A Flashback to 1979: The Year of the Last Total Solar Eclipse and 10 memorable moments in African American Arts and Popular Culture August 20 2017
A Flashback to 1979: The Year of the Last Total Solar Eclipse
Black Art in America™ celebrates this rarity with and even rarer discount on original art in its Total Eclipse of the Sun - Flashback to 1979 Collection Sale
By: Diamond Wilcoxson Gass
On Monday, August 21st - Americans will be graced by the presence of its first total eclipse of the sun in over 38 years. The last solar eclipse visible in the Contiguous United States happened on February 26, 1979, and as we all prepare to experience this phenomenon in its rarity - let's take a look back to 1979, the year of the last total eclipse of the sun, yes - but also the year of many important and influential moments in African American popular culture and art.
The 1970’s were known as the beginning of the Post - Civil Rights Movement, and by 1979 Black Americans were expressing themselves and their culture abundantly through the arts. Check out Black Art in America’s list of 10 memorable moments in African American Arts and Popular Culture.
Before we jump into the list- Black Art in America is having a Total Eclipse of the Sun - Flashback to 1979 Collection SALE! We are offering $19.79 off Garden Art for the Soul and huge savings on original art and limited editions in the collection. You can shop this collection and more at www.shopbaia.com. Now, lets get into the list.
10. On February 2nd, 1979 African- American painter, illustrator and visual arts educator Aaron Douglas passed away at the age of 79. Aaron Douglas is known as a major figure in the Harlem Renaissance, also known as the “New Negro Movement” - this movement was considered to be a rebirth of African-American art. The art world lost another master artist that year as well -Charles Wilbert White one of America's most renowned and recognized African-American artist died on October 3, 1979 at the age of 61.
9. At the young age of 22, Spike Lee Directed his first short film “Last Hustle in Brooklyn” and it was released on April 14th, 1979 - the first of many legendary “Spike Lee Joints”.
8. 1979 was the year of the first Black Video Game Character, and this character appeared on the Atari 800 Home Computer game, Basketball.
7. The essence of Black Joy of television, Soul Train airs episode featuring live performances by Aretha Franklin & Smokey Robinson- they perform their hit release in 1979, “Ooh Baby Baby”. Soul Train is a must mention when referencing black culture in the 1970’s.
6. Michael Jackson’s fifth studio album, “Off the Wall” was released on August 10th, 1979. This album houses many of the celebrated hit songs that lie in The King of Pop’s legacy, such as, “Rock With You” and “Don’t Stop til You Get Enough”.
5. Maya Angelou, African -American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist adapts her critically acclaimed novel “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” for its television movie premiere of the same name - 28 April, 1979.
4. 1979 is the year that the iconic Coca Cola Ad featuring “Mean” Joe Greene - former NFL Defensemen for Pittsburgh Steelers was released for Super Bowl XIII. The 60 second commercial shows a young fan offering Green a Coca-Cola after spotting him leaving the football field, seemingly injured. Joe Green proceeds with finishing the cola in one gulp, and gifts the kid with his sweaty post game jersey. Looks like he wasn't so “mean” after all.
3. Lois Alexander, an African American fashion designer, founded the Harlem Fashion Institute and Black Fashion Museum in 1979.
2. On August 1, 1979 CBS aired the series finale Good Times, the hit Afro-American television sitcom depicting the strength of family in the midst of hard times. The last episode was entitled “The End of the Rainbow”, and was the 21st episode of the sixth and final season.
1. Rap legends The Sugarhill Gang released their hit record, “ Rapper’s Delight” becoming the first hip hop song to become a Top 40 Hit on the Billboard Hot 100. This recordings will be recalled as the formal birth of the hip-hop movement.
1979 was a year of many pivotal moments for black culture- loss, influence, representation & expression, ends & beginnings. These crucial events helped shape the year 1979 as the eclipse did- and stands in the capsule of time as significant fragments of the past.
How do you like our list? Would you have added anything - Any honorable mentions? Let us know & Don’t forget to take advantage of our Total Eclipse of the Sun - Flashback to 1979 Collection SALE. Our sale runs Monday, August 21 --Sunday, August 27th. We are offering $19.79 off Garden Art for the Soul and huge savings on original art and limited editions. Shop the collection at www.shopbaia.com and save!
Saving so big we can only show you half.
Enjoy the Eclipse!
