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The 29th Annual James A. Porter Colloquium on African American Art and Art of the African Diaspora

The James A. Porter Colloquium is the leading forum on African American Art and visual culture for students, scholars, artists, curators, and collectors.

The 29th Annual James A. Porter Colloquium is set to take place April 6-8, 2018 at Howard University in Washington, D.C. This unique event is the only continuously operating conference on African American Art at a historically black university. The Porter Colloquium was established at Howard University in 1990 by former Department of Art Chair Dr. Floyd C. Coleman.

The 2018 Porter Colloquium, titled “Abstraction: Form, Philosophy, & Innovation,” will explore topics related to the history of abstraction in art across the African diaspora. It will offer a platform for new scholarship and artistic perspectives on abstract art by African American and African diasporic artists.

This colloquium will trace the progression and aesthetic influence of African art to figurative and non-objective abstraction. Another significant goal of the event is to investigate how artists use abstraction in terms design, innovation, and the introduction of new epistemologies by way of visual culture. Among other notable presenters, the 29th Porter Colloquium will showcase Chakaia Booker, Valerie Cassel Oliver, Mary Lovelace O’Neal and Fred Eversly.

The theme of the 2018 Porter Colloquium has singular importance, according to art historian and past Porter Colloquium honoree Kellie Jones: “Certainly less discussed is the strong voice of abstraction that developed among black artists…in painting and sculpture, a voice created by a critical mass of practitioners committed to experimentation with structure and materials.”