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ASALH Black Muse 2020 - 3 Artists To Know

Art Center Sarasota has partnered with ASALH for 11 years in the annual Black Muse Exhibition during Black History month.

Presented by Art Center Sarasota January 31, 2020

Art Center Sarasota has partnered with ASALH for 11 years for the annual Black Muse exhibition during Black History month. Artist members of the Manasota Chapter of Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) show their work as a group exhibit. The exhibit showcases highly skilled contemporary artists who depict the lives, struggles and celebrations of their experiences in their work.

Read about three artists who express their life experiences in their work.

Todd Berrien
Berrien sold his first painting on a Harlem street corner in 1970. “I came of age in the thick of the American apartheid era—the Civil Rights Movement. As an ‘Army brat’ and then Army officer, I grew up in the ruins of post-war Germany, the segregated south and the streets of Harlem,” he says. With large dynamic portrait paintings, Berrien expresses the pain, pride, beauty and triumph of being black, and a veteran, in America. His work, which belongs within the tradition of social realism, depicts a broad spectrum of human emotions and expression meant to transcend the everyday, to lift personal experiences beyond the common understanding and give a more complete understanding of American history. 

Dr. Cora Marshall
Dr. Marshall re-introduces lessons, symbols and narratives from her African and Native American heritage in powerfully textured mixed media paintings. These works are centered on self, home, community and the place in which they all intersect. Marshall explains that these collective spaces “are rich with possibilities and it is here that I can reveal, challenge and expand my notions of the nature of life and my place in the world”. An educator and researcher, Marshall continues her research on contemporary black women artists whose work expresses stories of the African diaspora in Gulfport, FL.

Brian Jones
Jones, a photographer, chases the purity of expression, which he finds “on city streets, mountain tops and farmlands.” Inspired by the impromptu language between live jazz musicians, Jones captures the spiritual wholeness of musicians in his portraits. This spiritual wholeness, that moves beyond the audience, is found when “there is no pretention, no posturing, just musicians singing their hearts out for the pure joy of doing it,” Jones explains. Photographing musicians since the 1960s, Jones captures artists whose recognition is often marginalized.

*Additional exhibiting artists include: Alexander Tureaud, Daniel Houston, Jane Thame, Joseph Pierre, Mary Cotton-Marshall, Rhonda Bristol, Ron Mason, Sharon Robinson and Quay Houchen. This year, the exhibition was juried by Michele Parchment and Dan Denton. Michele des Verney Redwine and Paul Toliver organized and curated the work.

Black Muse 2020 is on view Jan. 30–March 6, 2020 at Art Center Sarasota, 707 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236 | (941) 365-2032. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Free and open to the public. For more information visit www.artsarasota.org 

To see all of Art Center Sarasota’s current exhibitions click here.

Monday - Saturday: 10 a.m - 4 p.m.
707 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236