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African American art

Curator’s Corner

Women's History Month 2022: Toyin Ojih Odutola

Monday, March 14, 2022 | Karl Cole

Nigerian-born artist Toyin Ojih Odutola explores contemporary definitions of gender, culture, and society with a unique graphic/painting technique. ...

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Curator’s Corner

Black History Month 2022: John Biggers

Monday, February 28, 2022 | Karl Cole

While John Biggers is known for his murals, he is equally as renowned for his graphic works. His realist style is tempered by an abstract simplification reminiscent of African art. He drew his subject ...

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Curator’s Corner

Black History Month 2022: Mary A. Jackson

Tuesday, February 22, 2022 | Karl Cole

Mary A. Jackson is instrumental in bringing the African American tradition of sweetgrass basket making (called “Gullah” basketry) to international recognition. Sweetgrass basketry of ...

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Curator’s Corner

Black History Month 2022: Mark Bradford

Monday, February 14, 2022 | Karl Cole

Let’s continue to celebrate art for Black History Month with the work of Mark Bradford. ...

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Curator’s Corner

Black History Month 2022: Akili Ron Anderson

Monday, February 7, 2022 | Karl Cole

Let’s celebrate Black History Month by showing outstanding Black artists over the next few weeks. I’m starting the series with the work of Akili Ron Anderson. ...

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Davis Desk

Happy Juneteenth, 19 June, 2021: Celebrating the newest National Holiday!

Friday, June 18, 2021 | Karl Cole

We know we’re a day early celebrating Juneteenth, but It’s about time! African Americans have been celebrating Juneteenth forever! The movement to make it a federal holiday was spearheaded ...

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Curator’s Corner

African American History Month 2021 III

Monday, February 15, 2021 | Karl Cole

For my ongoing celebration of African American History month, let’s honor the life and work of Hughie Lee-Smith. He was one of many artists who matured during the Harlem Renaissance (1918– ...

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Curator’s Corner

African American History Month 2021 II

Monday, February 8, 2021 | Karl Cole

February 4th was artist Nick Cave’s birthday, so let’s celebrate his art for African American History Month. ...

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Curator’s Corner

African American History Month 2021 I

Monday, February 1, 2021 | Karl Cole

Let’s begin honoring African American History Month this year with the work of vernacular artist David Butler. His art reflects the long tradition of African-Caribbean influence in the art of ma ...

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Curator’s Corner

Art for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Tuesday, January 19, 2021 | Karl Cole

In commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I am recognizing an African American artist who was as committed to equality—especially for African American women—as MLK and expressed it ...

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Curator’s Corner

National Illinois Day

Monday, December 7, 2020 | Karl Cole

Being an art historian originally from Illinois, you just know that I have to celebrate National Illinois Day with some art. I chose two fascinating artists from Chicago. ...

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Curator’s Corner

Confronting Racism with Art

Monday, September 14, 2020 | Karl Cole

Unfortunately, African American artists in the 2000s continue to confront similar concerns that their forefathers addressed during the Harlem Renaissance. After nearly 100 years, issues of racism, job ...

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Curator’s Corner

African American History Month 2020 VI

Monday, February 24, 2020 | Karl Cole

It is certainly true that, in the 21st century, more African American artists than ever before—in a wider range of expression—are participating in the American “art world.” As ...

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Curator’s Corner

African American History Month 2020 V

Friday, February 14, 2020 | Karl Cole

Contemporary African American artists use diverse techniques, ideas, and the history of African Americans in works of art that speak in new and exciting ways, including these works from the 1980s and ...

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Curator’s Corner

African American History Month 2020 IV

Friday, February 14, 2020 | Karl Cole

This year’s African American (Art) History Month series continues with Howardena Pindell and her work from the 1970s.  ...

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Curator’s Corner

African American History Month 2020 III

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 | Karl Cole

Today my series celebrating African American (Art) History Month 2020 continues with another artist who was part of groundbreaking African American artist collectives: Dindga McCannon.  ...

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