Fairfield County African American Art Exhibition

In many respects Black History Month takes on new meaning in 2009–with an historic Presidential inauguration setting the stage, and the 100th anniversary of the founding of the NAACP serving as symbolic anchor to this annual celebration.

In recognition of a legacy rich in struggle and triumph, Picture That, LLC presents “Renewing America: Pictures of Promise”, Fairfield County’s 2009 African American Art Exhibition. More than 70 works of art depicting various aspects of African American life, history, and culture will be on display at the University of Connecticut (UCONN) Art Gallery in Stamford, CT, from February 6 – February 28, 2009.

The exhibit will feature “The 3rd Eye”, a collection of works that focus on the reality of life’s circle through mixed media, photography, fiber art and sculpture. Participating regional artists include Natalie Alleyne (Bloomfield, NJ), Margo Candelario (Atlanta, GA), Jerry Craft (Norwalk, CT) and Barry Mason (Mount Vernon, NY).

In addition, photographs from the Scurlock Studio Collection will be on display, courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution’s Archive Center. The Scurlock images portray a vivid documentation of 20th Century black society in the nation’s capital, and are a part the Smithsonian’s Black History Month exhibit at the National Museum of African-American History and Culture Gallery in Washington, DC. The DC-based exhibit is entitled “Scurlock Studio and Black Washington: Picture the Promise” and will run from Jan. 30 – Nov 10, 2009.

Together, these bodies of work create a compelling and sweeping portrait of Black America.

UCONN Gallery hours are Monday – Thursday, 9AM – 7PM, Friday until 5PM and Saturday until 1PM. A portion of the exhibition is also installed at General Electric’s Cultural Fine Art Gallery and can be viewed online www.picture-that.com/gegallery/africanamerican beginning Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 19, 2009.

To officially open the exhibition, a community reception and guided tour by George Scurlock of Hartford, CT, a descendant of the Scurlock family, will be held on Thursday, February 12th—which also marks the NAACP Centennial—at UCONN Art Gallery, One University Place, Stamford, CT, from 5PM to 8PM. The event is free and open to the public. As a courtesy, visitors are asked to express their interest in attending at fineart@picture-that.com.

To close the celebratory month, a student reception featuring artwork depicting a “Renewed America” will be held on Saturday, February 28 from 11AM to 1PM at The Stamford Center for the Arts Rich Forum Rosenthal Gallery. Students from the Stamford, Darien, Norwalk and Greenwich school systems will display art and read passages about their particular works during this multicultural event which is sponsored by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. “They work hard creating artwork and then researching and writing passages around our pre-defined themes”, said Valerie Cooper, President of Picture That, LLC.

Exposing children to fine art and the history of cultures is a mission for Ms. Cooper. “This is my volunteerism. This gives students from all cultural backgrounds an opportunity to see their work alongside a professional’s and know that the fine art world does not have high barriers to entry. Knowing that we are making a difference in a child’s life —- and across cultures — is very motivating and personally rewarding.”

About Picture That, LLC

Picture That, LLC, Stamford, Connecticut – Valerie Cooper is the President of Picture That, LLC, a fine art consulting firm focused on enhancing environments with high quality, cost effective, fine art solutions. Established in 2002, the company provides a range of services including art purchase and lease programs, art advisory, curatorial services and graphic art design. Cartus, General Electric, Genworth, Goldman Sachs Group, Northeast Utilities, Pitney Bowes, Travelers, Thompson Hospitality and UBS are among the company’s customers. In 2006 Picture That received the CMSDC Connecticut Supplier of the Year Award and more recently, the 2008 NMSDC National Supplier of the Year Award for the Northern Region. The company is also certified as a woman-owned business (WBE) by the State of Connecticut. www.picture-that.com