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Alumnae Stories

"Black American Portraits" Symposium Opening Conversation

March 2023

Black American PortraitsArtists Bisa Butler, Calida Rawls, and Amy Sherald led a historic discussion during last week’s "Black American Portraits Symposium Opening Conversation" in the Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, Ed.D., Academic Center Auditorium on Mar. 2. The livestreamed event was moderated by author Naima Keith and hosted by the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art and the Atlanta University Center Art + Curatorial Studies Collective.

Although "Black American Portraits" reframes portraiture to center Black American subjects, sitters, and spaces, this particular highlight of the exhibit was focused on the placement of Black women portrait artists on the center stage.

"The thing that makes this show special here at Spelman is that we are the only museum in the nation dedicated to art by and about women of the African Diaspora, Black women," said Dr. Liz Andrews, executive director of the Museum. "This is an exhibition that includes male artists, women artists, trans artists even; but we wanted to center Black women."

From admirable moments that paid homage to artists who have paved the way to exciting engagement from the audience during the Q&As, AUC friends, colleagues, distinguished guests, and scholars explored some of the greatest inspirations behind today’s most celebrated Black women artists.

To learn more about the "Black American Portraits" exhibit and any associated events, visit Spelman’s Museum of Fine Art page.