David C. Driskell Center

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Date: September 9, 2016
Contact: Ms. Dorit Yaron
Title: Deputy Director
Phone: 301.405.6835


COLLEGE PARK, MD. The David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora at the University of Maryland is proud to announce its fall American Visual Scholar Series, featuring a discussion between artist Hank Willis Thomas and scholar Dr. Derek Conrad Murray, exploring the artwork of Hank Willis Thomas, contemporary African American art, and issues of identity/ies. The panel discussion is organized by the David C. Driskell Center, and will be Professor David C. Driskell. The event will take place at the David C. Driskell Center on Thursday, October 20, 2016 with a reception at 5:30pm and the discussion beginning at 6pm. RSVP is required by October 14th, 2016 at driskellcenter@umd.edu or 301.314.2615.

The discussion, which promises to be lively and provocative, will take place during the Driskell Center’s fall exhibition, Willie Cole: On Site, which features selections from Artist Willie Cole’s body of work over the past ten years.


HANK WILLIS THOMAS is an internationally acclaimed photo and conceptual artist working primarily with themes related to identity, history and popular culture. He received a BFA in Photography and Africana Studies from New York University and his MFA/MA in Photography and Visual Criticism from the California College of the Arts. Thomas’ monograph, Pitch Blackness, was published by Aperture. Thomas’ work is in numerous public collections including The Museum of Modern Art New York, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Brooklyn Museum, The High Museum of Art, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. He was recently appointed to the Public Design Commission for the city of New York. Thomas is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery in New York City and Goodman Gallery in South Africa.

DR. DEREK CONRAD MURRAY is an interdisciplinary theorist specializing in the history, theory and criticism of contemporary art, African-American/African Diaspora art and culture, Post-Black art and aesthetics, theoretical approaches to identity and representation, critical issues in art practice, and the methodologies and ethics of Art History and Visual Studies. He has contributed to leading magazines and journals of contemporary art such as American Art, Art in America, Parachute, Art Journal, Exit EXPRESS, the Documenta 12 Magazine Project, Public Art Review, Third Text, and Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art (Duke University Press). His most recent book, Queering Post-Black Art: Artists Transforming African-American Identity After Civil Rights, was published by IB Taurus in 2015, and argues that "the rise of female, gay and lesbian artists as legitimate African-American creative voices is essential to the development of black art."


The David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora at the University of Maryland, College Park, celebrates the legacy of David C. Driskell --Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Art, Artist, Art Historian, Collector, and Curator-- by preserving the rich heritage of African American visual art and culture. Established in 2001, the Center provides an intellectual home for artists, museum professionals, art administrators, and scholars of color, broadening the field of African diasporic studies. The Driskell Center is committed to collecting, documenting, and presenting African American art as well as replenishing and expanding the field. For further information about the David C. Driskell Center, please call 301.314.2615 or visit www.driskellcenter.umd.edu.

Willie Cole: On Site, will be on display from September 22nd to November 18th, 2016.The Driskell Center Gallery’s hours are Monday through Friday from 11AM to 4PM with extended hours on Wednesday until 6PM. The Driskell Center Gallery will additionally be open on Saturday, Sept. 24th, Oct. 8th, and Nov. 5th from 11AM to 4PM. The Driskell Center observes all University of Maryland closings due to inclement weather and holidays.