ABG Celebrates Women’s History Month
Artist Shirley Woodson’s bold strokes There’s a lot going on in Shirley Woodson’s vivid paintings. And at 85, this artist and former schoolteacher is being celebrated with her first one-woman show at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Correspondent Rita Braver reports. Elana Meyers Taylor is most-decorated Black Winter Olympian The Douglasville, Georgia native won a Bronze in her final event in Beijing.
‘On top of the world’: Candace Allen’s exuberance on display in ‘A Dream in Color’
Amanda Sieradzki, Council on Culture & Arts Source: Tallahassee Democrat At the Anderson Brickler Gallery’s new exhibit, Candance Allen’s “We Go High” piece stands six feet tall. Eyes heavenward, the young woman at the center of Candace Allen’s “We Go High” piece stands six feet tall. Her box braids, carefully woven in dark navy and periwinkle, are windswept. She laughs at a sky buzzing with paper airplanes that cut through technicolor clouds. “It’s hyperbolic in the best kind of sense,” notes Allen. Her digital portrait is a centerpiece of her show “CandiiKismet: A Dream in Color” at the Anderson Brickler Gallery, on display now through May 14. Allen is the first and youngest female artist to have a solo show at the gallery. “We Go High” is surrounded by mobiles of paper airplanes, which Allen hopes will immerse viewers into these colorful landscapes. Her illustrations have been called magical realism, but Allen grounds her images in both fantastical and tangible worlds. “It’s real because you know this girl, she’s your best friend’s older sister who you always thought was cool or your substitute teacher or someone who works at your dentist office,” says Allen. “She’s tall and feels good about herself. She’s important and has her own agency and voice. She’s on top of the world. These paper planes are racing past and piercing these clouds around her, and as they do, they’re colored themselves. That’s a feeling. That’s a moment.” Candance Allen has a show “CandiiKismet: A Dream in Color,” at the Anderson Brickler Gallery, on display now through May 14. FAMU grad from Quincy Allen earned her degree in fine art with a focus in illustration and printmaking from Florida A&M University. While in school, she appreciated the push she received from professors like Dr. Pamela Kabuya Bowens-Saffo. A longtime lover of literature, Allen was energized by connections she made between printmaking and books. The pop art movement served as another source of inspiration, with its repeating colors and patterns. A native of Quincy, Allen grew up constantly drawing characters. Her favorite subject is Black women. Allen constructs amalgamations that borrow bits and pieces from the faces, bodies, and stances she sees in her community to create completely original works. Allen strives to capture the everyday through her unique lens. She appreciates artists like Norman Rockwell whose artistic approach elevated the everyday lives of people in his paintings. The subjects that Allen creates come from her own everyday encounters. Candance Allen has a show “CandiiKismet: A Dream in Color,” at the Anderson Brickler Gallery, on display now through May 14. The most beautiful people’ “I’m always looking at Black women and Black people because I think we’re the most diverse group of people in the world given the nature of our diaspora,” says Allen. “When I’m creating, I take from every person I’ve seen. It’s the barista’s eyes and the nurse’s lips and the mail lady’s hair. I look at the shape of their nostrils, the way they have this beauty gap that no doubt comes from West Africa. I think African Americans are the most beautiful people in the world.” When Allen sits down to capture a person, she considers not only what they’re doing, but how they feel about what they’re doing. While digital art can be intimidating given the multitude of computer programs available, Allen confesses that she only uses four of the brush tools on her computer to create her work, emphasizing the importance of simplicity and finding creative approaches that fit the artist. Ideas for drawings come from fleeting thoughts or moments in her day. Allen recently finished a drawing that came to her after seeing a nature documentary on flamingos. Imagination and ‘childlike nature’ The show reminded her that flamingos are pink because of the food they eat, which made her wonder what would happen if they were fed something different. A few hours later, she had drawn a little girl feeding a flock of flamingos Rubik’s cubes as their feathers transform into multi-colored checkerboards. “That’s the childlike nature in what I do,” laughs Allen. Beyond whimsy, Allen’s artistic contributions center on, and celebrate, Black women in hopes of promoting more widespread representation in the media. Included in the show are some of Allen’s medical illustrations that she creates for Beloved Birth Black Centering, a birth justice center in California. The organization is run by all Black midwives, doctors, and nurses, and the facility commissioned Allen to create artwork for their programming. Allen has created art for instructions on everything from swaddling a baby to mixing formula to best labor practices. These illustrations live side-by-side in Allen’s exhibit, which she hopes will not only inspire, but emotionally touch the gallery patrons who see the work in person. “I think the most rewarding thing is that people get to see themselves in my work,” says Allen. “The closer you get to my work, the more you realize it is you. I think it’s exciting, not just for young people, but it’s important and validating for me too.” Amanda Sieradzki is the feature writer for the Council on Culture & Arts. COCA is the capital area’s umbrella agency for arts and culture (www.tallahasseearts.org).
