South and East Galleries
This exhibition illuminates the full range of African American visual creativity and its essential place in the history and discourse of American art through artworks from late 19th century to present day.
Selections of the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art will be on view in the University Galleries in the Ben Shahn Center for the Visual Arts at William Paterson University in Wayne from April 13 through May 15, 2015. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on April 19, April 26, May 3, and May 10 from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free. An opening reception for the exhibition will be held on Sunday, April 12 from 2 to 4 p.m. Exhibiting artist Debra Priestly will give a talk on her work in the Cheng Library Auditorium from 11 a.m. to noon on Thursday, May 7, 2015.
Body and Soul: Selections from the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art features paintings, drawings, gouaches, prints, and mixed media artworks by Benny Andrews, Sam Gilliam, Faith Ringgold, and Kara Walker, among others. Dating from the late 19th century to the present day, the 37 artworks reveal significant contributions to aspects of social realism, abstraction, and contemporary art. A number of works relate to the Black Arts Movement, an artistic development in the 1960s and 1970s informed by the civil rights struggle and the investigation of African American cultural and historical experiences.
Thirty exhibiting artists include Emma Amos, Benny Andrews, Radcliffe Bailey, Edward Mitchell Bannister, Romare Bearden, John Biggers, Vivian Browne, Barbara Bullock, Calvin Burnett, Sonya Clark, Eldzier Cortor, Allan Rohan Crite, David Driskell, James Dupree, Sam Gilliam, Curlee Raven Holton, Paul Keene, Norman Lewis, Samella Lewis, Tom Malloy, Debra Priestly, Faith Ringgold, Alison Saar, Sterling Shaw, Hughie Lee Smith, Nelson Stevens, Kara Walker, Charles White, John Wilson, and Hale Woodruff.
Kristen Evangelista, director of the University Galleries, consulted with Alejandro Anreus, William Paterson University professor of art, in organizing this exhibition. The Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art is overseen by Berrisford Boothe, principal curator of the Petrucci Family Collection of African American Art and professor of art at Lehigh University, and Hillary Hatfield, curator of the Petrucci Family Collection of African American Art and president of Art Collector’s Athenaeum.
Founded in 2006, the Petrucci Family Foundation actively responds to the needs of the communities it serves. The Foundation’s mission is to support education and create opportunity for Americans at every stage of and station in life. Its collection of African American art is a targeted initiative to bring focus to the full range of African American art and its essential place in the history and discourse of American art. The foundation’s mission of fostering a more complete understanding of African American art holds great promise for cross-cultural understanding and reconciliation, in this case, through a specific lens of the American experience. As part of a growing and more thoughtful dialogue about the African American experience through art, the Collection of African American Art seeks to visually represent a cross-section of themes that speak not only to the African American community, but also to the broader American community.
The collection was recently showcased in two exhibitions: As We See It: Selected Works from the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art, African American Museum in Philadelphia (February 5 – March 21, 2015); and Identities: African American Art from the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection, Schmucker Art Gallery, Gettysburg College (January 23 – March 7, 2015).
This exhibition is one of two on view concurrently in the University Galleries. Profiles of the Future—The Annual Student Art Exhibition, on view in the Court Gallery, features works by William Paterson University art students in an exhibition co-organized by the University’s Department of Art and the Student Art Association.
This exhibition is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. The Petrucci Family Foundation provided generous support for related educational programs. The William Paterson University Galleries are wheelchair-accessible. Large-print educational materials are available. For additional information, please call the William Paterson University Galleries at 973-720-2654.
Sunday, April 12, 2015
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Artist Talk: Debra Priestly
Thursday, May 7, 2015
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Cheng Library Auditorium
William Paterson University
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, New Jersey 07470