The Driskell Center publishes limited edition art prints, artist books, and catalogues which are available for purchase.
Limited Edition Prints
The Driskell Center is proud to present the David C. Driskell Center Print Series. Prominent African American artists have been invited to create prints that commemorate the significant artistic achievements of Prof. David C. Driskell. The limited edition prints are made available to support the David C. Driskell Center's programming and the Center's efforts to cultivated the next generations of artists of color.
Each print has its own order form, please find a link to the form within each Print's drop down box.
Blues Player, 2006
Etching, limited edition print
Archival pigment print on Hahnemühle,
23.5 x 18.5 in.
Edition of 75
Benny Andrews is a nationally recognized collage artist, painter, printmaker, sculptor, and illustrator whose work depicts images of his feelings regarding human life. Andrews attended Fort Valley State College, GA, then went on to earn his Bachelor of Fine Arts at the School of the Chicago Art Institute. Andrews' artworks are included in many major permanent collections, such as the High Museum of Art in Atlanta , the Art Institute of Chicago, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art , and the Studio Museum in Harlem, all in New York City . He donated his archives of material about black artists in the 1960s and '70s to Harlem's Studio Museum . A large body of his work resides in the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans. Benny Andrews passed away on November 24, 2006.
American Domestic, 2016
Limited edition print
Digital Pigment and Serigraph
34 x 28 in.
Edition of 30
In this piece, American Domestic (2016), artist Willie Cole appropriates imagery from an iconic piece of the American visual art canon: Grant Wood’s painting American Gothic (1930). Cole, however, uses his unique and playful perspective to modify the original with some of his trademark symbols: irons, scorch marks, and African religious iconography. By refashioning Wood’s original, Cole is able to ask questions about the legacy of African American domestic work, homemaking, and the place of African Americans and African American artists in the broader American artistic canon.
David C. Driskell
Chieftain’s Chair, 2011
Limited edition print
Image size 24 x 18 in.
Paper size 30 x 22 in.
Edition of 90
Chieftain’s Chair is a print based on a 1966 oil and collage painting that is in the Howard University Gallery of Art collection. Chieftain’s Chair was printed with Master Printmaker Curlee Raven Holton at Raven Editions.
David C. Driskell
Yoruba Couple, 2007
Textured serigraph and relief
24 x 18 in.
Edition of 100
This print combines an image from a relief block created in the 1970s with new imagery and iconography from current work by David C. Driskell. Yoruba Couple was printed with Master Printmaker Prof. Curlee Raven Holton at the Experimental Printmaking Institute, Lafayette College , Easton , PA. The print has been created by David C. Driskell to celebrate the opening of the David C. Driskell Center at its new home in Cole Student Activities Building at the University of Maryland , College Park.
Appalachian Sequela, 2016
New Faces: Series X #4, 2016
Inner City: Series I #1, 2016
Image Size: 13.5x19 in.
Paper Size: 22.25x25 in.
Edition of 25
These three prints by Leon Hicks use a geometric, angular style to play with various perspectives and themes. These three prints represent a sharp take on urban life, self-relfection, and portraiture.
Monotype with stencils
14 x 17 in. each
(The image is an example of various animal prints by the artist)
Robin Holder is a contemporary African American artist. She was born in Chicago, IL and raised in New York City. Much of Holder’s work is inspired by issues of conflicts of identity. Holder has had works commissioned by places such as the New York City Metro Transportation Authority, the National Black Arts Festival, Sweet Honey in the Rock, New Jersey Transit, The School Construction Authority, NY, and the Gallery Saoh, Tokyo Japan. Some of her artwork can be found at the Library of Congress, the James E. Lewis Museum of Art, Yale University, Con Edison, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Her work has also been presented in solo exhibitions at places such as Spelman College Museum, The NCCU Art Museum, The Labor Museum, the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta, GA, Additionally, she served as Program Auditor on the New York State Council on the Arts in 2005, was the Program Evaluator for the Department of Cultural Affairs in New York City from 2000-2003, and was Assistant Director for the Printmaking Workshop, Inc. from 1977-1986.
