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Friends of African-American Art and Culture celebrates successful inaugural year

COLUMBIA, SC - The Columbia Museum of Art membership affiliate group, Friends of African-American Art and Culture (FAAAC) celebrates its first anniversary at an annual meeting on Tuesday, March 12 at 5:30 p.m. The meeting is open to everyone and features speaker Dr. Terry K. Hunter, an artist and educator from Orangeburg, SC. $5 or free for FAAAC members.

As the name indicates, FAAAC is a group of people across genders, ethnicities and ages brought together by their appreciation of the artistic and cultural contributions of African Americans.

“The excitement from the popular Chemistry of Color: Contemporary African-American Artists exhibition sparked a momentum that resulted in the creation of this dynamic group,” CMA Executive Director Karen Brosius said. “Their energetic board kept the spirit alive throughout a very productive first year.”

FAAAC launched with the exhibition, Our Time, Our Place: Photographs of the Black South by Richard Samuel Roberts, which opened to a record-breaking crowd eager to learn about the artist and his work. The FAAAC board and members of the community, including Mayor Steve Benjamin, selected the 24 photographs for the exhibition, which showcased a stunning visual history of the 20th-century African-American community in Columbia.

FAAAC’s passion for educating the community continued throughout the year with popular programs featuring and honoring artists like Allen Crite, Leo Twiggs and Cecil Williams.

Most notably, FAAAC explored the vibrant African-American art community in Orangeburg. Members privately toured the I.P. Stanbeck Museum and Planetarium and visited many Orangeburg artists’ homes and studios including Tolulope Filani, Terry Hunter, Kim LeDee, Alving and Bretta Staley, Leo Twiggs and Cecil Williams.

“We experienced a once in a lifetime opportunity to individually ask the artists questions and really understand the intricate details of their processes, what ignites their creativity and how original ideas are developed,” FAAAC president Brandolyn Thomas Pinkston said. “This was a grand experience and a first for all of the participants.”

The first year also inspired a California art collector to give three works to the CMA in honor of FAAAC. Charlotte Sherman, the director of the Heritage Gallery in Los Angeles, gave two photographs and one work on paper by Charles White, one of America’s most renowned 20th-century African-American artists.

“I am so grateful to Charlotte for her generous gifts that will certainly inspire and educate visitors,” Pinkston said. “We are eager to continue providing a variety of programs, lectures and exhibits to educate our community on the importance of African-American art and artists.”

Based on the successes in the first year, FAAAC members are planning several learning opportunities for 2013, including a trip to Sumter for a gallery tour and artist discussion.

“FAAAC members have the privilege and pleasure of experiencing art in ways that move the body, soul and intellect,” FAAAC Board Member Michaela Pilar Brown said. “In 2013, our visit to Sumter will connect art and artists with art lovers and interesting people with interesting ideas.”
FAAAC board members include: Brandolyn Thomas Pinkston, president; Darion McCloud, vice-president; Suzanne Thorpe, Secretary and Waltene Whitmire, Treasurer. Board members are Michaela Pilar Brown, Allen Coles, Preach Jacobs, Jerry Dell Gimarc, Therese Griffin, Maria Krastsios, Javana Lovett, Karen Rutherford and Chelsea Washington.

For more information or to become a FAAAC member, visit columbiamuseum.org.



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