Works by Kabuya Pamela Bowens-Saffo on view at Essex Flowers
Source: ArtDaily.cc Artwork: Kabuya Pamela Bowens-Saffo, Reflections on Tracks & Bridges #3. Digital print on paper, 24 x 24 inches. 2021. Photo: Claire Watson. NEW YORK, NY.- Essex Flowers is presenting Tracks & Bridges, a series of digital prints and drawings with mixed media on paper by Kabuya Pamela Bowens-Saffo. Kabuya’s works in this series are homages to two major figures of the Harlem Renaissance, sculptor Augusta Savage and writer and civil rights activist James Weldon Johnson. Commissioned by the New York World’s Fair of 1939, and destroyed at its conclusion, Savage’s sculpture The Harp was inspired by the lyrics of the poem Lift Every Voice and Sing, by writer and civil rights activist James Weldon Johnson. “Tracks and Bridges is an ongoing theme focus in my work . . . to recognize human relations, defining purpose and progress in current moments. The select works for exhibition are tracks and bridges reflecting a journey of hardships since 2020, 2021 and beginning possibilities of choice to build better bridges for 2022.” ~ KPBS Kabuya Pamela Bowens-Saffo is a Florida-based artist specializing in printmaking and mixed media constructions. Her work explores aspects of everyday social and political human relations highlighting important references to acknowledge the history of African Americans. She is a BFA graduate of Howard University in Washington, DC and MFA studies at Tyler School of the Arts at Temple University in Philadelphia and Rome. Kabuya began her MFA studies at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York while working as a master printer with Robert Blackburn at the Printmaking Workshop. Bowens-Saffo is the chief curator at the Anderson Brickler Gallery, a globally inclusive and community-centered art gallery focusing on art created by persons of the African diaspora. The gallery is located in Tallahassee, Florida, where Bowens-Saffo was an Associate Professor of Printmaking at Florida State University and Visiting Professor at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University. Bowens-Saffo is a recipient of awards from New York Foundation for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts Mid-Atlantic Grant, Bronx Council for the Arts, and Artist Residencies at the Zora Neale Hurston Museum, Salem-2Salem in Baden-Württemberg, Germany and the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice Italy. She is founder of THINKING CAP: Collaborative Arts Projects involving artists, architects, engineers and environmental scientists.
