Souls Grown Deep Foundation Expands Mission, Appoints New Board Chair - Artforum

Souls Grown Deep Foundation Expands Mission, Appoints New Board Chair - Artforum

The Souls Grown Deep Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to raising the profile of African American artists from the southern United States, has announced that it is expanding its mission. In addition to promoting African American artists, the foundation will now work to improve the socioeconomic conditions of the communities whose work is represented in its collection.

 Souls Grown Deep Foundation Elects New Board Chair, Announces Grant Program and Strategic Plan — ARTnews

Souls Grown Deep Foundation Elects New Board Chair, Announces Grant Program and Strategic Plan — ARTnews

The Souls Grown Deep Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting, preserving, and exhibiting work by African-American artists from the American South, has named artist Mary Margaret Pettway as the new chair of its board of trustees. Pettway, a third-generation quilter and member of the Gee’s Bend Quilters Collective, has been a trustee of the foundation since 2017. Pettway also leads quilting workshops and is an instructor at the Black Belt Treasures Cultural Arts Center in Camden, Alabama. She will serve as board chair from 2018 to 2020.

Jackson Pollock and Thornton Dial given equal billing in Met exhibition - The Art Newspaper

Jackson Pollock and Thornton Dial given equal billing in Met exhibition - The Art Newspaper

History Refused to Die at the Metropolitan Museum of Art celebrates the acquisition in 2014 of 57 works from the Atlanta-based non-profit Souls Grown Deep Foundation, which promotes the art of self-taught contemporary African-American artists from the south-east US. The show aims “to put these works in the context of contemporary art in general”, says the co-curator Amelia Peck. For example, the exhibition has been arranged so that a visitor looking at Jackson Pollock’s Autumn Rhythm (Number 30) (1950) can turn and see Thornton Dial’s History Refused to Die (2004), which lends the show its name. “It sends the right message—that the Met is putting someone like Dial on an equal footing with a revered Modern master like Pollock,” says Randall Griffey, who co-organised the show.

A Groundbreaking Show Presents a New, Inclusive Vision of American Art - The New York Times

A Groundbreaking Show Presents a New, Inclusive Vision of American Art - The New York Times

Anyone interested in American modernism should see “Outliers and American Vanguard Art” at the National Gallery of Art. Flaws and all, this groundbreaking adventure highlights outstanding, sometimes rarely-seen artworks; revives neglected histories; and reframes the contributions of self-taught artists to this country’s rich visual culture.

Top Museum Acquisitions: 2017 In Review  - InCollect

Top Museum Acquisitions: 2017 In Review - InCollect

The High Museum of Art in Atlanta purchased Kara Walker’s fifty-eight- foot-long cut-paper silhouette installation The Jubilant Martyrs of Obsolescence and Ruin (2015), and acquired fifty-four works by thirty-three contemporary African-American artists from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose aim since 2010 has been to expand the recognition of leading contemporary African-American artists in the Southeast through support for exhibitions, programs and publications. In 2014, the Foundation began a program to transfer its collection to leading American and international museums.

Critic's Picks: Thornton Dial at David Lewis - Artforum

Critic's Picks: Thornton Dial at David Lewis - Artforum

In the art of the late Southern painter Thornton Dial, the notion of “relief” leads in several directions. Along one path, it was the word used in his lifetime (he died in 2016 at the age of eighty-seven) to describe his wild assemblages on canvas and wood, which were so heavily piled with found objects, oils, paints, enamels, and other compounds that they reach out several inches from the wall. In another sense—for an artist who was dealing with some of the more abject horrors of the world and described his approach to history in terms of tilling the soil—“relief” also suggests a kind of reprieve. Dial busied his hands to find, for himself and his viewers, a way to be freed from violence, cruelty, injustice, and tragedy. His way was to give those things shape, color, texture, and depth.

Outliers And American Vanguard Art At National Gallery Of Art, Washington, DC - Forbes

Outliers And American Vanguard Art At National Gallery Of Art, Washington, DC - Forbes

On a computer, the reset button clears the computer's memory and causes it to reboot—to shut down and restart. Lynne Cooke, the curator of Outliers and American Vanguard Art, has developed a different button, one that merges history (and memory), offering a more seamless approach to thinking about outsider art. Head on, she challenges conventional definition and attacks “The relentless ‘term warfare’ between imbricated [overlapping] concepts such as folk, naïve, and outsider . . . [and a] preoccupation with definition.”

 Souls Grown Deep Foundation Gives 24 Works to Philadelphia Museum of Art — ARTnews

Souls Grown Deep Foundation Gives 24 Works to Philadelphia Museum of Art — ARTnews

Gee’s Bend quilt lovers young and old, near and far, newly converted and veteran, take note: the Souls Grown Deep Foundation has given 15 of those abstract wonders—by key figures like Mary Lee Bendolph, Delia Bennett, and Annie E. Pettway—to the Philadelphia Museum of Art as part of a gift of 24 pieces that also includes works by Thornton Dial, Lonnie Holley, and Bessie Harvey.

Philadelphia Museum of Art Receives Twenty-four Artworks from Souls Grown Deep Foundation - Artforum

Philadelphia Museum of Art Receives Twenty-four Artworks from Souls Grown Deep Foundation - Artforum

The Philadelphia Museum of Art announced today that it has acquired twenty-four works of art from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia. The donation comprises works by African American artists from the southeastern United States, including three major works by Thornton Dial, an iron and steelworker, carpenter, and painter; two assemblages by Lonnie Holley and Ronald Lockett; and fifteen quilts by several generations of women from Gee’s Bend, Alabama that date from 1930 to 2005. 

Culture Type: The Year in Black Art 2017

Culture Type: The Year in Black Art 2017

FEBRUARY: Fine Art Museums of San Francisco announce the acquisition of more than 60 works by 22 African American artists from the South from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation through a gift/purchase arrangement. The foundation is collaborating with museums to broaden the representation of Southern contemporary artists such as Thornton Dial, Bessie Harvey, Lonnie Holley, Ronald Lockett, Joe Minter, Jessie T. Pettway, Mose Tolliver, and Purvis Young, in their collections. The news follows a similar acquisition from the foundation by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and later transactions with the Southern Folklife Collection at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, High Museum of Art in Atlanta, and New Orleans Museum of Art.