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Press Release: Arabesque: The Art of Stephanie Pogue

September 15, 2008 David C. Driskell Center for the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora

Driskell Center Default Inset Image

Prints by Stephanie E. Pogue, the Late University of Maryland’s Professor of Art are Presented at the David C. Driskell Center

COLLEGE PARK, MD --- Arabesque: The Art of Stephanie E. Pogue features forty prints at 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 [UMCP]. Arabesque will be on view from Thursday, October 16, 2008 through Friday, December 12, 2008. The public opening reception will be held on Thursday, October 16 from 5:00-7:00PM at the Driskell Center’s gallery, 1207 Cole Student Activities Building, UMCP.

Curated by the Center’s Curator in Residence, Dr. Adrienne L. Childs, Arabesque surveys four decades of the artist’s printmaking and celebrates the career of a unique voice in American art. Stephanie E. Pogue’s elegant, self-reflective images are a meditation on beauty, color and spirituality. The female body, nature, and the language of ornament form the core of her imagery. The prints assembled in this exhibition feature floral motifs, undulating lines, exotic arabesque patterns and a bold use of color. Although quite aware of the shifting landscape of American art, Pogue was individualistic in her approach to art making, and remained focused on creating images that were consistent with what she called her own “spiritual being.”

A professor of art in the Department of Art at the UMCP since 1981, Pogue taught printmaking and drawing and served as the Department’s Chair from 1993 to 1998. Stephanie E. Pogue died in 2002. Arabesque, the first retrospective exhibition of Pogue’s prints, is a tribute to an internationally acclaimed printmaker, educator and beloved member of the UMCP family. Arabesque is supported, in part, by a special fund from the University of Maryland’s Office of the President, and a grant the Maryland State Arts Council.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Driskell Center has published an exhibition catalogue with essays by Prof. Driskell, Curator Dr. Childs, and Dr. Elsa Barkley-Brown, an Associate Professor at the Department of Women's Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. In addition, the catalogue includes color reproductions of prints exhibited in Arabesque. The catalogue Arabesque is supported in part by a contribution from Dr. and Mrs. William H. Pogue.

The David C. Driskell Center’s Arts and Education Program aims to validate creativity and encourage artistic development within the community. In conjunction with the exhibition Arabesque: The Art of Stephanie E. Pogue, the Center collaborated with Art Enables, a Washington, D.C., arts-entrepreneurial program for adults with developmental and/or mental disabilities. The program draws participants with a flair for visual expression throughout the Washington Metropolitan Area. The Center provided images from Arabesque: The Art of Stephanie E. Pogue to the staff at Art Enables, who worked closely with many of the 27 artists, aged 22 to 72, enrolled in the program. The professional instructors at Art Enables viewed Pogue’s work with the Art Enables artists. Together they selected the preferred images based on the artists’ enthusiasm, skills, and willingness to work on this project. The artists, inspired by the art of Pogue, created new works while maintaining their own individual artistic style. Ten works exhibited here, at the Driskell Center, were selected by the David C. Driskell Center team.

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 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 preserving, documenting, and presenting African American art, as well as replenishing and expanding the field of African American art.