welcomed, and…but…
Our world is challenged in the new environment in which we find ourselves. The ethnocultural spectrum of humanity, which includes all of us, requires our continued diligence in exploring the value of our creatives. We must maintain our commitment to the power of the arts, culture and the humanities to help us discover and activate our better and higher selves, to mine within ourselves our inherent stores of empathy and compassion for all who share our common and endowed gifts of creativity. The artists and the artworks contribute mightily to this guidance, and has ever been the better articulation of our quest, activism, and visioning for social cohesion in our human affairs.