The Second Black Art In America™ (BAIA) Fine Art Show, October 23 - 25, 2015 at The Faison Firehouse Theater, Harlem (NYC), is a fine art fair featuring an impressively curated array of artworks. Over the course of five years, Black Art In America™ has become a leading resource for knowledgeable curators, collectors, connoisseurs and arts industry professionals. The BAIA arts experience includes exhibition, programming and performance. Our fine arts exhibition will include works by 19th – 21st century Masters as well as emerging contemporary artists. Artwork will be offered in a range of media from paintings, photography, limited edition prints, mixed media and works on paper and sculpture. All artwork will be for sale. See our programming schedule (below) for the schedule of events and to purchase your weekend exhibition passes.
Friday, October 23
Collector's Preview -- Private Reception
(by invitation only, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM not included with weekend pass)
Saturday, October 24
[exhibition hours 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM]
9:30 AM -- Art and Social Activism
with Special Guests, Danny Simmons and Kheli Willetts
Hosted by the Houston Museum of African American Culture (HMAAC)
1:00 PM -- Art as an Asset
Important lessons form the Estates of the Barnes Foundation,
Reginald Gammon and Mildred Thompson -- with Don Roman and special guests
5:00 PM -- Black Art in America™ Poetry Showcase
featuring Performance poets Ngoma and Tantra-zawadi
NRM PERKULATOR™ Music Performances
(Admission: $20 -- not included in Exhibition Pass)
(light refreshments included)
Sunday, October 25
[exhibition hours 12 Noon - 7:00 PM]
11:00 AM -- BAIA Member Workshop
Programming takes place during the BAIA™ FINE ART SHOW, Harlem (NYC) from Friday, October 23 through Sunday, October 25, 2015 at the Faison Firehouse Theater, Six Hancock Place, NYC 10027 (124th Street between St. Nicholas and Morningside Avenues). Weekend Exhibition Pass: $20.00 for exhibitions and programming. Children admitted free accompanied by an adult (separate admission of $20 per show for music performances on Saturday, 10/24/15, at 7 PM and 9 PM).
For general information call: 1.347.948.7308
Making Our Way ... April 28 2015
Every man, woman, child and even the smallest of creatures faces the reality of making their own way -- taking responsibility for reaching their destination or goal. In the ultimate sense, this is one's load in life -- owning your own vision and putting in the required time and energy to put that vision on the line to be judged by others. To live is to choose to live -- and to make your own way successfully, is to choose wisely.
Najee Dorsey's Making My Way makes you identify with the characters in this digital collage. The main character in this piece is traveling down a road as onlookers watch, perhaps to see what will become of him. Along this road there are things to experience and adventures to be had -- some good, some bad, everyday occurrences and miscellaneous bright spots and landmarks like the parachuted craft and the shot gun shack in Dorsey's collage. The main character looks a bit sad but is resigned toward moving on down the road. The sky shows a magnified setting of color from the sun in purple, pointing toward an ultimate end.
We are all walking down the road. Some of us decide to take control of our lives and realize that each step we make is born from a decision that will effect our ending and hopefully lead us to change, transformation or some grand discovery at the end of this road. But what becomes clearer each day is that there is the need to connect with the source of power to 'make our way'.
Moving Beyond Color and Culture ... March 05 2015The richness and beauty of dark skin .. it reminds me of the story of how we were created from the clay of the earth -- darker skin connecting us to our human history. The sun's rays kiss our skin and then cells called melanocytes which produce melanin, and give our skin its pigment, drink in these rays.
While admiring "Seated Lady" by James Denmark I thought about how the beauty of dark skin has been adored, desired, venerated, feared and misrepresented. There are many economic, political and social reasons for these complexities as various factions of the human family have vied for an elusive control over the world using race as a tool to play out their agenda.
There is a joy, though, that I experience in admiring this beautiful figure of a dark-skinned woman with her head wrap and and her relaxed yet regal short-sleeved print dress in the piece, "Seated Lady". How beautiful she is -- and it is as simple as that.
In examining the beauty of this image I reflected on the beauty of the human family with all their variations in skin color. In thinking of the realities that unite us as humans, many things come to mind about our future and it becomes ever so clearer that our future is dependent on something much greater than ourselves.
Continuing On ... January 21 2015
We may not even realize that we're survivors and sometimes from experiences too early for us to remember.
