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Wed, Feb 22


Online Event

Heart of Our Culture: Black Art & Artifacts

Join us as our panel of artists and curators discuss the impact of Black art and Black artifacts.

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Heart of Our Culture: Black Art & Artifacts
Heart of Our Culture: Black Art & Artifacts

Time & Location

Feb 22, 2023, 7:00 PM

Online Event

About the Event

Black art and artifacts are the guardians of Black history and culture. They tell our story, help us understand the past, and shine the light for us to go forward. They are our public and collective memory.

Tammi Lawson is the curator of the Art & Artifacts Division at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, where she is the steward of a Collection of approximately 15,000 works of fine art and artifacts dating back to the 17th century that reflect the history and expressive culture of the African Diaspora. The items conserved within Lawson’s division range from African Art, paintings, and sculpture; works on paper and textiles; to important representations of ephemeral and material culture. Lawson advises and supports the students, scholars, and curators who visit the collection to research and prepare papers, books, catalogs, and exhibitions on black art and artists. As a curator, she collaborated on the Schomburg exhibition Curators’ Choice: Black Life Matters and recently curated the exhibit A Labor of Love: The Constance E. Clayton Collection.

Lawson holds an MLS degree from Queens College, CUNY specializing in the preservation of cultural heritage materials, museum collections, and digital curation. Last year Little Brown published the book  Young Adult which she collaborated on with Poet Marilyn Nelson, entitled: Augusta Savage a Shape of a Life. In 2021 Lawson was awarded the Bertha Franklin Feder Award in Excellence in Librarianship.

Diedra Harris-Kelley is currently Co-Director of the Romare Bearden Foundation, the non-profit organization perpetuating the legacy of one of our greatest American visual artists. She offers a unique perspective on Bearden’s work being a formally trained painter, and niece of the artist’s late wife, Nanette Rohan Bearden. For the last 9 years, she has been part of the team leading the foundation through a successful run of exhibitions, publications, educational and celebratory programs around the life and art of Bearden.

Harris-Kelley earned a BA in Art from California State University, Long Beach, and an MFA from University of Michigan. She currently teaches a seminar course at Barnard College, and has taught studio art at New York University, Parsons School of Design Studio Program, and for alternative high school and elementary school programs; as well as conducted professional development workshops and lectures on art. She was a member of the curatorial team of Jazz at Lincoln Center from 2009 to 2012; and is the author of “Revisiting Romare Bearden’s Art of Improvisation,” published in Uptown Conversation: The New Jazz Studies (Columbia University, 2004)

Harris-Kelley’s own artwork has been published, and recently shown in a solo exhibition at the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Arts, Snug Harbor, Staten Island. (2016-17); For the Studio Museum in Harlem’s Winter 2018 Postcard series, her entry “Playhouse Collage with Monk-118th St” highlighted Minton’s jazz club.

As a cultural leader she participated on committees with the Wallach Gallery of Columbia University, the Harlem Semester initiative of Barnard College, and the Harlem Cultural Collaborative that spearheads the Harlem Renaissance 100 initiative.

Kimberly Annece Henderson is a writer and curator based in New York City. Her work centers on genealogy and Black American lineages through archival photography and historical preservation; which includes facilitating digital projects for the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. Her curatorial work is featured in the 1619 Project book, and her forthcoming picture book entitled "Dear Yesteryear" will be published by Penguin Random House on March 7, 2023.

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