digital humanities · teaching · Uncategorized

African American artist helps tell postwar urban story

I  am sharing a link to a video Mike Hill, the earlier mentioned art collector and university administrator, made for his upcoming vernacular art exhibition. In it, he discusses  the work of several people, among them Purvis Young, the late artist from Miami’s Overtown community. Hill describes the apparent response of Young, an African American man, to postwar inequities and urban change: he painted.

Postwar urban change is a topic that this spring’s “Gender, Race and Urban Space” grad class and “Bebop to Hip Hop: Young American and Music” undergraduate class have taken up . The graduate students will continue focusing on this issue with Miami in view as the semester winds down.

It is also a topic that I have addressed in a former blog whose content, as true of content on other blogs I have kept, has been moved to this blog.

The late artist Purvis Young lived in Miami’s Overtown and Liberty City communities.

Mike, who is the Director of Learning Centers and Learning Support at Roane State Community College in Harriman, Tennessee, was also kind enough to share an image of a close up of “Pink House,” one of my paintings on salvaged wood that he owns that was also earlier mentioned. “Pink House,” which has paintings of people under mailbox slots, can be seen in the background as he speaks in the video.

Pink House people
A close up of “Pink House,” a piece from a 2001 one-woman show at New Orleans’ now-closed Peligro Gallery. The piece will be featured again in an April 4, 2016 show.

I look forward to receiving the catalog Hill has created. He asked me about my process. While it’s something I have not thought much about in years, I was happy to share.  I will not usurp him by saying more. The catalog will speak for itself.

I hope our paths cross in the months or years ahead.

One side: I wish I’d met Young. While our work was sold in the same New Orleans gallery, I never had the pleasure of meeting this fellow Miami native.

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