Man in Boat, 2006
Etching limited edition print
18 x 24 in.
Edition of 100
Joseph Holston was born in Washington , D.C. in 1944. His self-directed study incorporated painting, drawing, and printmaking at Montgomery College in Maryland and Howard University in Washington , D.C., including mentoring by such notable artists as Louis Mailou Jones and James Lesesne Wells. Holston 's Cubist abstractionist style and multi-media art utilizes bold and vibrant color, as well as subtle black and white etchings. Much of Holston 's works incorporates musical themes and elements. His works are included in several private collections including those of Patti LaBelle, Angela Bassett, and Wynton Marsalis.
Curlee R. Holton
A Promise Made, a Promise Kept, 2021
18 x 24 in.
Edition of 60
"It began with a drawing that illustrated many of the activities on the UMD campus: academics, sciences, arts, and sports.
In the background are pine trees framing the left and right side with the university building a symbol of higher education and institutional legacy.
Linking the background to the center of the image is a group of students gathering together with a common purpose on the left side of the image. They are engaged in dialogue as well as social engagement. On the right is a portrayal of Maurice White, the lead singer of the famed R&B group “Earth Wind and Fire.” One of the group’s most famous and fitting songs that inspires students to strive and succeed is titled “Keep Your Head to The Sky.” Books stacked represent knowledge as a staircase to success.
Beginning from the left of center are images of student athletes competing in their various sports—a representation of UMD’s commitment to both academic and competitive excellence on and off the field. To the right is a portrayal of a figure observing the dynamic life of the campus from his desk. He has his sleeves rolled up, his readiness apparent as he prepares to meet the challenges he may face. On his desk are drawings and notes that record his hopes and dreams for the future.
The foreground includes silhouettes of graduating students, tossing their mortarboard hats up in the air in celebration of this major life achievement. Just below them are prominent figures of a student and teacher working closely in the lab. This image represents the importance of the mentoring relationship and the nurturing environment created to provide the students with opportunities to realize their full potential.
To the right is an image of David C. Driskell playing a hymn from his childhood on the piano. He is surrounded by his signature torn paper collage. Driskell utilized this technique to capture the diverse textures, shapes and colors of the dynamic world we live in. A world of different cultures, languages and histories that David masterfully merged into one creative reality."
A Landscape For Bob, 2013
Limited Edition Print
Image 18" X 24" (paper 24" X 30")
Edition of 90
Richard Mayhew was born in 1924 in Amityville, New York. His reverence for the land and sea was established during his early years in Long Island. In the late 1950s, Mayhew studied art at the Brooklyn Museum of Fine Art School, the Art Students League, and the Brooklyn Museum Art School. His works have been exhibited widely in solo and group shows, and are in the collections of major museums. Primarily a landscape painter, Mayhew's works represent the spirituality and universality of nature. His landscapes are generally drawn from memory and executed in the studio. Mayhew, who refers to himself as an improvisationalist, also credits his link with the land and nature to his Native American and African American heritage. His interpretive landscapes compliment the emotional aspects of color; this can be seen particularly well in the print "A Landscape for Bob," depicting a bright landscape and uplifting scenery.
Michael B. Platt
Two Sisters, 2003
Archival pigment on Hahnemühle
34 x 14.5 in.
Platt was born in 1948 and raised in Washington , D.C. , where he currently resides. He received his BFA at Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio , and his MFA from Howard University where he currently teaches art. His exhibition record includes many group and solo exhibitions, nationally and internationally. He has held residencies at the Bob Blackburn Printmaking Workshop in New York City and at Pyramid Atlantic in Silver Spring , Maryland . Platt has received numerous grants from the District of Columbia Commission for Arts and Humanities for Individual Artists, and in 1999 received the 15th Washington , D.C. Mayor's Award for Excellence in the Visual Arts. Michael B. Platt passed away on January 20th, 2019.
