Cleveland State University Art Gallery, in partnership with the Cleveland Artists Foundation, will present the exhibition Each in Their Own Voice: African-American Artists in Cleveland, 1970-2005, opening January 23, 2009 and running through March 7.
In celebration of Black History Month, an artists’ reception will take place on Friday, February 13 from 5-8 p.m., preceded by a Gallery Talk at 4:00 p.m. The reception, talk and exhibition are free and open to the public.
Each in Their Own Voice features work by 25 artists working in a range of media. It includes a film by Robert Banks, Jr. following the reception on February 13, in room 202 above the CSU Art Gallery. Additional screenings will be announced.
The exhibition also includes a panel discussion entitled “Issues in African-American Art from 1980 to the Present,” featuring artists in the exhibition and other members of the art community. The discussion will be moderated by William Busta and takes place on Saturday, February 21 at 2 p.m.
Each in Their Own Voice artists are Anna Arnold, Lawrence Baker, Robert Banks, Jr., Cushmere Bell, Alfred Bright, Moe Brooker, Malcolm Brown, David Buttram, Johnny Coleman, Dexter Davis, Kevin Everson, Curlee Raven Holton, Miller Horns, Mark Howard, Beni Kosh, Michaelangelo Lovelace, D. Anthony Mahone, John L. Moore, Virgie Patton-Ezelle, Charles Pinckney, Angelica Pozo, Charles Sallée, Jr., Kevin Snipes, Nelson Stevens, and Reverend Albert Wagner.
The first generations of African-American artists who were active in the Cleveland region were showcased in the 1993 exhibition Yet Still We Rise: African American Artists in Cleveland 1920-1970. That exhibition documented the work of 30 artists working in a range of disciplines, including painting, photography, drawing, sculpture, prints, and stained glass.
The deep emotion of the work, responding to experiences of repression, pride, hope and faith, made Yet Still We Rise a critical and popular success. The exhibition was a joint project of the Cleveland Artists Foundation and Cleveland State and was organized with broad participation by the Cleveland community. At the inception of Yet Still We Rise, a second exhibition was intended to follow that would document the careers of African American artists in more recent decades: thus, Each in Their Own Voice was born.
As part of the exhibition, each artist was interviewed for an online oral history and will be included in Cleveland State’s Euclid Corridor Oral History Project through the Department of History. The interviews investigate how each individual came to aspire to be an artist; who and what helped them in their ambitions; which artists and teachers were key to the development of their artistic objectives; what obstacles hindered the growth of their careers; and whether there was a particular breakthrough or insight that led toward their mature work.
One of the lasting legacies of Yet Still We Rise was its catalog, which quickly went out of print and has a continuing demand in the rare book market. The catalog for Each in Their Own Voice is a major part of the project. The core of the publication is the artists’ own words, edited from the oral history interviews. The catalog also features extensive images of works in the exhibition, essays and biographical information for each artist.
Each in Their Own Voice is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture as well as the Ohio Arts Council and an anonymous funder. The Art Gallery is located at 2307 Chester Avenue and is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 12–4 p.m.
For more information, please visit www.csuohio.edu/artgallery or call 216.687.2103.
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