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Reflections and Memories, an exhibit of works by David C. Driskell, will be on display at Lafayette’s David A. Portlock Black Cultural Center and Williams Center Gallery Feb. 5-March 12.

  • The McDonogh Report celebrates the contributions of African Americans to the Lafayette community.

An artist’s talk will be held 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5, in room 108 of the Williams Center for the Arts, Hamilton and High Streets, with receptions directly following in both exhibit locations, the Williams Center and Portlock Center, 101 McCartney Street. Driskell will lead an informal brown bag discussion noon Monday, Feb. 6, in the Portlock Center.

“Driskell’s interaction with students will give them an intercultural appreciation for the African and African American experiences in this country, and more specifically the importance of how art serves as a marvelous venue for self-expression, be it visual, spoken, or performance,” says Michael Benitez Jr., dean of intercultural development and director of the Portlock Center.

A survey of prints entitled Ancestral Voices with a Classical Vision presented at the Black Cultural Center demonstrate Driskell’s artwork between 1967-2005. It includes Faces in the Forest I, completed this fall at the Experimental Printmaking Institute (EPI).

Faces in the Forest I is Driskell’s most experimental piece, using a textured serigraph technique developed at the institute. This process was designed to achieve the qualities of texture and relief that is a signature style of his work,” says Curlee Raven Holton, professor of art and director of EPI. “It was executed over a six-week period, requiring numerous printings and hand textured surfaces to capture the artist’s unique style as both a painter and printmaker, and to express the collage and layered surfaces.”

Sara Smith-Katz ’07(Stroudsburg, Pa.), Preeza Shrestha ’08 (Kathmandu, Nepal), and Jessica Robertson ’08 (Chalfont, Pa.) assisted in the creation of Faces in the Forest I as participants in the College’s EXCEL Scholars program.

On view at the Williams Center art gallery will be New Works on Paper, 2005, a collection of mixed media Driskell created this summer.

A leading authority on African American culture, Driskell is a practicing artist, art historian, curator, and collector. His paintings, prints, and collages often reflect his complex experiences dealing with race. He has written five exhibition books, co-authored four others, and published more than 40 catalogues from exhibitions he curated. Since 1977, Driskell has served as cultural advisor to Camille and Bill Cosby and curator of the Cosby Collection of Fine Arts. He has lectured extensively in North America, Europe, Africa, and South America, and taught at numerous universities, such as the University of Maryland, College Park, where in 1995 he was named Distinguished University Professor of Art and in 2001, the university established the David C. Driskell Center for the study of the African diaspora.

Honors he has received include the National Humanities Medal bestowed by President Clinton in 2000 and theDistinguished Artists & Scholars Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005 by the Any One Can Fly Foundation, Inc.

New Works on Paper, 2005 was organized by the Williams Center gallery. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesday; 2-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, as well as noon-5 p.m. the first Sunday of each month for First Sunday Easton; 7:30-9:30 p.m. on the evenings of Williams Center performances; and by appointment. For more information, call the gallery at (610) 330-5361 or email Additional information about the Williams Center gallery program can be found by visiting its web site.

The Williams Center gallery is funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Ancestral Voices with a Classical Vision was organized by Lafayette’s EPI for the Office of Intercultural Development. The Portlock Black Cultural Center Gallery is open 9 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m. weekdays or by appointment. For more information, call (610) 330-5698.

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