Brierpatch Blues, 2014
Paper: Rives BFL White
Image size 39 x 20 in.
Edition of 60
Paper: Rives BFK Buff
Image size 11 x 14 in.
Edition of 30
Saar is one of three daughters of artist Betye Saar and was encouraged from an early age to explore and engage with art. She completed her BFA in Studio Art and Art History at Scripps College in Claremont, CA, in 1978 and received her MFA from Otis Art Institution in Los Angeles, CA, in 1981. Saar studied Afro-Caribbean, Haitian, African, and Afro-Cuban art with Samella Lewis and became interested in African American folk art, which then influenced her subject matter. In addition to her interest in African and Haitian folklore, she is also engaged with contemporary African American popular culture and religion, as well as classical mythology. Saar’s artwork often addresses issues of social, racial, and sexual identity. In 1982, at the age of twenty-six, her work was presented in her first solo exhibition at the Jan Baum Gallery in Los Angeles, CA. She has since exhibited at many venues across the United States, including the High Museum, Atlanta, GA, 1993; the Phyllis Kind Gallery, NY, 2001; and the LUX Art Institute, Encinitas, CA, 2011, where she also serves as an artist in residence. Saar has received numerous awards and fellowships, including the New York City Art Commission’s Excellence in Design Award, 2005; the 2004 Anonymous Was a Woman Award; and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 1989 and the National Endowment for the Arts, 1988, among others.
(Duke Ellington's 100th Birthday), 1999
Color serigraph limited edition print Image size 31 x 21.5 in.
Edition of 100
Sampson, born in 1960 in West Palm Beach , Florida , received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Maryland , College Park , in 1984. He is known for his artistic use of vibrant acrylics on canvas, vivid watercolors, and mixed-media collages. A recurring theme of his works include the dominant male figure, drawn to a stately and heroic scale. Sampson has also produced a series of works on the African American men of the Negro Baseball Leagues. Many of his works also include musical themes, jazz melodies in particular.
William T. Williams
Karen's Tale, 2008
24 x 18 in.
William T. Williams
Bee's Quest, 2008
24 x 18 in.
William T. Williams earned his Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from Pratt Institute in 1966, and his Masters of Fine Arts from Yale School of Fine Arts, Yale University in 1968. Born in Cross Creek, North Carolina, he is now a resident of New York City. Over the past thirty years, Williams' work has been exhibited in more than one hundred museums and art centers worldwide. His works can be found in many prestigious collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the North Carolina State Museum, and the Library of Congress.
Catalogues and Books
Only catalogues currently in stock are listed here.
Publications are available at a 20% discount for orders of 10 or more of the same title. Payment must be sent to The David C. Driskell Center before the order will be shipped.
ALL SALES ARE FINAL
A shipping and handling fee of $3.00 per catalog (maximum $15, up to 20 catalogues) will be included on your order.
For orders of larger quantities, please contact the Driskell Center at firstname.lastname@example.org
One of three ordering methods are available to you:
- Cash: at The David C. Driskell Center
- Payment by check: Make check payable to the University of Maryland and send to The David C. Driskell Center. Please indicate your name, contact information and shipping address, along with which publication you are ordering.
The David C. Driskell Center
1214 Cole Student Activities Building
University of Maryland
College Park, MD, 20742
- Payment by credit card: Please complete the form, add the listed shipping and handling amount for each item purchased, sign, and mail to The David C. Driskell Center. Please remember to specify the title(s) and quantity for each catalogue.
African American Art Since 1950: Perspectives from the David C. Driskell Center, an exhibition in which works by renowned artists such as Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, and Sam Gilliam are coupled with exciting new visionaries, including Chakaia Booker, Lorna Simpson, and Kara Walker, collectively reflects the growing prominence—and complexity—of the field of African American Art over the last 60 years.
