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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Three Clemson University Art Department MFA Alumni in The African American Voice Exhibit in Lee Gallery

Connie Floyd, Untitled, 1975 photo-serigraph, 1 1/2 " x 17"

September 8 – October 9, 2014, M-TH
9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Lee Gallery, 1-101 Lee Hall

Works by African-American artists who are among the state's best-known and widely celebrated practitioners, The African-American Voice includes 40 pieces of artwork from the State Art Collection by 25 African-American artists, including outsider artists Richard Burnside, Sam Doyle, Leroy Marshall, and Dan Robert Miller as well as academically trained artists with established careers such as Tarleton Blackwell, Joseph Gandy, MacArthur Goodwin, Jesse Guinyard, Terry K. Hunter, Larry Jordan, Larry Lebby, Arthur Rose, Robert Spencer (MFA, 1986), Leo Twiggs, and Winston Wingo (MFA, 1980). The Sweetgrass basket tradition is represented by Mary Jackson, the best known practitioner working in this craft, and by Linda Blake, Elizabeth Kinlaw, and Marguerite Middleton.

Robert Spencer, Struggle, 1986, Woodcut, 32" x 17 1/2"
Artists such as Beverly Buchanan, Sheri Moore Change, Connie Floyd (MFA, 1977), Merton Simpson, and Maxwell Taylor are all South Carolina connected artists who no longer reside in the state.

Winston Wingo, Technocratic Head II, 1988, bronze, 15 1/2" x 9"  x 10"
This exhibition was organized by and made possible through the South Carolina Arts Commission.

The exhibit is part of a larger project by Clemson University’s College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities, “Race and the University: A Campus Conversation.”  Events will take place throughout this academic year beginning in September.

The series’ purpose is to create greater awareness of and encourage open conversations about Clemson’s history as it relates to race and diversity. Although Clemson was the first all-white public college in the state to desegregate, it sits on a former plantation worked by slaves and many of its earliest buildings were built by convict laborers.
Craig Wilder
Craig Wilder

A highlight of the series will be a keynote address in November by Craig S. Wilder, author of “Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities” (New York: Bloomsbury, 2013). Wilder is professor of history and head of history faculty at MIT’s School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. He studies American urban, intellectual and cultural history.

Richard Goodstein, dean of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities, said, “I’m glad our faculty are initiating this important discussion about how Clemson’s history has influenced the present and how it can help improve our future. These discussions will provide a compelling opportunity for students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community to discuss and gain a broader understanding of race in today’s academy and society.”

“Race and the University” is sponsored by the Faculty Arts and Humanities Council in the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities, and is organized by faculty members Diane Perpich, director of interdisciplinary undergraduate programs and associate professor of philosophy, and Rhondda Thomas, associate professor of English.

“This series of events grew out of discussions by the arts and humanities council about ways to enrich the college’s culture through a variety of intellectual, cultural and social events,” Thomas said. “The aim of the initiative is to use humanistic forms of inquiry to initiate a dialogue about race and diversity — past, present, and future — at Clemson.

“In so doing, Clemson joins a worldwide discussion at higher education institutions, including Brown University, Harvard University, Emory University, Cambridge University and the University of Michigan, regarding issues of diversity, inclusion and identity.”

The series events will be listed on the Clemson University master calendar throughout the year.

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