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HPPR Arts, Culture & History

So Much Glory: African-American Art at AMoA


It's Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday today, so what better time to celebrate the beauty and inspiration of African-American art? Thanks so much to Alex Gregory of the Amarillo Museum of Art for stopping by the studio (on his day off!) to share details about two new exhibits showcasing pieces from multimedia artist Vanessa German and works on paper from the Kelley collection. Hear our full interview here:


Vanessa German is an American sculptor, painter, writer, activist, performer and poet based in Pittsburgh.  As a self-described citizen artist, German explores the power of art and love as a transformative force in the dynamic cultural ecosystem of communities and neighborhoods.  Her intricate mixed-media sculptures combine doll parts, antique tins, cowrie shells, household objects, and African beads. With her three-dimensional collages German reclaims objects and words that symbolize the oppression of African Americans for generations, creating serene, if surreal, figures that call to mind religious icons, Congolese minkisi sculpture and folk art traditions.  Her work is found in numerous permanent collections.  The museum is planning to bring Vanessa to Amarillo for several area workshops.

2020  ACHIEVEMENT IN ART - (January 26 - March 29, 2020)

THE HARMON & HARRIET KELLEY COLLECTION OF AFRICAN AMERICAN ART: WORKS ON PAPER -- The annual Achievement in Art Exhibition and Gala provides the public a chance to view important works of art while honoring notable collectors on their achievements in art collecting.  

The 85 works in this exhibition date from the late 1800s to 2002 and represent just a fraction of what is contained in the Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection of San Antonio, TX.  Inspired by an exhibition of African American art at the San Antonio Museum of Art in the winter of 1986-87, the Kelleys began their collection in part to reflect their heritage for their two daughters.  Developing their taste and acumen as time went on, the Kelleys took great satisfaction in finding lesser known artists and researching the artists’ lives and artworks, ultimately compiling a comprehensive collection of African American artists. The exhibition was presented at the Amon Carter Museum, Ft. Worth, TX, the McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX, the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA, among others. Included in the exhibition are drawings, etchings, lithographs, watercolors, pastels, acrylics, gouaches, linoleum and color screen prints by such noted artists as Ron Adams, Benny Andrews, Romare Bearden, Aaron Douglas, Jacob Lawrence, Charles White, Elizabeth Catlett, John Biggers, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Eldzier Cortor, Margaret Burroughs, and many other outstanding lesser known artists.

For more information, call (806) 371-5050.