Over thirty-five years ago, when prominent artist, collector, and scholar David C. Driskell developed the 1976 exhibition Two Centuries of Black American Art: 1750-1950, organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, he introduced the tremendous depth and breadth of African American art and creativity to an international audience. African American Art Since 1950: Perspectives from the David C. Driskell Center, curated by Dr. Robert E. Steele and Dorit Yaron, the David C. Driskell Center’s Former Executive Director and Acting Director, respectively, and Independent Scholar Dr. Adrienne L. Childs, honors the legacy of this landmark exhibition and brings to the nation the next pivotal chapter of African American art.
An American Consciousness: Robin Holder’s Mid-Career Retrospective features sixty five 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].
Curated by the Center’s Deputy Director, Dorit Yaron, the exhibition features works by New York based printmaker, Robin Holder, highlighting her unique approach to uniting aesthetics with sociopolitical ideas, connecting personal and universal experiences, and reflecting on nature and spirituality. Robin Holder’s self-reflective images are a meditation on identities, women’s empowerment, and social realities, as she draws from her identity as a woman of myriad ethnic, sociopolitical, and spiritual influences. Holder’s awareness of self and American social culture yields an engaging perspective on the struggles of life and acceptance in America.
Curated by the Center’s Curator-in-Residence Dr. Adrienne Childs, Arabesque: The Art of Stephanie E. Pogue will examine Pogue’s artistry from the 1970’s to the 1990’s.
Pogue mastered the technique of color viscosity etching through which she created images with, multidimensional surfaces in vivid colors. Often highly decorative, her work reflects her interest in nature, spirituality and Eastern themes and motifs. Throughout her career as an artist she revisited the theme of the female body as universal and particular. Her work intersects with the Pattern and Decoration as well as the feminist art movements in American art of the 1970s and postmodernist sensibilities in the 1990s.
The David C. Driskell Center at the University of Maryland is proud to present Collectors’ Legacy: Selections from the Sandra and Lloyd Baccus Collection. The exhibition features 68 works from a gift of more than 280 works gifted to the Center by Mrs. Baccus. The exhibition will showcase a diverse range of media–sculpture, painting, photography, drawing, print, and object–from an array of prominent African American and African Diasporic artists.
Upon the Center’s receiving the Baccus collection in 2012, the David C. Driskell Center’s Executive Director, Professor Curlee R. Holton, remarked, “This gift illustrates in full measure the impact that the dedicated collector plays in ensuring the safe guarding of our cultural legacy.” Collectors’ Legacy, the first exhibition to be solely curated by Professor David C. Driskell at the Driskell Center since its opening in 2001, is designed to explore and celebrate that impact. Professor Driskell, one of the world’s most prominent and influential champions of the canon and narrative of African American and African Diasporic art, has selected a body of work that tells an important story. Works by Charles Alston, Benny Andrews, Romare Bearden, Kevin Cole, Lois Mailou Jones, Jacob Lawrence, and Betye Saar speak of the rich, varied, and deep heritage and community shared and created in the United States over the past century.
Creative Spirit: The Art of David C. Driskell, is co-curated by Dr. Adrienne L. Childs, Independent Scholar, and Dr. Julie L. McGee, Curator of African American Art, University Museums, University of Delaware, and the author of David C. Driskell: Artist and Scholar (Petaluma: Pomegranate, 2006). The exhibition features 60 works, completed from the late 1950s-2010, which represent Driskell’s transition through a multiplicity of media in his artwork throughout the past 60 years.
Creative Spirit, reveals the totality of Driskell’s artistic practice, celebrating a life lived in the service of what he often refers to as his “priestly calling.” The exhibition highlights and explores seminal themes: Americana, Africana, nature, self-portrait as memoir, celestial music, and the figure. In an interview with co-curator Julie L. McGee, Driskell comments, “Color, my love of nature, and African iconography have all remained vital to my work.” At times inspired by racial politics and at other times by his long held comfort in nature, all of his works display the truly creative spirit of David C. Driskell. Co-Curator Adrienne L. Childs states, “Driskell lives his life in tune with the rhythms of the natural world, which represents for him more than just a subject or a decorative motif.” Driskell takes annual trips to Maine where the natural beauty of the area has inspired him time and time again.
