Monday, February 14, 2022

SATURDAY - February 19 - Black History Month: African American Artists and Inspiration

 Join NYC Urban Sketchers in a virtual sketch event celebrating the contributions of African Americans to US history, civil rights, science, art, literature, music and culture during Black History Month. The range of possible subjects for sketching is overwhelming. But you may want to narrow your choices down to African American artists. For example, you might take for inspiration the work of:

Hale A. Woodruff (1900-1980)

Hale Woodruff was born in Cairo, Illinois and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. He attended local segregated schools while young. As a young man Woodruff studied art in Indianapolis, Chicago, and at Harvard’s Fogg Art Museum in Cambridge. Like many African-American artists in the early 20th century, Woodruff went abroad to refine his methods and techniques. He studied in Paris from 1927 to 1931, and later in Mexico under Diego Rivera. Hale Woodruff became a pioneer artist and educator, noted for his contributions to historically black colleges.

In 1938, Woodruff was commissioned by Talledega College in Alabama to create three murals for its library. These works are the most celebrated pieces by the artist. The scenes depict the mutiny of African captives on the slave ship “Amistad” in 1839, the US Supreme Court trial, and the final repatriation of the freed Africans to their homeland.

“The Revolt” by Hale Woodruff

“The Court Scene” by Hale Woodruff

“Back to Africa” by Hale Woodruff

At Atlanta University, an historically black college, Woodruff founded the Exhibition for African-American Artists in 1942.  It was the only venue where people of color could exhibit on a national scale during the time of segregation. At this exhibition black artists could compete and have their work judged by a mixed jury of blacks and whites. The annual Exhibition continued for nearly 40 years. In 1946, Woodruff joined the faculty of New York University, where he taught until 1968. 

Whether you draw inspiration from Hale Woodruff or other ground-breaking African-American artists like Jean-Michelle Basquiat, Kara Walker, Kehinde Wiley, Horace Pippin, Augusta Savage, Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, or Aaron Douglas - join us for virtual sketching and celebration of the contributions of African-American artists during Black History Month. 

There are no fees. All skill levels are welcome.

Registration for this event is required. Click on the Eventbrite link blow:

Photographic references for Black History Month are provided below:

Future Events
February 26th - Chihuly Gardens and Glass
March 5th - New Orleans Mardi Gras
March 12th - Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day

NYC Urban Sketchers is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization (EIN 84-3937060). A tax-deductible donation may be made by check and sent to NYC Urban Sketchers, P.O. Box 1083, James A. Farley Post Office, New York, NY 10116. 

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