Loïs Mailou Jones's work was abstract and hard-edged and her impressionist techniques gave way to a richly patterned and brilliantly colored style. She produced work that echoed her pride in her African roots and American ancestry. **** In a career spanning more than 70 years, Loïs Mailou Jones overcame racial and gender prejudices to become a successful and influential painter, designer, and educator.*
Thelma Golden is Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, the world’s leading institution devoted to visual art by artists of African descent. Over the years, she has worked with, hired and nurtured curators who have gone on to shape institutions all over the country.
“I always made sure that all those people who thought they weren’t part of the opportunity to participate in the arts could find a way to become part of that experience,” said Leslie King Hammond, PhD, graduate dean emerita and founding director of the Center for Race and Culture at MICA. Her words are realized with the creation of the Leslie King Hammond Graduate Award. *
Dr. Deborah Willis is an artist, author and curator Deborah Willis's art and pioneering research has focused on cultural histories envisioning the black body, women and gender.
Her art is exhibited through words on the page, performance and film in the attempt to transform, dissect and explore the intersection of blackness, queer identity, fragility and being a woman in America and beyond. As a queer black female artist, she has given and hopes to continue to provide her community with a platform for dialogue, social change and transformation through artistic creation.