David C. Driskell Center

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Date: April 16, 2013
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 will organize and present an exhibition of works by Prof. David C. Driskell, titled A Vision of Paradise. The exhibition will be hosted by Gallery Ami-Kanoko in Osaka, Japan, and is scheduled to show from May 13th through May 24th 2013.

David C. Driskell --Distinguished University of Maryland Professor Emeritus of Art, Artist, Art Historian, Collector, and Curator-- is one of the world's leading authorities on the subject of African American Art, and highly regarded as an artist and a scholar. A Vision of Paradise includes about 25 of his works on paper, including prints and drawings using vivid colors and beautiful renderings; the artist’s themes include landscape, pine trees, and some figures.

The Director of Gallery Ami-Kanoko, Yukiko Nakajima, recently completed her graduate studies focusing her research partly on the work of Prof. David C. Driskell. Over the past several years, Ms. Nakajima has been fostering new and innovative programs in Osaka and Tokyo introducing the Japanese audience to African American artists. The gallery has already hosted a number of exhibitions that have included works by Curlee R. Holton, Professor of Art and Founding Director of the Experimental Printmaking Institute (EPI) at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., and other nationally recognized African American artists. This exhibition of Prof. David C. Driskell’s work represents a major achievement on the international arts stage.

The exhibition represents the international recognition of Prof. David C. Driskell’s work and practice as a visual artist, as well as a new phase in the Center’s exhibition programming. During the exhibition, the Driskell Center’s Interim Executive Director and Acting Director, Prof. Curlee R. Holton and Dorit Yaron, respectively, will travel to Japan to give a presentation on the unique work and programming of the David C. Driskell Center. Rodney Moore, Arts Manager to Prof. David C. Driskell, will also give a presentation on the artistic development and achievements of Prof. Driskell. The Driskell’s team will be engaged in a gallery talk “Speaking and Writing about Contemporary Art," including a dialogue with graduate and undergraduate students as well as the general public on contemporary art and African American Art.

About David C. Driskell

Born in 1931 in Eatonton, GA, and raised in North Carolina, David C. Driskell completed the art program at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1953. He received an undergraduate degree in art from Howard University in 1955 and an M.F.A. from Catholic University of America in 1962. Trained as a painter and art historian, Driskell works primarily in collage and mixed media, and printmaking. He then pursued post-graduate study in art history at The Netherlands Institute for the History of Art in The Hague. Prof. Driskell began his teaching career at Talladega College in 1955. He taught at Howard and Fisk Universities and served as Visiting Professor of Art at Bowdoin College, The University of Michigan, Queens College, and Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. He joined the faculty of the Department of Art at the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1977, and served as its Chairperson from 1978-1983. In 1995, he was named Distinguished University Professor of Art and taught until his retirement in 1998.

The recipient of numerous fellowships, awards, and prizes, including, three Rockefeller Foundation Fellowships and a Harmon Foundation Fellowship, Prof. Driskell has also received nine honorary doctoral degrees in art. While teaching at the University of Maryland, Prof. Driskell maintained an active career as a practicing artist, teacher, curator, collector, art administrator, and art consultant. He has lectured across the globe, and his works are included in major collections of art museums throughout the world. Prof. Driskell has authored five exhibition books on the subject of African American art, co-authored four others, and published more than 40 catalogues from exhibitions he has curated.

In 1976, Prof. Driskell curated the exhibition “Two Centuries of Black American Art: 1750-1950,” which has been considered as the foundation for the field of African American Art History. Since 1977, he has served as curator of the Camille O. and William H. Cosby Collection of African American Art. In 2000, Prof. Driskell was honored by President Bill Clinton a recipient of the National Humanities Medal and in 2007, he was elected as a National Academician by the National Academy.

About the David C. Driskell Center

The David C. Driskell Center honors 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. The Driskell Center is committed to preserving, documenting, and presenting African American art, as well as replenishing and expanding the field of African American art. For further information regarding this exhibition and future activities at the Driskell Center, please call
301-314-2615, email driskellcenter@umd.edu, or visit www.driskellcenter.umd.edu.
The David C. Driskell Center’s Exhibition Program is supported, in part, by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council.