Witness: Black Artists in Texas, Then and Now

Saturday, October 14, 2023 10:00 AM - Saturday, February 3, 2024 5:00 PM
The Grace Museum
102 Cypress Street Abilene, TX 79601

The Grace Museum presents art exhibitions curated to celebrate the significant contributions of Black artists in Texas, both past and present. The creative process of sharing personal experiences through the visual arts is a testament to the importance of documenting our cultural stories; marking the moment as witness. Each artist in this exhibition brings something authentic, unique, and valuable to the nascent conversation about race and culture. This long-overdue focus on important Texas-based Black artists provides a platform to create awareness of the many contributions Black artists have made to American art history.

“My immediate passion is to draw, paint, and sculpt. I am not interested in trends: to me art is the expression of one’s soul and human spirit.”
– John Biggers

Delita Martin, Walk With Me, 2016, gelatin printing, conte, acrylic, hand-stiching fabric, Private Collection

John Biggers (1924-2001), working in a still-segregated Texas, mentored and inspired a new generation of Black artists to look within and next door to celebrate Black communities and culture. Through collaborations with poets such as Maya Angelou, acquiring national exposure, creating internationally lauded exhibitions, mentoring and teaching at Texas Southern University, traveling to Africa, and producing films, Biggers’ work inspired a new generation of Black artists included in these exhibitions at The Grace.

The talented artists in this group exhibition, Witness: Black Artists in Texas, Then and Now, includes Kermit Oliver, Roy Vinson Thomas, Harvey Johnson, Charles Criner, Riley Holloway, Delita Martin, Sedrick Huckaby, Letitia Huckaby, Bert Long, and John Biggers. Each artist creates personal dialogues that reject previous racial stereotypes and bare witness to the transformative power of art to create a modern positive record of Black culture.

Programming for these exhibitions will include gallery and artist talks as well as receptions with the goal of creating inclusive experiences for all members of our community.

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