On January 30, 2020, The David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora at the University of Maryland held the opening reception for it's new exhibition, Romare Bearden: Artist as Activist & Visionary.
I cleared my schedule to attend the reception since Romare Bearden is one of my favorite artists. I had a lot of anticipation for the evening, and I was not disappointed. The exhibition features more than 45 of Bearden's artworks, some familiar and many that I was seeing for the first time. I'd never seen his editorial cartoons, which poignantly expressed his social activism, and it was interesting to see pieces that focused on the power of women, which I truly admire. Here is a small sampling of some of the works in the exhibition:
Years ago, I purchased and put together a jigsaw puzzle of Bearden's work, "Wrapping it Up at the Lafayette", which I framed and have had hanging in my home for as long as I can remember. I love it just as much now as I did when I first assembled it, and I was lucky to find a frame that suits it perfectly.
It felt particularly special for me when I spotted a print of this piece in the exhibition. While mine isn't an original, it makes me feel like I own one.
Without question, this exhibition is powerful, inspiring and a must-see. I plan to see it again before it leaves on May 1, 2020. Catch it if you can.