The Experience: Synthesizing the Past

Synthesizing the Past “the Experience”

Bound to sail for uncertain futures, our grandmothers and grandfathers were reared on the unexpected segregated colonial plantations. There they bore into eternal knowledge, —an acquired construct of freedom in relation to ancestral memories and others partaking the imagined dreams. Sharing the unknown and sensing the projected reversed memories of no return into the deep Atlantic currents, the ancestors understood that they would endure the emancipation struggles marked with chains and forced labor.

The racial trajectory of meaning of identity—from Negro, to Black, to Afro-American, and to African Americans—was a genesis of ontology that embellishes a transitory crossroads in time, movement, and spaces. The legacy of African American visual imaginaries is synergy of sociopolitical and cultural subjective and collective experiences in the urban centers and the rural south, the various forms of artistry, spirituality, labor and the workforce, innovations, activism, and leadership.

Claude Clark, American, 1915 - 2011, Carving the Armpit Drum, 1979 Oil on board, 19 3/4 × 15 in. (50.2 × 38.1 cm), Framed: 23 × 19 × 2 in. (58.4 × 48.3 × 5.1 cm), The Ronald W. and Patricia Walters Collection


David C. Driskell, American, 1931 - 2020, Spirits Watching, 1986 Lithograph, 20 1/2 x 29 in.; Framed: 30 x 38 3/4 x 3/4 in., The Ronald W. and Patricia Walters Collection
Wadsworth A. Jarrell, American, born 1929, The Trio: Goodman, Christian, Krupa, 1997, Acrylic on canvas, 11 x 14 in., The Ronald W. and Patricia Walters Collection


Artists Included:

Viola Burley Leake, American, born 1944

William Tolliver, American, 1951 – 2000

Richard Ward, American, born 1944

Claude Clark, American, 1915 - 2011

David C. Driskell, American, 1931 – 2020

Cassandra Gillens, American, b. 1962

Delita Martin, American, born 1972

Wadsworth A. Jarrell, American, born 1929

John Biggers, American, 1924 – 2001

Joseph Holston, American, born 1944

Bari Jenks, American, born 1948

Gwendolyn Aqui-Brooks, born 1947