Edmonia Lewis was the first sculptor of African American and Native American descent to achieve international recognition. In addition to creating portrait heads, Lewis sculpted biblical scenes and figural works dealing with her Native American heritage and the oppression of black people.*
Valerie Mercer's curatorial work shines a light on Detroit's black art history for the world to see and experience.
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.*
Since the early 1960s, Faith Ringgold has been known for her story quilts, politically charged paintings and prints, and illustrated children’s books. She has eloquently articulated a critical perspective on American identity through the lenses of the feminist and civil rights movements.***
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.