Driskell’s biography, David C. Driskell: Artist and Scholar, was written by Julie L. McGee, an Associate Professor of Africana Studies and Art History; and Director, Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Center, Department of Art History, University of Delaware, published in 2006 by Pomegranate Publications, Inc.
Double Exposure: African Americans Before and Behind the Camera, showcases 90 vintage photographs from the Amistad Center for Art & Culture’s historical collection of art and artifacts with photo-based art by contemporary African-American artists. The exhibition is Organized by the Amistad Center for Art and Culture at Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of art in Hartford, CT.
Double Exposure, curated by guest curators Lisa Henry and Frank Mitchell, illuminates the persistent interplay between the past and the present in African American photography. The exhibition highlights and explores the African American experience by bringing together photographic works from the 19th and 20th centuries by artists who expressed the experience of race through the use of personal, cultural and historical images. The exhibit delves into the interconnected reality of the past and the present for African American photography as well as concepts of identity and memory through visually theorizing the shifting relationships between black cultural memory and contemporary photographic storytelling.
Evolution: Five Decades of Printmaking by David C. Driskell highlights for the first time the prints of the renowned Distinguished University of Maryland Professor Emeritus of Art, David C. Driskell, an Artist, Art Historian, Collector, Curator, Educator, and one of the most recognized and respected names in the world of African American art and culture.
Organized by the David C. Driskell Center, “Evolution” is the inaugural exhibition of the David C. Driskell Center at its new home in Cole Student Activities Building (aka Cole Field House).
The exhibition includes more than seventy five prints by Driskell as well as several works on paper which will provide insight into Driskell's artistic process and development. In addition, the exhibition includes several woodblocks used to produce the prints. “Evolution” is curated by the David C. Driskell Center's Curator-in-Residence, Dr. Adrienne L. Childs, a graduate of the Department of Art History and Archaeology at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Prof. Driskell studied at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine and received his undergraduate degree in art at Howard University (1955) and a Masters in Fine Arts degree from Catholic University (1962). He joined the faculty of the Department of Art at the University of Maryland in 1977 and served as its Chair from 1978-1983. He has been a practicing artist since the 1950s and his works are in major museums throughout the world, including the National Gallery of Art, the High Museum of Art, and Yale University Art Gallery, to name a few. In 1976, Driskell curated the groundbreaking exhibit “Two Centuries of Black American Art: 1750-1950” which laid the foundation for the field of African American Art History. Since 1977, Prof. Driskell has served as cultural advisor to Camille O. and William H. Cosby and as the curator of the Cosby Collection of Fine Arts. In 2000, in a White House Ceremony, Prof. Driskell received the National Humanities Medal from President Bill Clinton. In 2007, he was elected as a National Academician by the National Academy.
Limited Editions: Joseph Holston Prints, 1974-2010, A Retrospective organized by the David C. Driskell Center and co-curated by Lisa Hodermarsky, the Stuphin Family Associate Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the Yale University Art Gallery and Dr. Robert E. Steele, Executive Director of the David C. Driskell Center, the exhibition features 72 prints by Maryland based artist Joseph Holston.
Limited Editions, features a view into the life and works of Joseph Holston. Throughout his career, his colorful screenprints, black and white etchings, and collagraphs have been able to express emotions which viewers are able to immediately identify with. As noted by curator Lisa Hodermarsky, “…along with this simplification of form came a heightening of expressiveness in Holston’s work: of movement, emotion, and feeling. Even the artist’s monochrome etchings became increasingly more colorful as the years passed, and as the forms and lines became more simplified they simultaneously took on a more emotive form of expressiveness.”