Tallahassee’s Eluster Richardson paints memories into ‘Quilts, Lives, Legacies’
Eluster Richardson poses for a portrait with some of his painting, which will be displayed at the Anderson Brickler Gallery in October. Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat Source: Tallahassee.com The last months of 2021 and all of 2022 are set to be banner years for one of Tallahassee’s most beloved painters, Eluster Richardson, who will show both here in Tallahassee, and later at the Gadsden Arts Center. With “Quilts, Lives, Legacies, (Oct. 9-Dec. 29, 2021) at Tallahassee’s Anderson Brickler Gallery, Richardson will close the year with a personal glimpse of the wonderous real-life quilts created by his mother, and the mesmerizing art into which he turned not only images of the coverlets, but also of the woman who made them. Since he was small, Eluster Richardson has never been far from art. He found it among the rocks, dirt, trees, and water of the Ayavalla Plantation where he was born. He created it in small sketchbooks where drawings of wrenches and hand drills would appear beneath his pencil. And later he would go on to reproduce the natural art he observed within his own home, a place where simple things, simple tasks, the ordinary act of making a bed or folding laundry would become an existential meditation on what it means to be alive. To be alive, yes, says the 70-year-old painter as he gazes at a painting of his mother who died at 97, but a means to leave a legacy that will forever say his mother, Amanda Richardson, was important — and that in his paintings of her and her quilts, the life she lived will be honored. Eluster Richardson’s “Young Girl Sleeping,” Oil on canvas 36 X 48 inches, 2017, is part of the “Quilts, Lives, Legacies” exhibit opening at Anderson Brickler Gallery on October 9, 2021. ‘I love the human figure’ Even as you see the oil paintings of Eluster Richardson’s wife, mother, or daughter going about their daily lives upon his canvases, two things become clear: one, Richardson loves color. And second, he is a master of the “color block” background—geometric panels that are sometimes part of a room or a shadow, sometimes, abstracted forms that perfect a piece. Just as in a quilt, where each square brings a different hue, adds its own unique voice to the chorus of the whole, so do the colors and designed back-grounds of his paintings. Then, of course, there are Eluster’s “quilt women” who busy themselves with careful stitches, or drape themselves in pixeled cloth, or smooth the wrinkles of fabric, even as time creates its own upon them. “I love the human figure,” says Richardson from his home studio. “I’ve painted my daughter, Jasmine, from the time she was in diapers.” Sometimes dancing, other times reflective, Jasmine with a brilliant scarf around her head, or posing as an African princess, brings her own drama to a Richardson work. Eluster Richardson poses for a portrait with some of his painting, which will be displayed at the Anderson Brickler Gallery in October. Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat Tribute to painter’s mother For the current Anderson-Brickler show, it is mostly Amanda Richardson’s turn. “After nearly 30 years at the telephone company as a systems engineer, I had retired — just when my mother needed me. She moved into my home, and we found ourselves with time to devote to our passions … my art, and her quilting.” Richardson says his mother would have scraps of cloth all over the living room, but he could see her patience and her zeal for what she was creating. And together, their lives became part of the legacy he always has at the back of his mind. Fourteen of his paintings will adorn the Anderson Brickler walls, along with four of his mother’s real quilts. Another from the family of Marjorie Turnbull dating to the 1800s, and one by Valerie S. Goodwin, former FAMU professor, whose quilt deals with African burial grounds, will be on display. Interest in quilts has burgeoned over the years. Quilting societies have sprung up, fine arts galleries feature them as both forms of vernacular art and as pieces of hand-made fine art, both primitive and highly detailed. Kabuya Priscilla Bowens-Saffo, the ABG’s Chief Curator, has reached out to local quilting shops and organizations to share their own stories, quilts, and legacies. She hopes to mount their submitted photos and histories of their quilts in a separate room at the gallery. Eluster Richardson works on a painting in his studio. Marina Brown Gallery founder creates glossy exhibit books Dr. Celeste Hart, who is the fourth generation in line to the formidable and lauded Harriet Tubman, in addition to being a practicing medical doctor in the Brickler family tradition, established the Anderson Brickler Gallery as part of her devotion to art, its history, and the experiences art can produce. She also wanted to extend the appreciation of the moment of seeing deeply moving art by providing the viewer with something tangible to take home to relive the experience. “I have long been a collector of art catalogs. I often see things I missed in the works when they were first viewed. Art is very specific to a given time and place, capturing history in ways other documentary media do not.” Eluster Richardson poses for a portrait with some of his painting, which will be displayed at the Anderson Brickler Gallery in October. Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat Hart believes that in addition to “thanking” the artists for the display of their works, it is important to see their development and the time spent in its evolution. Her response has been a hard-bound, glossy print book of two of the Anderson Brickler’s exhibitions: that of Ken Falana, and now, Eluster Richardson. “To have a book of my paintings is something I have dreamed about for 25 years,” says Richardson. “And this one is beautifully produced.” Richardson will have a book signing at the gallery Nov. 13. And yet new works are always literally “on the drawing board.” From his home studio, just off the living room where his family gathers, Eluster Richardson can be found most evenings, sketching, working in watercolors, oils, even creating figurative sculptures that will be turned to bronze. “It’s like scratching an itch that never goes away,” he laughs. And everyone who sees his work is very, very glad that as of yet, there is no remedy. If You Go What: Exhibition of the work of Eluster Richardson, “Quilts, Lives, Legacies” When: Exhibit opens Saturday, Oct. 9, and runs through Dec 29 Where: Anderson Brickler Gallery, 1747 S. Adams, Lower Level Artist Talk and Book Signing: 3-4 p.m. Nov. 13, Contact: andersonbricklergallery.com
COVID-19 Online Art Exhibition to Open on International Women’s Day
PARIS – Feb. 24, 2021 – PRLog — COVID-19 PAGES: The Inspiration & Influence of Women, a collaboration between the Wells International Foundation (Houston, TX), Anderson Brickler Gallery (Tallahassee, FL), and Thinking CAP: Collaborative Arts Projects (Tallahassee, FL), is on schedule to open on International Women’s Day (March 8) 2021. This online exhibition celebrates the essential work of women who are mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in all sectors of the economy. It showcases the work of twenty-six professional women artists from around the world, whose original fine artworks include photographs, textiles, paintings, and sculpture. Click here to see the full press release.>>
PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 1 – 31, 2020 “The A.I.M. Biennial presents site specific installations created by local artists responding to the historically layered landscapes, landmarks, architecture, and communities of South Florida during Miami Art Week 2020.” A.I.M. is: Art in Movement • Art is Matter • Andedan ici Mwen • Activism is Movement • Ahora imagina Movimiento • Acabamos iniciar Machetes •Art in Miami • Any intimate moment • American Indian Movement… The AIM Biennial—a project which features new site-specific installations throughout South Florida, created by local cultural practitioners–including visual artists, dancers, activists and performers–who represent our region’s diversity. With an emphasis on ritual, monuments and shrines, these installations have been produced in response to historically layered landscapes, landmark locations, urban vernacular architecture, the Everglades and the various communities of our region. A published catalogue includes maps and site locations. AIM was organized by william cordova (cultural practitioner, NY/Miami), Marie Vickles (Education director Perez Art Museum / Curator Little Haiti Cultural Center), Gean Moreno (Director, Knight Foundation Art + Research Center at Institute of ContemporaryArt, Miami), and Mikhaile Solomon (Curator / Director of Prizm Art Fair). Locations: Homestead, Dade, Broward, Palm Beach Counties, Seminole Indian Reservation. Satellite locations in Georgia, Tallahassee and Texas. www.aimbiennial.org
Photographer Stan Johnson’s journey of truth brings him to ‘Walls’
Source: Tallahassee Democrat Stanley Johnson, a local photographer, will have an exhibit titled “Walls” at the Anderson Brickler Gallery starting Friday, October 30, 2020. In the Anderson Bricker Gallery’s new exhibition of photography opening Oct. 30, Stan Johnson illuminates what so many African Americans have felt for generations. Titled simply, “Walls,” Johnson’s poignant images for the first time find the photographic artist speaking about his own life, and the barriers, be they brick or bias, that people “like him” face every day. Johnson was born in Quincy, an athletic boy who would later put his football talent to use in his home town. His mother was a teacher, and father a maintenance man who had an affinity for the camera. “My dad had been in the military and acquired a German Kodak Retina 1A camera there that he used for taking family photos.” At the time, Johnson’s interests leaned more toward elaborate “doodling” and a fascination with bugs, but like his father, he had begun to “play around” with that well-used camera. Entering FAMU, Johnson wavered between entomology and engineering. But like many others before him, neither major proved a perfect fit. What had begun to blossom however, was an artistic sensibility inspired by an art-majoring fraternity brother. “I began to paint in acrylics. Later I took up air brush work. I developed proficiency in screen printing,” Johnson said, all culminating, while still a student, in his becoming the senior graphic artist at a custom T-shirt company. An award-winning photograph by Stanley Johnson titled “What Future?” is