The exhibition represents a budding and long-term relationship of The Alliance with the Dallas African American Museum. Last February in celebration of African American Heritage Month, the museum loaned a series of photographs from its Sepia Magazine collection. That exhibit, hosted at The Wichita Theatre, was an overwhelming success. “We were quite impressed with the level of audience participation in Wichita Falls,” says Dr. Harry Robinson, President and CEO of the African American Museum. “It gave me pleasure to see people viewing and enjoying the work that we have collected – after all, that’s what contemporary museums should do, collect and share.”
Curator John Spriggins will spearhead the cultural aspects for the project, along with Danny Bills, Curator at the Wichita Falls Museum of Art. “It’s hard to say no to these kinds of opportunities,” affirms Mr. Spriggins, “and of course Dr. Robinson and I are pleased to be coming back to Wichita Falls to bring artworks from the AAM’s rich collection of folk art”.
The African American Museum’s Folk Art Collection is one of the finest of its kind in the nation. The collection includes more than 500 pieces of decorative art made by self-taught artists, spanning the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries and features works by George White, Mose Tolliver, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Bessie Harvey, and Willard “The Texas Kid” Watson and other extraordinary folk artists. The tradition of Folk Art represents objects created as part of material culture – things that people were using in their homes, often recycled fabrics and scraps of wood for example to create three-dimensional pieces.
Souls of Black Folk will open with a public reception on Sunday February 4th from 4 to 6pm at the Wichita Falls Museum of Art. For more information about the exhibit or to schedule a group tour contact the WFMA. The exhibition is sponsored by the Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture. The WFMA, located at 2 Eureka Circle, is open to the public free of charge Tuesday through Saturday 10am to 5pm.