African-American art on display

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A sampling of the art in the gallery. [Photo by Lauren Fox ‘19]

Kaitlyn Calogero

Williams Center Gallery exhibits “In the Line of Duty”

The Williams Center Gallery is hosting an exhibit featuring works done by African-Americans, including 19th century landscapes, paper drawings and modern sculptures.

The exhibit, from the William C. Robinson Family Collection of African-American Art, reflects Robinson’s desire to support African-American artists in their endeavors, so their voices are heard through art. Robinson wishes to make art history more diverse, with this exhibit, entitled In the Line of Duty: Collecting African-American Art,” as an example.

“There is a piece for everyone, with the span of themes and types of art displayed throughout the gallery,” said Gui de Avila ‘16, who works in the Williams Center Gallery. The works range in theme, showcasing classic, impressionist and abstract pieces amidst other types.

The layout of the gallery is essential, Director of Art Galleries and Collections Michiko Okaya said. Arranged in a somewhat chronological, somewhat theme-based order, the layout provides a cohesive way to examine, analyze, and contemplate the pieces in the exhibit.

Okaya is especially impressed with a sculpture produced by Selma H. Burke in 1950, entitled “Mother and Child,” which depicts a familial relationship as a mother embraces her daughter.

“I especially love the juxtaposition between the mother and daughter’s hair here,” Okaya said, contributing to the notion that the small details in the sculpture contribute to the general overarching theme of motherly love.

Another sculpture is one entitled “Mother & Child” produced by Elizabeth Catlett in 1980 and portrays a mother giving birth to a child.

Another piece is one from Paul Keene entitled “Once There Was,” produced in 1995. The abstract mixed-media on panel piece has different scattered words and letters throughout it.

The exhibit will be in the Williams Center Gallery until Dec. 12.