Treasure-trove of African-American and African Diaspora Artists opens at Crealdé

Treasure-trove of African-American and African Diaspora Artists opens at Crealdé

Two-gallery exhibition showcases an influential array of artists of color

from the Jonathan Green and Richard Weedman Collection

A small but powerful selection of 26 paintings, prints and sculpture by outstanding artists – Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Clementine Hunter, Jacob Lawrence and Hale Woodruff, among others – are packed into the Vibrant Vision: African Diaspora and African American Artists exhibition, opening Sept. 14 in the galleries at the Crealdé School of Art main campus and the Hannibal Square Heritage Center, both in Winter Park.

Culled from the larger collection of artist Jonathan Green and his partner and studio director Richard Weedman, the works in Vibrant Vision represent a who’s who of African-American artists and those descending from the African diaspora. The range of artists offers a deep look into diverse cultural influences that have shaped American art over the past hundred years.

Vibrant Vision offers selections from their collection that date from the late 1930s to the present and represent artists throughout the Caribbean and United States. The impetus for the collection, says Weedman, was born during ongoing discussions with Green in the 1970s, while he was studying at the Art Institute of Chicago.

“While Jonathan respected and appreciated much of the art, it did not relate to his own culture, heritage or outlook on life,” says Weedman. “He shared that neither the school nor the museum featured or showed a sincere interest in the art of African American artists along with the other masters taught at the school or shown in the museum.”

They decided to put their collections together and move forward with a goal of amassing works by African-American artists, first with a focus on the Works Progress Administration (WPA) era of the 1930s when many unknown talents were given opportunities. The collection then expanded to pre-WPA as well as moving forward to contemporary African-American artists and those descended from the African diaspora.

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