Wednesday, April 29, 2020

28th Annual African-American Art Exhibit, “Dream With Your Eyes Open,” available in “virtual” form

28th Annual African-American Art Exhibit: Dream With Your Eyes Open

WHEN: to July 1, 2020

Morris Arts is thrilled to highlight the inspiring tribute to the human spirit embodied in Art in the Atrium’s exhibit, Dream With Your Eyes Open. Not only does this exhibit mark the reopening of the Atrium Gallery after a full year’s hiatus, its organizers overcame the devastation of the December 2018 death of Art in the Atrium’s co-founder, guiding spirit and artist /educator Victoria “Viki” La Beaux Clark Craig. The subsequent coronavirus pandemic shut out public viewing before the opening reception could even take place. How inspiring, then, to see the Craig family and the Art in the Atrium organizers persist to create a “virtual” gallery for the public to view and purchase the wonderful art currently installed in the Atrium Gallery at!

Viki Craig’s daughter said, “With regard to the in-person exhibition, the Morris County Administration & Records Building remains closed to the public, but the skeleton staff that works there is so grateful for the warmth, color and vibrancy of the exhibit during this time. It is truly a wonderful show and we are very sad that our Opening Reception most likely will not be able to happen as we envisioned.

That being said, the building would like the exhibit to stay up past our original closing date (May 20th), to try to wait out shelter-in-place orders. As of now, we are considering a closing date of July 1, 2020.”

Highlighting the works of the renowned Newark artist / poet / educator, the late Jerry Gant, this show represents the largest African American fine art exhibit in New Jersey and includes works by more than 30 emerging and established artists, including the following:

Aaron Fisher, Akil Roper, Alicia Robinson, Alonzo Adams, Anthony Gartmond, Antoinette Ellis-Williams, B. Curtis Grayson, Beverly McCutcheon, Bisa Butler, Bisa Washington, Bryan Collier, Carlos Jefferson, Carol Black Lemon, Cathy Bristol McCoy, Ceaphas Stubbs, Christopher Hutchinson, Denis Toney, Diana Tyson, Eleta Caldwell, Ellaree Pray, Evelyn Graves, Gaille Hunter, Gary Grant, Glendora Simonson, Hans Lundy, Ife East, Jacqueline Collier, Jamil Burton, Janet Taylor Pickett, Jerry Gant, Jo-El Lopez, Joery Santos Gomez, Jose Manuel Cruz, Julio Mejia, Kay Reese, Kevin Cosme, Kiley McKissic, Kirk Maynard, Kojo Adoo, Lavett Ballard, Leroy Campbell, Les Floyd, Lester Johnson, Mansa Mussa, Marco Hall, Martyce Roach, Maya Tillman, Monifa Kincaid, Nettie Thomas, Oni Strother, Onnie Strother, Patricia Coleman-Cobb, Patricia Goodman, Quinn DeGeneste, Red (Davynte Pannell), Ron EA Powell, Rosalind Nzinga Nichol, Russell Aldo Murray, Stephen Ellis, Theda Sandiford, Tiffany Salas, Viki Craig, Wannetta Phillips, Will Kasso Condry, Yoland Skeete, and Yvette Lucas.

This year’s show, Dream With Your Eyes Open, also honors the memory Victoria “Viki” La Beaux Clark Craig. She was honored by the Morris County Freeholders on Dr. Martin Luther King Day for her “three decades of service in creating and fostering the annual Art in the Atrium exhibit of African-American art in Morris County.” The restoration of this exhibit at the Atrium represents an especially fitting tribute to Viki whose efforts in the arts enriched us all.

The exhibition is made possible in part by funds from Morris Arts through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Morris Arts, located in Morristown, NJ, is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1973 and dedicated to building community through the arts. Using the arts to inspire, connect and engage, Morris Arts serves as a resource for Morris County with a special focus on arts programming in the community and in schools, arts advocacy, creative placemaking and support of the Morris area community of artists and arts organizations.