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Gantt Center Celebrates Romare BeardenSeptember 2, 2011 2:00 PMHarvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
Gantt Center Celebrates Romare Bearden in Three Exhibits Opening September 2
Rarely Seen Bearden Watercolors and Bearden's Successors Featured
Charlotte, NC - On Friday, September 2 at 6 pm, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture will open its doors for three exhibitions commemorating the 100th anniversary of Romare Bearden's Mecklenburg County birth. Bearden's niece, Deidra Harris-Kelley, Co-Director of the Romare Bearden Foundation, along with acclaimed artists Radcliffe Bailey, Nanette Carter, Louis Delsarte and Wadsworth A. Jarrell will join the celebration. Work by the four artists is included in the show.
Paper Trail: Romare Bearden Works on Paper features many of Bearden's rarely seen watercolors and prints on loan from Charlotte collectors. Photographer Frank Stewart captured the artist in his studio; with prominent artists and cultural figures; during moments of introspection; and with friends and family in Romare Bearden: The Life. The work of painters, printmakers and mixed-media artists represent those who were influenced and inspired by Bearden in Beyond Bearden: Creative Responses.
"Our three exhibitions expand upon Bearden's collages by covering different territory," said David Taylor, Gantt Center president & CEO. "His watercolors, particularly the Caribbean series, show another facet of Bearden's work and Frank Stewart's photographs offer a glimpse into the artist's day-to-day life. Beyond Bearden gives us the opportunity to showcase other artists, like Betye Saar, Radcliffe Bailey and Maya Freelon Asante, who are members of a new generation of collagists."
The Gantt Center will also unveil Saxophone Improvisation during the centennial celebration. The original Bearden collage & watercolor was donated to the Center by Charlotte residents Thomas and Nora Hughes. Saxophone Improvisation is one of three Bearden collages reproduced as a mural in the Frederick P. Rose Hall Atrium at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York.
The Mint Museum Uptown will also open its Bearden exhibition to the public on September 2. The Gantt Center and Mint Museum have partnered to present the Bearden Bridge - entertainment on the plazas in front of the two facilities - to encourage art lovers to see all of the exhibitions Friday evening. Both openings are free to members of the two institutions. Admission to the Gantt Center is $5 for non-members.
The following day at noon, artist David Wilson will lead a hands-on collage workshop with live jazz accompaniment. Wilson created the vibrant glass mural, Divergent Threads, Lucent Memories, which is installed on the south face of the Gantt Center building. An example of his digital collage work is included in the Beyond Bearden exhibit and he is also, currently, a McColl Center artist-in-residence. Pamela Ford, the curator of a nationally traveling exhibition, From Process to Print: The Graphic Work of Romare Bearden, will follow Wilson at 1 pm with a one-hour dialogue about Bearden's innovative printmaking practice.
The Gantt Center will present additional Bearden-related programs and activities throughout the run of the show. On Saturday, September 10, photographer Frank Stewart and curator Ruth Fine will travel to the Gantt Center to discuss their personal and professional relationships with the master collagist. Stewart chronicled the last thirteen years of Bearden's life in photographs.
The three Romare Bearden Centennial Celebration exhibitions, Paper Trail; Romare Bearden: The Life; and Beyond Bearden, will be on display at the Harvey B. Gantt Center through January 22, 2012.