Thursday, January 28th, 2016
Morris Arts and Art in the Atrium will hold the free public opening of New Jersey’s largest exhibition of African-American art on the evening of Friday, Jan. 29, at the Atrium Gallery, which is floors 2-5 of the Morris County Administration & Records Building, 10 Court Street, in Morristown.
Running through March 16, the exhibit is entitled Visual Griot and highlights the work of Plainfield artist Alonzo Adams, as well as works by nearly 30 outstanding local and internationally known African American artists.
Included are Lavette Ballard, Bisa Butler, Leroy Campbell, Howard Cash, Stephen B. Ellis, Leslie Floyd, April Harrison, Janice Jamison, Julio Mejia, Maceo Mitchell, Janet Taylor Pickett, Ellaree Pray; Deborah Shedrick, Sandra P. Smith, and Cephalus Stubbs, among others.
The exhibition is curated and assembled by Art in the Atrium. The free opening reception on Friday, from 6-9:30pm includes music, food and an opportunity to meet the artists.
There will also be a press and VIP Patron reception at the administration building on January 28 from 5-7 p.m. at the same location.
“We are very excited to be able to offer this gallery space for artistic endeavors in our county government building,’’ said Morris County Freeholder Director Kathy DiFillippo. “It offers a great opportunity for these wonderful artists to showcase their works and presents residents and students of our county and visitors to Morris County a terrific cultural opportunity.’’
Born in 1961 in Harlem and raised in Plainfield, featured artist Alonzo Adams’ passion for art was nurtured from the streets of Plainfield to the country roads of North Carolina and enriched by trips to France and Spain. He was inspired by such greats as Charles White, Henry O. Tanner, L’Hermitte, John Singer Sargent and Rembrandt.
One of the first African American artists to become an Absolut Artist, Adams was featured in the Black Romance exhibit at the Studio Museum of Harlem. He also was also one of the first inductees into the Rutgers African American Alumnae Association Hall of Fame.
Art in the Atrium’s annual exhibition is the largest of its kind in the state.
The non-profit organization, Art in the Atrium, began in 1992 after Victoria Craig’s husband, Charles Craig, noticed a lack of art works by African-American artists featured in the gallery of the Morris County administration building.
“It really helps to expand people’s idea of what African-American art can be,’’ says Craig. “We have works in all mediums and genres. It’s not just figurative paintings with a mask in them.’’
Dedicated to exhibiting works by emerging and established black artists, Art in the Atrium is a nonprofit volunteer organization whose annual exhibit at the Atrium Gallery is now the largest of its kind in New Jersey, growing from a single floor to currently occupying 4 full floors of the County Administration & Records Building.
Art in the Atrium also has expanded to include seminars, jazz brunches, collectors’ workshops and co-sponsors artist residencies in the Morris School District, benefitting 200 to 500 students each year.
It also awards an annual scholarship to a student artist, whose work is often exhibited in the show. For more information, visit: http://artintheatrium.org/
The exhibition is made possible in part by funds from Morris Arts through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.
For more on Morris Arts, visit: http://www.morrisarts.org/
For more on Morris County government, visit: https://morriscountynj.gov/