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April 5th Pre-Colloquium



  • Student Sessions  Thursday Morning- Afternoon:



  • Student Sessions [10:30-4:30]


      • 10:00-11:30 Abstract Art at Howard: Mr. Scott Baker, Assistant Director, Howard University Art Gallery
      • [12:30-1:30] Curatorial Workshop
      • [1:30-3:30] Designing for Innovation Workshop: Chakaia Booker



  • Thursday Evening: The David C. Driskell Lecture at the David C .Driskell Center at the University of Maryland College Park: David R. Brigham, PhD.


Reception: 5-6PM
Lecture: 6pm
RSVP by April 1, 2017 at driskellcenter@umd.edu or 301.314.2615
Please indicate the event’s name and the name(s) of the attendee(s).


April 6th Day 1

10:30 Opening Remarks

Day Moderator:  Melani Douglass, Director of Public Programming, National Museum for Women in the Arts

11:00-11:50 Opening Lecture

“Freedom / Expression / Abstraction”

Nikki A. Greene, Assistant Professor of Art, Wellesley College

11:50-12:00 Q&A

12:00-12:50 LUNCH ON YOUR OWN

1:00-2:00 Collaboration2 from the Smithsonian’s American Art Journal: Washington Modernism and the Exhibition of Works by Negro Artists (1933)

Collaboration2 from the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Journal, American Art: Washington Modernism and the Exhibition of Works by Negro Artists (1933)

Papers and Presenters:

Charles Brock, National Gallery of Art—“Toward a History of Washington Modernism: The 1933 Display of African American Art at the Smithsonian National Museum”

Michèle Gates Moresi, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture—“Negro Artist exhibitions at the National Gallery, 1929-1933”

Tobias Wofford, Virginia Commonwealth University—“Herring, Porter, and Locke’s Perspectives on the 1933 Exhibition”

Seth Feman, Chrysler Museum of Art—“How Children Became Modern: The Place of Students in the Exhibition of Works by Negro Artists and in Interwar Washington”

John A. Tyson, University of Massachusetts, Boston—“From Newspapers to Networks: Broadcasting Art of African Americans in the Nation’s Capital”

Moderator: Tuliza Fleming, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Organizer:  Robin Veder, Smithsonian American Art Museum

2:00-2:15 Q&A

2:15-2:35 New Photographic Histories Presentation

“No Body Here: Black Photo Abstractionism”


  • Romi Crawford, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Visual and Critical Studies, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

2:35-3:20 Curator’s Panel: Curating African American Abstract Art


  • Kevin Tervala, Associate Curator of African Art, Department Head, Arts of Africa, the Americas, Asia, and the Pacific Islands, Baltimore Museum of Art
  • Dr. George N’Namdi, Founder, N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art
  • Evelyn Hankins, Senior Curator, Hirshhorn Museum


Panel Moderator: Melanee C. Harvey, Assistant Professor, Department of Art, Howard University

3:20-3:30 Q&A

3:30-4:00 New Art Histories of the African Diaspora Lecture

Ben C. Enwonwu: Spanning Realism, Abstraction, and Cultural Diplomacy”


  • Freida High W. Tesfagiorgis, PhD, Evjue-Bascom Professor Emerita, Department of Afro-American Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison

4:00-4:45 Concerning the Practice of Diaspora Artist Panel


  • Kesha Bruce
  • Victor Ekpuk
  • Representative from the editorial team of MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora


Panel Moderator: Lanisa S. Kitchiner, Ph.D., Head of Education and Scholarly Initiatives, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution

4:45-5:00 Q&A

5:00 Floyd Coleman Lecture

“Back Ground Check”

Chakaia Booker

6:30-8:30   Howard University Faculty Exhibition Reception, Howard University Blackburn Gallery

April 7th Day II

10:30 Opening Remarks

Day Moderator: Jessica Stafford Davis, Founder, The Agora Culture

11:00-11:15 New Media Artist Talk – Adrian Loving

11:15-12:15 New Art Histories Scholars Panel



  • Zoma Wallace, MFA, Curator, DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities
  • Melissa Messina, Independent Curator and Curator of the Mildred Thompson Estate
  • LeRonn P. Brooks, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Africana Studies, Lehman College, CUNY


Panel Moderator: Raél Salley, Professor in Art History at MICA and Visiting Professor, African American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles

12:15-12:30 Q&A

12:30-1:15 LUNCH ON YOUR OWN

1:30-1:45 The Impact of Edward Spriggs


  • Margo N. Crawford, Ph.D., Professor of English, Department of English, University of Pennsylvania

1:45-2:00 Recalling a Legacy of Innovation: Defining the Frontiers of American Abstraction Artist Reflection


  • Reflection by Mary Lovelace O’Neal


2:15-3:15 Artist Panel: Materiality and Space


  • James Maurelle
  • Amber Robles-Gordon
  • Gregory Coates


Panel Moderator:  Margo N. Crawford, Ph.D., Professor of English, Department of English, University of Pennsylvania

3:15-3:25 Q&A

3:30-4:15 James A. Porter Lecture

    “Black in the Abstract: The Optics of Ontology”


  • Valerie Cassel Oliver, Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts


4:15-4:45 Trajectories Innovation Lecture


  • Torkwase Dyson

Closing Remarks

Saturday Evening: GALA, Blackburn Ballroom

Gala Honorees

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Two-Dimensional: Mary Lovelace O’Neal
  • Three-Dimensional: Fred Eversley

Humanitarian Award

  • Edward Spriggs

James A. Porter Book Award

  • Valerie Cassel Oliver
April 8th Day III

April 8—Sunday (See Registration Table to Sign Up)

Studio Visit: Reginald Pointer, Associate Professor, Ceramics, Howard University