The exhibition, featuring prints from 1974 to 2010, highlights “Holston’s ongoing quest for a mastery of line, color and form in printmaking,” as described in Prof. Driskell’s words. Limited Editions also includes four copper plates, four color separation plates, and seven progressive prints for the etching Man in Boat, highlighting the creative process of printmaking. Commissioned by the David C. Driskell Center, Man in Boat was a collaboration between Joseph Holston and Prof. Curlee R. Holton, the David M. '70 and Linda Roth Professor of Art and Founder of Experimental Printing Institute at Lafayette College at Easton, PA. In addition, Limited Editions includes works from Color in Freedom: Journey along the Underground Railroad, one of his most recent accomplishments. Color in Freedom tells the story of the crusade to reach freedom through the Underground Railroad. The series is presented in four parts: “The Unknown World”; “Living in Bondage–Life on the Plantation”; “The Journey of Escape”; and “Color in Freedom;” each enticing the viewers’ emotions through his extraordinary use of color as well as expressive line and form. Holston’s Color in Freedom series was inspired by his appreciation for symphonic structure, as he was listening to classical music, as well as jazz, while creating the series. Effortlessly leading viewers through this journey, Holston’s works celebrate all phases of life.
The exhibition catalogue, Narratives of African American Art and Identity: The David C. Driskell Collection, contains essays contextualizing the exhibition objects, as well as Driskell's activity as scholar and collector, within the broader arena of American art. Art history scholars Juanita Holland, Sharon Patton, Richard Powell, Allan Gordon, and Keith Morrison apply a contemporary lens to Driskell's efforts as artist, critic, mentor, and collector. Object entries for each of the 100 works in the exhibition contextualize specific works within the larger picture of the artist's life and career, connecting them with the various societal influences surrounding their creation. Each object entry is accompanied by a color reproduction. The catalogue serves as a valuable reference guide to over a century of African American art and provides a chronology of the life and career of each artist and an extensive bibliography.
There are relatively few exhibitions of self-portraits by African American artists; this exhibition has been developed to address the ways in which African American artists portray themselves, their communities, and their culture. Portraits of Who We Are provides the viewing audience with documentation of the existence of the subject and the cultural and social setting, while revealing multiple aspects of a deeper view of our collective human evolution and shared humanity.
The David C. Driskell Center at the University of Maryland is pleased to organize the first comprehensive retrospective exhibition of influential artist and master printmaker Robert Hamilton Blackburn (1920-2003): Robert Blackburn: Passages. The exhibition is curated by Dr. Deborah Cullen, Director & Chief Curator, The Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University in the City of New York; with contributions by Prof. Curlee R. Holton, Executive Director, David C. Driskell Center.
Robert Blackburn: Passages features 90 works by Blackburn and thirteen works by his contemporaries such as Charles Alston, Will Barnet, Grace Hartigan, Robin Holder, and Romare Bearden. Passages will include works on loan from the Library of Congress, the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts’ Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, The Cochran Collection, The Nelson/Dunks Collection, and Metropolitan Transit Authority Arts for Transit and Urban Design, and others. The exhibition will be on display at the Driskell Center from September 18th through December 19th 2014. The exhibition will start its national tour on January 2015 and will travel thereafter.
A retrospective of Blackburn's work is long overdue. A “printmaker’s printmaker,” Blackburn affected the course of twentieth-century graphic through his own work, as well as through the institution which he founded in New York City in 1948, The Printmaking Workshop—the oldest and largest print workshop in the United States until 2001. Blackburn’s “passages” through the modern and contemporary print world are complex and unique, and he is a bridge between the Works Project Administration (WPA) and the “print explosion” of the 1960s.
In conjunction with the exhibition, the Driskell Center has published an exhibition catalogue which is the first significant monograph of Robert Blackburn’s work. The catalogue includes color reproductions of each work in the exhibition, as well as essays by Prof. Curlee R. Holton and curator Dr. Deborah Cullen, whose monographic text is an excerpt from her dissertation, Robert Blackburn: American Printmaker, 2002 (The Graduate Center of the City University of New York).
William T. Williams: Variations on Themes features 31 original lithographs, works on paper, and sculptures 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.
