African-American Art

[image via TheArtNewspaper.com]

Welcome to Season 6 of the Museum Confidential podcast, a co-production of Philbrook Museum of Art and Public Radio Tulsa. Our first episode begins with some basic yet far-reaching questions. What is an "outsider artist"? And do we even call them that anymore? In recent years, the term has shifted to "self-taught artist." Sounds different, but does it mean the same thing? And what about "folk art" -- when does this term apply? We're pleased to chat with Dr. Katherine Jentleson, the Merrie and Dan Boone Curator of Folk and Self-Taught Art at the High Museum in Atlanta.

Our guest is the acclaimed African-American artist Lonnie Holley, born in Alabama in 1950, who has three pieces now on view at Philbrook in that museum's "From the Limitations of Now" exhibit, which closes on September 5th. Known for his mixed-media and found-and-discarded-object art pieces, Holley is also an "experimental blues" musician who's made several albums. He will perform with his band tomorrow night (Friday the 3rd) at Philbrook's garden space, beginning at 7pm.

Our guest is the poet and fiction writer Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, who teaches creative writing and literature at OU. She joins us to talk about her new book, "The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois," which is a very well-regarded debut novel. As was noted of this work in a starred review in Publishers Weekly: "A staggering and ambitious saga exploring African American history.

Courtesy

Greenwood Cultural Center and Gathering Place are now hosting exhibits from one of the world’s foremost Black art and history collections.

Bernard and Shirley Kinsey started the Kinsey African American Art and History Collection in an effort to help their son, Khalil, learn Black history he wasn’t being taught in school — and that they couldn’t fill the gaps in, either. The collection of more than 700 artifacts dates back to the 16th Century and shows thriving, successful Black cultures existed around the globe before many were forced to integrate into other societies.

Serae Avance (American, b. 1993). Knowledge and Struggle, 2021. Digital pigment print. Courtesy of the artist. Copyright Serae Avance.

On this installment of ST, we learn about a show that recently opened at Philbrook Museum of Art here in Tulsa. "From the Limitations of Now" will be on view through September 5th.

Our guest on StudioTulsa is the well-regarded African-American composer Adolphus Hailstork, who is based in Virginia. His music will be part of the program for a special broadcast-only concert to be presented by the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra on Saturday (the 27th) at 8pm -- with a re-airing on Sunday (the 28th) at 4pm. This concert will be a celebration of Black History Month, and it will air on our sister-station, Classical 88.7 KWTU-FM. More details are posted here.

Samella Lewis "Field"
Gregory Staley

The Gilcrease Museum opened a new exhibition of African-American art collected by two ordinary people who created an extraordinary collection of artwork. Kerry Davis was a postman, and his wife, Betty, was a local television producer, but the two collected close to 300 works by black artists ranging from local artists in their hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, to internationally known artists, like Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Sam Gilliam, Elizabeth Catlett, Alma Thomas, and Norman Lewis.