part of his exhibit “Walls” which will be at the Anderson Brickler Gallery starting Friday, October 30, 2020. But Johnson says he realized he would not graduate college in four years, and he was eager to get on with his life. Almost surprising himself, he enlisted in the Marines, where he would spend the next three years traveling the world…and acquiring a good camera for himself — an AE1 Canon. Yet it would not be used professionally for years to come. After the Marines, Johnson worked in state and county government jobs, started his own successful screen-print T-shirt company, and returned to FAMU to earn a degree in Graphic Communications, eventually using it doing graphics for the Gadsden City Times, and for the Department of Children and Families. It was from that springboard, that his artistic life truly grew. “DCF asked me if I could create a brochure and video about foster children and their families. They also wanted still photographs of eight or 10 of the children. When they came back…,” he says with incredulity, “They were really pretty good. These are nice!” And so, in 2005 Johnson began a kind of “college course” in photographic self-teaching. He was excited like he had never been in school. He read everything he could on photography, and laid down his old AE1 Canon to buy a new Canon EOS R digital camera, which he admits, appealed to his need for “immediate gratification.” Walls: Pure Liberty Lost by Stan Johnson Soon, Johnson was documenting weddings and anniversaries, creating portraits in his own studio, and tending to the new company he had started, Stan Johnson PhotoGraphics (SJPG.) And yet, as the years went on, he says he was feeling a little burned out with the routine assignments. “I needed a new vision. I guess I needed some new inspiration from professionals who were not self-taught like I was.” In 2018, Johnson decided to get a Masters in Photography from the Academy of Art at the University of San Francisco. Italy Palio Di Siena, one of the images Stan Johnson shot while studying in Italy. The directional turn from that period is clear. The resulting images from three months’ study-abroad in Italy show color-flooded landscapes, lonely people in the midst of crowds, stunning close-ups of horses at the famed Palio in Sienna. But there is also a shift in the artist’s motives. “One of the professors told me that my photos were great, but that he didn’t see “me” there. He pushed me to put myself into the work,” says Johnson. And so began the emergence of Johnson’s own truth into the photographer’s work. An African American man making a statement about living today in America. What will hang in the Anderson Brickler Gallery beginning Oct. 30 and running through Dec. 30 is what Stan Johnson calls his “Master’s Thesis.” “In the past, I had always photographed as if I were trying to not offend. These images represent what I feel.” Titled, “Walls,” the exhibition will show 16 photographs depicting the barriers to a full and empowered life experienced by African Americans and other minorities in the United States today. Though a wrenching topic, the photographs are beautiful, their compositions painterly, their messages delivered without bitterness, but with a sadness that perhaps may move another human soul toward change. Walls: Empty Pockets by Stan Johnson A young black man against a white brick wall whose “Empty Pockets” depict not only poverty, but the opportunities that are lacking in his life. The photo of a young woman seated behind bars as she holds a withering flower, which Johnson says speaks to the loss of true liberty felt by African Americans and minorities. A photograph of two black youngsters gazing at the American flag from behind a pane of glass, a barrier that though invisible, keeps them from true participation in the American dream. These and other photographs, Stan Johnson says, confront the disparities he has felt in this land of liberty. Johnson, who was born into a segregated South, delivered by a black midwife into a black household, attending an all-black school in an all-black community knows that his opportunities were limited. He remembers two years of what he calls, “true integration” and the friendship of a peer who was white, only to have the friendship extinguished when the “private white school was built.” Stan Johnson, along with Cynthia Rose, a poet, he has published the E-book, “Beautiful Grace,” filled with his photographs and verses of the Bible. Johnson recalls the looks of disgust from white adults to the dark-skinned grade school boy and the verbal abuses he heard yelled at grown-ups he loved. In his images at the Anderson Brickler Gallery, Stan Johnson means to challenge and mentally provoke the viewer with a hope that the inequality born from what feels like an uncaring society will be altered. But in the man himself there seems little bitterness or anger. Instead, along with Cynthia Rose, a poet, he has published the E-book, “Beautiful Grace,” filled with his photographs and verses of the Bible, and a forthcoming volume of poetry and photography, called “Journey of Light.” From a man who has grown from technician to an artist willing to expose his innermost feelings, the new exhibition of photographs is a journey many will want to take. Contact Marina Brown at: email@example.com.