Williams, who emerged in New York City during the 1960s and 1970s, is one of the most important artists working in abstraction today. He often incorporates childhood memories and life experiences into his artwork through colors, shapes and patterns. Curated by Dr. Lowery Stokes Sims, Curator of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, NY, Variations on Themes highlights four decades of William T. Williams’ work as a printmaker. The exhibition focuses on four basic compositional and thematic approaches, often highlighting Williams’ iconic imagery of the diamond/trapezoid; conical vessel shapes, orbs, serpentine elements and biomorphic presences; and patterns and textural effects within the individual segments. The exhibition illustrates Williams’ artistic journey, which has been as spontaneous as it has been methodical; as formal as it was free-wielding; as rich as it has been sparse.
The David C. Driskell Center at the University of Maryland is proud to announce its fall exhibition, Willie Cole: On Site, presenting highlights from the body of work by contemporary African American artist Willie Cole. The exhibition is organized by the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora, and is co-curated by the David C. Driskell Center’s Deputy Director, Dorit Yaron, and Executive Director, Professor Curlee R. Holton.
In 2017, Willie Cole: On Site will begin its national tour; from April 7th through July 2nd, 2017, the exhibition will be featured at the Arthur Ross Gallery at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and beginning in October 2017, it will be on display at the University of New Hampshire’s Museum of Art, Durham. It will continue its tour to other locations soon after.
The exhibition features nineteen three-dimensional artworks, which Cole created from 2006 through 2016, and focuses on three main materials: found wood, used shoes, and recycled water bottles. Two of those materials, shoes and water bottles, represent objects that we use and discard. They contain residue from the individuals who have used those objects; the shoe keeps the shape, sweat, and smell of the person who wore it, while the bottles contain the individual’s DNA (breath, spit, and soul). A site-specific installation of a 20’ diameter ‘chandelier’ made of close to 5,000 recycled water bottles will be centered in the Driskell Center’s gallery, including a video documenting the creation of the ‘chandelier’. On his website, the artist states, “The idea of chandeliers made from recycled water bottles first came to me in a dream about 3 years ago. In that dream I saw one suspended in a void, with an image of Buddha inside each bottle. It was, I believed at that time, a message about purity, love, and unity. But upon waking I realized that it was also about the environment. Each day 20 billion bottles are added to landfills across the globe…”
Willie Cole is known for transforming ordinary objects, such as bicycle parts, irons, and shoes into works of art, alluding to the African American experience inspired by West African religion. Known for his strong use of imagery, one of Cole’s most prominent symbols, the steam iron, represents subjects ranging from the domestic role of women of color to the Yoruba god of iron and war, Ogun. Professor Curlee R. Holton describes Cole’s work as follows: “Willie Cole is one of the most creative and original artists working today. His iconic archetypal images penetrate our consciousness to connect to a primal source in each of us. He is masterful in how he can take a common object like well-worn shoes and resurrect from them a new spirit and meaning. He refashions impoverished objects from our world of the discarded and disowned with a self-assured agency of transformation to assert his own vision of art and beauty.”
Essays by Curlee Raven Holton, Julie L. McGee, David R. Brigham, and Diane Windham Shaw.
Since its founding in 1996, the Experimental Printmaking Institute (EPI) at Lafayette College has passionately advocated for printmaking as an indispensable component of cultural and creative engagement. Combining traditional printmaking techniques with experimental approaches, EPI is committed to advancing this dynamic art form and expanding our visual language. At the heart of this groundbreaking program are artist residencies that, to date, have yielded more than 350 editions by artists such as Faith Ringgold, Richard Anuszkiewicz, David C. Driskell, Grace Hartigan, and Sam Gilliam. A two decade history of EPI, You Can Fly and Make Prints Too also celebrates EPI’s creative impact and the vision of its founding director, master printmaker and David M. ’70 and Linda Roth Professor of Art, Curlee Raven Holton, who will be retiring in 2017.
Published by Pomegranate Communications, 2003-2010
Volumes available: Charles Alston, Margo Humphrey, Keith Morrison, Archibald J. Motley Jr., Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, and Charles White