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The Art of Romare Bearden

Romare Bearden (American, 1911-1988), Homage to Mary Lou (The Piano Lesson), 1984, lithograph, Edition: 97/100, 29 1/4 x 20 1/4 in., Hofstra University Museum Collections, gift of Dr. Dorothy Cohen, HU91.1 Art © Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

A Mirror Into 20th Century African-American Life

The Hofstra University Museum is presenting Romare Bearden: Storyteller, dedicated to one of the most prolific artists of the last century. The exhibit will be on display through August 17 at Emily Lowe Gallery on Hofstra University’s South Campus. An opening reception is scheduled for Thursday, February 8, 4-6 p.m., featuring remarks by Jennifer E. Henton, PhD, Associate Professor of English. The reception is free and open to the public.

Through his innovative works of art, Bearden communicated ideas and thoughts about everyday African-American life in the 20th century.

Bearden’s work has been featured at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and The Studio Museum in Harlem, among others. He has had retrospectives at the Mint Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of the Arts, as well as numerous posthumous retrospectives, including The Studio Museum in Harlem and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. He also designed costumes and sets for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and programs, sets and designs for Nanette Bearden’s Contemporary Dance Theatre

“His experiments in printmaking broke new ground, allowed him to recreate his imagery in multiples and make his work available to a wider audience,” says curator Karen T. Albert, Hofstra University Museum deputy director and chief curator. Romare Bearden: Storyteller includes prints in a variety of methods (aquatint, engraving, etching, lithograph, and silkscreen) from the Hofstra University Museum Collections.

Nancy Richner, director of the Hofstra University Museum, adds, “Bearden’s work inspires us to look and listen closely, to reflect and ask questions about our expectations and assumptions about art, intent and universality, and to embrace the powers of creativity in telling stories that need to be told.”

Additional specialized programming planned in conjunction with the exhibition includes:

Saturday, February 10, 2018, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Family Fun with ARTful Adventures

For more information about the exhibit and associated public programs, call (516) 463-5672 or visit the Hofstra University Museum website.

The Hofstra University Museum has been awarded the highest honor a museum can receive, continued accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). Approximately 3% of museums nationwide have earned this distinguished recognition. Accreditation certifies that the Hofstra University Museum operates according to professional standards, manages its collections responsibly and provides quality service to the public.

Have fun learning about 20th century artist Romare Bearden and tell your own story with a mixed media composition. For children ages 5-10 with an adult companion. Advance registration is required.

Fee: $7 per child per session when prepaid ($9 when paid day of the program).

Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 1-2:30 p.m. (Presidents Week) Improv Jazz!

Romare Bearden and jazz go hand in hand. Children can participate in this musical improv workshop led by Napoleon Revels-Bey – local teaching artist and 2017 Jubilation Fellow – as he helps young people expand their musical knowledge and encourage imaginative thinking, creativity, and a respect for their own and others’ cultural heritage.  Open to children ages 8 and up. Advance registration is required. Fee: $7 per child.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018, 4:30-6 p.m. (Civil Rights Day) Perceptions and Reality

Romare Bearden: Storyteller serves as a catalyst for a roundtable conversation exploring perceptions related to time, place, our collective/personal stories, and images. This program considers how unexamined assumptions shape our cultural and personal understanding of the world, and how expanding our awareness can transform our thinking. Facilitator: Katrina Sims, PhD, assistant professor of history, Hofstra University.

Panelists: Lisa Merrill, PhD, professor of writing studies and rhetoric, Hofstra University; SM Rodriguez, PhD, assistant professor of criminology, Department of Sociology, Hofstra University; Álvaro Enrigue, PhD, assistant professor of romance languages and literatures, Hofstra University.

Fee: $7 general public; $5 senior citizen (65+).

Monday, March 12, 2018, 6-8 p.m. Jazz at the Museum

Join the Hofstra Jazz Quartet for a musical tribute to American artist and composer Romare Bearden, whose work is on view in the exhibition Romare Bearden: Storyteller. A few selections will be taken from the album Romare Bearden Revealed, recorded by saxophonist Branford Marsalis in celebration of the obvious as well as less tangible connections between the jazz Bearden loved and the artwork it inspired.

Fee: $7 general public; $5 senior citizen (65+).

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