Kabuya Pamela Bowens-Saffo, Featured Artist at Uptown Triennial 2020
WALLACH ART GALLERY TO OPEN UPTOWN TRIENNIAL 2020 AT THE COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY LENFEST CENTER FOR THE ARTS NEW YORK, NY, September 23, 2020 – The Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University is pleased to open Uptown Triennial 2020, the second iteration in the series, presenting the work of contemporary artists in dialogue with the Harlem Renaissance—a defining moment in American modernism and African-American cultural history—during its centennial year. The exhibition opens to Columbia students, faculty, and staff on September 24, 2020 (reservations are required) and with a 3D virtual tour for the broader community. Full public access to the gallery is expected laterthis fall. Reservations to the exhibition, links to the 3D virtual tour and updates on gallery access are available at wallach.columbia.edu. The exhibition closes on December 13, 2020. Uptown Triennial 2020 is organized by Wallach director and chief curator, Betti-Sue Hertz. “The exhibition features25 artists whose works project a confidence in Black identity that reflects a quest for making visible emerging subjectivities that mine popular and historical iconographies,” said Hertz. Uptown Triennial 2020 includes works by artists Derrick Adams,Tariq Al-Sabir, Dawoud Bey, Sanford Biggers, Kabuya Pamela Bowens-Saffo, Jordan Casteel, Renee Cox, Gerald Cyrus, Priyanka Dasgupta & Chad Marshall,Damien Davis, Delano Dunn, Awol Erizku, Derek Fordjour, Hugh Hayden, Leslie Hewitt, Jennie C. Jones, Kahlil Joseph, Autumn Knight, Whitfield Lovell, Glendalys Medina, Rashaun Rucker, Xaviera Simmons, Dianne Smith, and LeRone Wilson. These 25 accomplished artists work in a wide range of media including painting, photography, video,sculpture, installation and performance. Whitfield Lovell provides an installation of three paintings and sculptural items representing returning Black World War I soldiers. Large Installations by Xaviera Simmons and Derrick Adams focus on the great migration of Blacks seeking opportunities in the industrialized northern cities and the Green Book as a required resource for north/south car transport during Jim Crow, respectively. Hugh Hayden, a Columbia School of the Arts alumni, reimagines the cast iron skillet recasting the historical object with west African mask forms. Hayden says, “It’s an honor and quite surreal to be included amongst so many artists that I look up to, particularly given this time, as we collectively engage with notions of the Harlem Renaissance in our own works.” Six historical works in Uptown Triennial 2020 offer touchstones from which to explore the far reaching arc of the Harlem Renaissance’s influence. A first edition of The New Negro: An Interpetation, the anthology compiled by Alain Locke and a cornerstone of the movement, is included in this exhibition. Uptown Triennial 2020 also presents original works by several of the Harlem Renaissance’s revered figures—Aaron Douglas, Augusta Savage, James Van DerZee, and James Weldon Johnson. A maquette of a theatrical stage set for Duke Ellington by Joseph Urban is also in the exhibition. » CLICK HERE to view the Schedule and Artwork
Over 500 Museums Now Offering Virtual Tours
Source: Florida A&M University Office of the Provost The threat of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) may cause difficulties for those trying to keep young children or themselves occupied should self-quarantine, social distancing or lockdown procedures be enacted. Google Arts & Culture has a collection of over 500 museums from around the world now offering virtual tours. By clicking on a museum’s link, tourists are able to virtually visit galleries and exhibits currently on display. Below is a list of some museums offering virtual tours: The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, D.C. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York The National Gallery of Modern Art, New Dehli, India Kimball Art Museum, Fort Worth The Museum of African American Art, Los Angeles Clyfford Still Museum, Denver Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa African Ceremonies, Friday Harbor Eiffel Tour, Paris Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, National Park Service The Gordon Parks Foundation, Pleasantville GoDown Arts Centre, Nairobi, Kenya The Museum of African American History, Boston & Nantucket, Boston Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts+Culture, Charlotte Black Cultural Archives, London