The figure in this Elizabeth Catlett Piece, "Survivor" reflects so many faces that we've seen in our families. Here an older woman wearing an apron is the embodiment of past experiences, likely drawn from slavery in the Americas and universal in its expression. The exact year is not clear, however in considering how this image relates to us today, I thought about the many forms of modern day slavery and in particular, slavery to harmful and painful thoughts, negative thinking, untruths and the mental states that hold us as prisoners.
There is a great human need to break free from mental slavery. I see the courage and strength of this "Survivor" by Elizabeth Catlett. She holds on to an instrument to complete her chores and looks from under her head scarf into the future. And though her brow might be furrowed and her jaw fixed and closed .. there is that determined look toward the future and the hope -- the hope that allows one to keep getting up every day and continue living although being a survivor.
As lovers of African American art see more images of survival by viewing "Searching For Daddy" by Charly Palmer and "Phillipino" by William E. Smith.
Kehinde Wiley will receive the US State Department Medal of Arts, in honor of his “substantive commitment to the U.S. State Department's cultural diplomacy outreach through the visual arts," the artist's gallery, Los Angeles's Roberts & Tilton, announced.
Known primarily for his large scale paintings of young African Americans, depicted in the style of European royal portraits, the Los Angeles–born artist truly embodies the international spirit of the award, splitting his time between Beijing, Dakar, and New York (see "Kehinde Wiley on Art, the Art World and Being Stylish"). Secretary of State John Kerry will present the medal to Wiley on January 21.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton honored Cai Guo-Qiang, Jeff Koons, Shahzia Sikander, Kiki Smith, and Carrie Mae Weems as the inaugural Medal of Arts recipients in 2013. The biannual award was introduced on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Art in Embassies (AIE), founded by president John F. Kennedy in 1963 at the suggestion of New York's Museum of Modern Art.
Previous Award Winners Video
Changing of The Landscape For Black Art January 09 2015
There is a movement beyond color in the psyche of the global population. Perhaps, its a movement toward humanism or even a consideration of what is real beyond an 'ism' with a focus on the stark realities of life. It allows one to see very familiar things differently -- in a new light without any obstructions to our views. It comes with the changing of the times as the world moves toward its eventualities and we ponder our future.
What is interesting about this is that in our re-discovery of the familiar we find that we are not alone and that others share our new wonderment over the unknown -- it can even be something as simple as the anticipation of tomorrow and what it will bring. These are some of the things that came to mind when looking at this piece, Contemplation by Art Bacon.The expression on this woman's face -- could it be sadness, does her frown reveal some bitter thought. Or could it be sheer determination to do something that she needs to do and considers the strength of her resolve to carry it out. Perhaps it is acceptance or resignation. We see our own thoughts in the faces of this art, black art -- now art, and us, black people -- people with thoughts, hopes and life in this world.
Please also see other expressions in New Dreams by Ernest Crichlow and Girl 20 by Cora Marshall. -- dy7one
LOS ANGELES, CA.- The Los Angeles County Museum of Art presents Archibald Motley . . .
Jazz Age Modernist, the first retrospective of the artist to travel to the West Coast -- comprising approximately 45 paintings, Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist is a full-scale survey of one of the most important Harlem Renaissance artists active outside of New York City. The exhibition surveys Motley’s entire career—including periods the artist spent in Chicago, Paris, and Mexico—and presents the painter’s visual examination of African American culture during the Jazz Age, a time when society and attitudes were shifting.
"This is a rare opportunity for Los Angeles audiences to see the lively and incisive paintings of Archibald Motley," said Michael Govan, LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director.
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read the manifesto, WHY BLACK ART IN AMERICA™ ? . . .
There is a move on the part of established museums to acquire the AFRICAN AMERICAN MASTERS for their institutions. The new curatorial decisions are coming from a new breed of curators who are moving outside of the box.
A Charles White painting, Goodnight Irene, that once belonged to Harry Belafonte, has been acquired for the permanent American collection of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. This effort was headed by Curator Stephanie Fox Knappe "I realized it had the potential to resonate with the museum’s mission to nurture excellence, inspire creativity, and build community through the power of art.”
Now added to the Charles White acquisition is the news of, Jazz Age Modernist, the first retrospective of the artist to travel to the West Coast. This trending will continue to become visible. So follow the bouncing ball and let's see whose court it lands in . . .