Sunday, August 24, 2014

Thelma Harris Art Gallery 17th Annual White Linen Nights - Collage: Merging Memories, Myths, and Merriment

Bisa Butler’s ‘Afrodite’

Thelma Harris Art Gallery 17th Annual White Linen Nights, ‘Collage: Merging Memories, Myths, and Merriment,’  

Michael Singletary, Alonzo Davis, Bisa Butler, Claudia Gibson-Hunter, and Danny Campbell. 

An Artist Reception will be held Friday, August 29, 2014 from 7-9pm.

‘Collage: Merging Memories, Myths, and Merriment,’ exhibits a layered conversation about the dual perception of ritualized African – American expressions and norms. From Claudia Gibson-Hunter’s ‘Sankofa’ hearkening the viewer to ‘honor the past’ quilted in the majestic earthiness of Bisa Butler’s ‘Afrodite,’ the power of African- American women as cultural custodian and primary keeper of tradition is acknowledged. Whereas Alonzo Davis’s ‘Homage To Kandinsky,’ is a muddled reverence that deconstructs his nod to a modernist master with natural materials such as bamboo sticks. Danny Campbell in contrast uses abandoned tires and other discarded materials in ‘Carbon Bundle Series,’ an energetic explosion of color and nuance.

The cultural lens of the African – American insider and as well as the outsider American is explored as well. They both shutter in syncopation decoding Michael Singletary’s, ‘5 Cultural Children Eating Watermelon.” The historical context of African – Americans depicted as watermelon eating dilettantes in 20th century film and cartoons is reimagined thus humanized for the 21st century gallery audience. ‘Collage: Merging Memories, Myths, and Merriment,’ will exhibit from August 29, 2014 to September 30, 2014.  

Michael Singletary, artist, filmmaker, radio/television producer has exhibited in over 300 different fine arts exhibits including The American Craft Museum, Harlem Studio Museum, Whitney Museum, The Hudson River Museum, Sotheby, The Nueberger Museum, The Museum of
Arts and Design, The Jazz Museum, The Countee Cullen and Schomburg Center for African American Studies, Atelier Gallery (New York), Pepsi Cola, Kraft General Foods, and Readers Digest.He is the official artist for the “New York City Basketball Hall of Fame.” His work has been featured in Spike Lee’s films “Mo Better Blues” and “Jungle Fever,” “The Cosby Show,” “227,” and “The Guiding Light.”

Singletary was born in New York City and has studied at the Art Student League at Vermont Academy; Syracuse University (BFA); Rhode Island School of Design; University of Ghana, West Africa; University of Guadalajara, Mexico; and Fontainebleau Music and Fine Arts
Conservatoire, France (Damrosch Scholarship). 

Alonzo Davis’ career as an artist spans four decades. Influenced early on by the assemblagists, he began to experiment with a variety of mediums, techniques and themes. Davis uses paint, bamboo, copper, leather, indigenous textiles and mixed media to reflect the magic of the Southwest United States, Brazil, Haiti, West Africa and the Pacific Rim in works which are installed in public, corporate and personal art collections.

During the 70’s and early 80’s, his involvement in the California mural movement culminated with the 1984 Olympic Murals project. Fellowships in Hawaii and Texas inaugurated new bodies of work and led to job opportunities in academia—deanships at the San Antonio Art Institute and
he Memphis College of Art.

Davis is a native of Tuskegee, Alabama and moved with his family to Los Angeles in his early teens. He has an undergraduate degree from Pepperdine College and earned an MFA in Design at Otis Art Institute.  

Bisa Butler is a gifted quilter who honed her skills as a graduate student when she completed her first quilt as a gift for her grandmother. She is known for adding different types of fabrics to her art pieces—something she was moved to do from the collages of artist Romare Bearden. When
Butler is not working on her own pieces, she travels the nation teaching the art of quilting.

Butler has exhibited at The Smithsonian Institute, The Studio Museum, The California African American Museum, The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, The Kinsey Exhibit at Epcot Center at Disneyland, and “The
Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard And Shirley Kinsey, Where Art And History Intersect.”

Butler was raised in South Orange, New Jersey. She has a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Howard University and a master’s degree in Art Education from Montclair State University.

Claudia Gibson-Hunter combines printmaking and assemblage with painting and later moved into mixed media works. She studied in Bob Blackburn’s Printmaking Studio and later received a fellowship from the Bronx Museum of Art. She joined “Where We At,” a noted Black
women’s artists group in Harlem. She returned to Washington, DC to raise her family. A decade later she was invited to take an adjunct position at Howard University to teach printmaking. She was awarded two grants within the university, one to install non-toxic printmaking equipment. Howard University became one of the few Non-Toxic printmaking studios in the country.

Gibson-Hunter has exhibited in Washington, DC, Maryland, New York, Illinois, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Texas, Florida, Great Brittan, Argentina and Poland. A co-founder of Black Artists of DC, she represented BADC during Art Basel Miami 06, in the Design District. Her work is included in
the Washington DC Art Bank, the John A. Wilson Building Permanent Art Collection and other notable collections.

Gibson-Hunter attended Tyler College of Art. She graduated from Temple University and attended graduate school at Howard University.
She completed her MFA in printmaking.

Danny Campbell creates naturalistic sculptures inspired by various plants, vegetables, wood piles and tumbleweeds found around the country. He repurposes collected tire treads and other roadway remnants after a near death collusion with a hurling oncoming 18 wheeler tire tread as
a means of inspiration to save lives on the highways and roadways.

Campbell has exhibited locally, nationally and in the Southeast. His works can be found in collector’s homes across the country and in permanent collections such as: The Hammonds House Museum of African American Art, Atlanta University Center Woodruff Library, Paine College, Howard
 University Museum, Tri-Cities Performing Arts Center, and the UAMS Cancer Institute.

Campbell graduated from the University of Arkansas. He obtained a MFA degree from Howard University and a MA Ed from Charleston Southern University. He grew up in the Arkansas Delta Region.    

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