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The Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture is pleased to announce its first cultural collaboration for 2018 has been extended. An exhibition featuring the traditions of African American folk art, The Souls of Black Folk,  is hosted by the Wichita Falls Museum of Art at MSU (WFMA) in cooperation with Dallas’ African American Museum. The exhibition opened to the public February 6, 2018, and will now be on view until April 28, 2018.

Margie Johnson Reese, Executive Director of The Alliance, “This partnership further extends our commitment to our mission to strengthen the work of our existing cultural organizations and institutions.” Reese says, “The Wichita Falls Museum of Art is an important resource in the Wichita Falls community, having celebrated its 50th year anniversary in 2017.”

The WFMA provides continuous programming to residents and visitors to the city and has strong educational programs that allow children and their families to create and interact with works by regional and national artists and world-class exhibitions.

Dr. Francine Carraro, director of the WFMA, “The staff, volunteers, and Advisory Board of the WFMA are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with The Alliance and the African American Museum of Dallas to present this outstanding exhibition, which includes works by such notable artists as Clementine Hunter, David Butler, Johnny Banks, and many other important artists of the folk-art tradition.”

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 of 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.

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 10 am to 5 pm.