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Lafayette College and Easton's First Presbyterian Church will commemorate Black History month with a program of original art and music at 4 p.m., Sunday, February 7, at the church, 333 Spring Garden Street.

Entitled “Celebrating the Blues in American Culture,” the presentation features works by Curlee Raven Holton, associate professor of art at Lafayette and director of the College's Experimental Printmaking Institute, and musician Diane Monroe, who is this year's Alan and Wendy Pesky Artist-In-Residence at Lafayette. Sponsored by Lafayette's Office of Cultural Programs and Office of Multicultural Affairs and the First Presbyterian Church, as part of its Special Events series, the presentation is free and open to the public. A free-will offering will be collected.

In homage to the unifying celebration that is Black History Month, the program aims to transcend difference through the creation of a dialogue between Holton's work, a visual representation and narration of the African American experience, and Monroe's musical interpretation of those images. Presenting the event off-campus at the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Easton serves as a further expression of shared experience and common ground.

Seven original prints from Holton's “Blues Books” will be on display for the program. Monroe will comment musically on his work through the performance of original blues compositions that interpret each print by exploring the emotions of loneliness, fear, doubt, and inspiration that she sees in the art. Her performance will include acoustic and electric music on violin, guitar, and percussion. Holton will speak about each of the seven prints from within the context of the African-American experience. He will also read some original poetry.

According to Monroe, each print and accompanying musical sketch can stand alone as an individual work of art or act as part of a cohesive story. Her goal for the project was to enhance Holton's art as well as create a self-contained musical score that will function as an independent musical composition.

Ellis Finger, director of cultural programs at Lafayette College, will introduce both artists. For more information, call Finger the Williams Center at 610-330-5009 or the First Presbyterian Church office at 610-253-3579.

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