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TMA spotlights African-American art with ‘Embracing Diverse Voices’

Published on Saturday, 9 January 2016 19:16 – Written by JON PERRY, Special to the Tyler Paper

Celebrating its 45th anniversary, the Tyler Museum of Art casts the spotlight on our nation’s diversity for its first major exhibition of the year: “Embracing Diverse Voices: 90 Years of African-American Art.”

The show opens Jan. 17 and continues through March 20. Admission is free. A reception for members is set for 5:30 to 7 p.m. Jan. 16.

Organized by the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, “Embracing Diverse Voices” explores the broad range of experience and artistic expression among American artists of African descent. Spanning almost a century, these works demonstrate a wide range of stylistic approaches and viewpoints – some offering a glimpse of an artist’s personal vision, with others speaking out as bold political and social calls to action.

A common thread among the works – from James Van Der Zee’s portraits of Harlem men and women, to Catlett’s acclaimed Madonna and Ron Adam’s homage to master printmaker Robert Blackburn – is the complex, but fundamental, expression of identity.

“Embracing Diverse Voices” will be the focus of the TMA’s Black History Month Celebration program at 2 p.m. on Feb. 21. Texas artist Ted T. Ellis will present “An American Treasure: Celebrating African-American History and Culture.” The presentation will be free to the public at no charge. A reception will follow.

Special events associated with the show include First Friday Art Tours at 11 a.m. Feb. 5 and March 4, and Family Days from 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 20 and March 12. Admission to special events is free, but reservations are encouraged.


Jon Perry is the communications coordinator for the Tyler Museum of Art.

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