Sankofa art exhibit in Brazos Gallery

Observance of Black History Month at Richland officially began on Feb. 8 with a well-attended reception for “Sankofa: Selected Works from the African American Museum of Dallas” at the Brazos Gallery. 

This is the fourth year the Richland Black History Month Committee has an exhibit at the Brazos Gallery. Dr. LaQueta Wright welcomed the guests to the opening reception. “It is important to bring history, literature, art and culture into our Black History Month programs every year,” she said. 

“The African-American community has gone through many struggles, yet still we rise, which is the theme of our 2017 Black History Month,” Wright said. Echoed by her audience, she quoted Maya Angelou’s poem, “And Still I Rise,” as inspiration for the theme.

“We should all remember the words of Maya Angelou and Michelle Obama when faced with trials,” Wright said. 

In keeping with their decision to also honor Barack and Michelle Obama in this year’s programming, the committee provided keepsake bookmarks for attendees printed with the famous quote from the former first lady, “when they go low, we go high.”

She encouraged guests to keep the theme in mind when engaging with the works in the exhibit, before introducing the speaker, John Spriggins, director of the Brazos Gallery. Spriggins has collaborated with the Black History Month Committee on the opening exhibit since he joined Richland in 2014.

The 25 works in the exhibit were chosen by Spriggins. They are some of his personal favorites from the permanent collection of the African American Museum of Dallas (AAMD), where he is the interim curator.

The art ranges in style from abstract to highly realistic. The media include lithographic prints, oil paintings, mixed-media, and pen and ink drawing featuring work by Clementine Hunter, Roy Ferdinand, Willard “The Texas Kid” Watson, and Horace Foxall. A particular favorite of Spriggins is “All Things Are Possible” by Ron Adams, one of the many brilliant portraits in the exhibit.

Spriggins spoke about the history of the African American Museum of Dallas, and its partnership with the Richland Black History Month art exhibit in 2016 and 2017. The AAMD is located in Fair Park, and can be reached by DART. Admission to the museum is free.

“Sankofa: Selected Works from the African American Museum of Dallas”  is on view in the Brazos Gallery, in Room 140. It runs through Feb. 24.