Private Art Collections Take Center Stage At Gantt Center Season Opener

Summer/Fall Series to also feature North Carolina contemporary artists on the rise

The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture will debut its new collection of exhibitions to the public on Saturday, July 22, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 551 S. Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28202. This family-friendly event features: a day-long drop-in art activity, docent-led tours, art-making workshops and a conversation with noted art collector Vivian D. Hewitt and curator Dr. Michael D. Harris to launch Simple Passion, Complex Vision: The Darryl Atwell Collection of African-American Art; Instill & Inspire: Selections from the John & Vivian Hewitt Collection of African-American Art; Immortal: A New Series by Miya Bailey; and Sloane Siobhan: Archetypes of the Subconscious. The new season, themed Moments. Memories. Masterpieces showcases collectors who are preserving African-American art for future generations and consists of exhibits of contemporary collections, figurative and abstract paintings, and mixed-media sculptures.

Guests are invited to explore the extensive private collections of Darryl Atwell of Washington, D.C. and Vivian D. Hewitt of Charlotte, North Carolina; ponder immortality through the work of Miya Bailey; and experience the conflicting emotions of the conscious and subconscious minds with newcomer Sloane Siobhan. Notably, Bailey and Siobhan are both North Carolina natives with studios in Atlanta and Charlotte, respectively.

"This season promises to be one of the most exciting yet. We are launching a new series of exhibitions featuring prominent private art collections assembled by African-Americans," said Harvey B. Gantt Center President & CEO David Taylor. "The opportunity to introduce Darryl Atwell's collection to the world right here in Charlotte is both a privilege and an honor for the Gantt Center. Darryl's commitment to ensuring the preservation of African-American art is a key driver of his passion for collecting master artists such as Sam Gilliam and emerging artists just launching their careers." General admission to the community opening is $5.00. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP at


Simple Passion, Complex Vision: The Darryl Atwell Collection of African-American Art

In Brief: The Darryl Atwell Collection of African-American Art makes its debut as one of the most expansive collections of abstract and contemporary African-American art. The exhibit is curated by Emory University Professor, artist, and art historian Dr. Michael D. Harris.

Within the last 100 years, or less, we have seen the growth of outstanding collections of African-American art by historically Black institutions such as Hampton University and Howard University, and those of collectors like David Driskell, Walter Evans and others. The Harvey B. Gantt Center is devoting the coming year to showcasing African-American art collections. Darryl Atwell's unique assemblage is the opening exhibition in this series.

Atwell has amassed, in a very short period of time, a truly impressive collection. One that reflects his strong personal tastes with a focus upon younger, contemporary artists working more in abstract and conceptual modes. He has eschewed the ‘usual suspects' found in many collections and has gone beyond collecting works on paper. He has, instead, gathered an impressive array of sculpture, large paintings and unusual media expressions by rising stars.

Atwell has collaborated with former NBA player and avid art collector, Elliott Perry of Memphis, TN, in a most unusual partnership driven by shared passion and information sharing. Atwell's entry into the world of visual art began early in his career as a physician in Cleveland, Ohio and, with much study, conversation and involvement, has led to one of the most distinctive and impressive collections in the country.

Instill & Inspire: Selections from the John and Vivian Hewitt Collection of African-American Art

In Brief: Instill & Inspire: Selections from the John and Vivian Hewitt Collection of African-American Art are selections from one of the nation's most important and comprehensive collections of African-American art. The exhibition is organized by the Harvey B. Gantt Center.

For more than 50 years, John and Vivian Hewitt visited galleries, artists' studios and exhibitions, collecting hundreds of paintings, etchings and sketches. Instill & Inspire: Selections from the John & Vivian Hewitt Collection of African-American Art features a number of images from the fifty-eight-piece collection of two-dimensional works by Charlotte-born Romare Bearden and other master artists including Margaret Burroughs, Jonathan Green, Jacob Lawrence, Elizabeth Catlett, Ann Tanksley and Henry Ossawa Tanner.

The Harvey B. Gantt Center is the permanent home for the Hewitt Collection, a generous gift from Bank of America.

Immortal: A New Series by Miya Bailey

In Brief: Explores how artists immortalize people, places and memories through the visual arts.

Memories, visions and dreams are part of the human experience and are kept immortal by writers, film makers and visual artists alike. Elie Wiesel said, "Without memory there is no culture... there would be no civilization, no society, no future," yet, with time, memories can fade, become lost, or forgotten. North Carolina-born and Atlanta-based artist Miya Bailey does just this in his new exhibition, Immortal. Created for the Gantt Center, the paintings in this exhibition explore his personal memories of happiness and pain.

Movement, figures and vivid colors are seen throughout Bailey's work. Each image represents an escape from today's world into the recollections of the past. Immortal: A New Series by Miya Bailey invites the viewer to relinquish control.

Miya Bailey (b. 1975) was born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina. Currently residing in Atlanta, Bailey is an illustrator, film producer, painter, celebrity tattoo artist and founder of City of Ink Tattoo shop. Bailey is passionate about art, family and education. He uses his gifts to extol the importance of the arts in one's community and to encourage art enthusiasts to support living artists through collecting.

Sloane Siobhan: Archetypes of the Subconscious

In Brief: Chaos and order aggressively merge with abstract and picturesque forms.

Archetypes of the Subconscious is an exhibition of painted works by Charlotte artist Sloane Siobhan. This series explores the notions of growth, loss and the inner battle of the mind, the spirit and the heart. Siobhan's raw emotions following the loss of her mother in November 2016 serve as the conduit for this artful expression of love, heartbreak, remembrance and grief. Fears and other hidden emotions, intertwined with strikingly rich colors are captured by the artist in each image.

Both mesmerizing and mysterious, Siobhan's works represent the interactions, and sometimes conflicts, of her conscious and subconscious minds. These thoughts are characterized by stunning power animals – pandas, tigers and grizzly bears – and antagonists, such as bees. Each animal battles with the emotional struggles of the inner-self. Pain, suffering, acceptance and the growing pains of life are felt in each stroke. Chaos and order aggressively merge with abstract and picturesque forms.

Siobhan's work invites the viewer to go beyond aesthetics into the embodiment of words that are often too hard to voice.

Sloane Siobhan (b. 1975), born in Boone and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, is a visual artist specializing in oil painting. At age four, Siobhan was trained at the Monart Drawing School by renowned South African artist Jillian Goldberg who brought the internationally acclaimed Monart drawing method to North Carolina. Siobhan later attended high school at Northwest School of the Arts in Charlotte, with a concentration in visual arts. She graduated from Appalachian State University in December 2016 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, and painting concentration. Siobhan was commissioned by Appalachian State's chancellor to create a painting for the university. The painting remains in the university's collection and was also featured in the Bachelor of Fine Arts group exhibition, Calico, in December 2016.

Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2017

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