Community Opening of New Exhibitions Kicks Off Black History Month at Harvey B. Gantt Center

Local Art Collectors Judy and Patrick Diamond share the African-American experience on canvas, in pictures and sculptures

On Saturday, February 3, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture will host a free community opening to debut the second exhibitions in its series Moments. Memories. Masterpieces. which feature works held by African-American collectors. This new array of exhibitions introduces Judy and Patrick Diamond of Charlotte, North Carolina and works from their collection A Creative Journey: The Collection of Judy and Patrick Diamond that reflect slavery, civil rights and scenes from African-American culture, and Dr. Dianne Whitfield-Locke and her husband, Dr. Carnell Locke of Washington, D.C. and selections from their collection entitled By and About Women: The Collection of Dr. Dianne Whitfield-Locke and Dr. Carnell Locke which features the artistry of pioneering African-American women such as Betye Saar and Faith Ringgold. Both collections are curated by renowned art historian and educator Dr. Michael D. Harris.  Alongside the private collections are the vibrant, mixed-media exhibition entitled Lillian Blades: Mirrors of Life and a collection of photographs from Army veteran and North Carolina native Frankhavemercy: Frequency, organized by the Harvey B. Gantt Center. The exhibitions will be showcased through July 29, 2018.

"This season’s exhibitions offer an opportunity to experience a blend of master and contemporary artists as well as mixed-media and photography art forms," said Gantt Center President & CEO David Taylor. "It is a part of our mission to tell the stories that comprise the African-American experience through the arts, and visitors will encounter vivid reminders of America’s segregated past in some of the artwork in the galleries. We are opening our doors to the community with a free open house because we want everyone to have the opportunity to see these phenomenal, and important works."

The day-long open house will include gallery talks with the artists and curators, guided tours, art-making workshops and other creative activities at the Gantt Center which is located at 551 S. Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28202. Visit to learn more about the artists and collectors.


By and About Women: The Collection of Dr. Dianne Whitfield-Locke and Dr. Carnell Locke

By and About Women highlights selected works from their extensive collection which were either created by female artists or feature women as the subject. Like their larger collection, this exhibition represents a comprehensive history of art-making in general, and African-American art, specifically.  Sculpture, sketches, oils, acrylics, watercolors and collages fill the gallery. Featured artists include Betye Saar, Alison Saar, Faith Ringgold and Margaret T. Burroughs.

A Creative Journey: The Collection of Judy and Patrick Diamond

A Creative Journey: The Collection of Judy and Patrick Diamond began during a year-long residence in East Africa when the couple were fresh out of graduate school and has continued throughout their life together. Their metaphorical journey reflects the geographic journey of their lives from Boston, where they met, to stops in Tanzania, Williamstown, Massachusetts, Chicago, Charlotte and Atlanta.

Lillian Blades: Mirrors of Life

Picture frames, buttons, flowers, wood blocks, mirrors and other objects – random to some, but symbolic to Lillian Blades – represent both the artist’s past and present. Far from chaotic, viewing her work yields an unexpected calm and sense of wonder. These images, like most of her mixed-media collages, incorporate an array of patterns using found objects that seem to float on planes of bright and dark colors with each object holding a special meaning to the artist – picture frames are about capturing memories; buttons symbolize the loss of her mother - a seamstress - and the desire to remain connected; flowers represent her grandmother and her aunt who were both florists. In addition, these objects are also subjective – leaving room for interpretation and self-reflection by the viewer.

Frankhavemercy: Frequency

Through the lens of a camera, North Carolina-born photographer, designer and filmmaker Frank Jackson III – also known as Frankhavemercy – captures the emotions of pain and joy in his first exhibition, titled Frequency. Each image tells a story inspired by Frankhavemercy’s experiences, memories or imagination. Exploiting his innate talent for capturing moments, figures and architecture, Frankhavemercy not only seizes the moment but combines the image he spies through his lens with imaginative editing to mirror the one he sees in his mind’s eye. Frequency unpacks emotions driven by Frankhavemercy’s past and present – both positive and negative – and showcases works of art that are exquisite and thought-provoking.


The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture is a multi-disciplinary arts institution located in the heart of Charlotte, North Carolina. Founded in 1974, the Gantt Center’s mission is to present, preserve and celebrate excellence in the art, history and culture of African-Americans and those of African descent through visual and literary arts, dance, music, film, educational programs, theatre productions and community outreach. The Gantt Center features fine art exhibitions from around the world and is home to the nationally celebrated John and Vivian Hewitt Collection of African-American Art, which was generously donated by Bank of America, and is accessible online.

Named for Charlotte civic leader and former mayor Harvey Bernard Gantt, the Gantt Center is housed in an inspired and distinguished award-winning structure designed by architect Philip Freelon, co-designer of the new Smithsonian National Museum for African American History and Culture. For more information, visit Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2018

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