By Cyrena Allen
The Florida A&M University’s Visual Arts Program is hosting “Six Decades of Art,” an exhibition featuring the work of 38 alumni artists.
The exhibition in the Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Gallery showcases alumni art stemming as far back as the 1960’s. Each piece of art is based off the decade the artist graduated.
“The inspiration for this exhibition was fueled by my interest to highlight the numerous alumni from the Visual Arts Program and provide a voice to the audiences that will view the artwork and see the conversations created in the Foster -Tanner Fine Arts Gallery,” said Harris Wiltsher, curator of the event. “Originally, Howard University had a retrospective of alumni a number of years ago and I deemed it necessary that FAMU should do the same.”
Each piece of art is correlated with the decade in which it was created. Every piece of art was like a time capsule to the viewer allowing them to explore the artist’s world. The second floor of the gallery displays pieces created by alumni from the 1960’s,1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s, while the pieces on the first floor are displays from more recent graduates, between 2000 and 2010.
A few notable alumni who both displayed their art and attended the opening reception included Sylvester Peck Sr., Jake Hatcher, and Terry Hunter.
Peck, who graduated in 1985, created the piece “the violin player.”
He said the work is actually modeled after one of his FAMU DRS High school students, where he teaches art and is the Fine Arts Department chairman.
“The music teacher wanted large panels put up for the music show and she wanted a violin player, so as an artist, I tried to capture the feel and the sound of the violin player in a student, so just to be a part of it, I worked on it for about a year,” Peck said.
Downstairs in the gallery, graduating senior Prenell Francis said he wanted to soak up the culture on campus while he was still here.
“I wanted to take some time to at least come to one event before I graduated, so this is very important for me to come out tonight,” said Francis during the opening reception.
“I was looking at a piece upstairs and it was a very interesting type of art. It was interesting to analyze the art piece and have a discussion around it.”
The Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Gallery will also be hosting a student art competition titled “About Black,” which is an exhibition of works, as well as a competition to gain admission into the exhibition contest. There will be cash prizes equaling 85 percent of the total entry fees. The FAMU Art Department is encouraging students to apply now.
For more information: (850) 599-8755