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Clark Atlanta University Art Galleries Presents Two Exhibitions in Early 2014

  • Description:
  • Date: 12/12/2013
  • Author: Larry Calhoun
  • Origin:Clark Atlanta University

ATLANTA (Dec. 12,2013) -- Clark Atlanta University Art Galleries presents Arms Race to Embrace: James Pate’s KKK Series, Kin Killin’ Kin, a visually stimulating exhibition addressing the epidemic of gun violence in urban communities nationwide.  A community forum with artist James Pate will be held Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, from 1 to 4 p.m.  The exhibit will open Sunday, Jan. 19, with a reception from 2 to 5 p.m.; the program begins at 3 p.m. and will feature an Artist’s Talk with Pate. The exhibit continues through March 7. The CAU Art Galleries is located in Trevor Arnett Hall, 2nd Floor, at 223 James P. Brawley Drive, S.W., Atlanta, 30314, on CAU’s main campus.

KKK: Kin Killin’ Kin is Pate’s personal protest to what he calls “Black-on-Black terrorism,” visually comparing it to Ku Klux Klan terrorism.  In light of the national dialogue underway, addressing the plight of African-American males, this provocative exhibition will seek to engage communities in relevant discussions leading to plausible solutions to violence prevention.  As the national debate on gun violence and gun control continues to capture attention and make headlines, the CAU Art Galleries offers the Atlanta community an opportunity to join the debate through this cutting-edge exhibition.  Also, CAU’s “Man of the Year” and his court, student leaders who have adopted ananti-guns platform, will perform a dramatic presentation during Sunday’s program.

Tina Dunkley, director of the CAU Art Galleries, said, “Certainly, gun violence is a too common reality in this country, but even more so in the African-American community.  KKK:Kin Killin’ Kin allows the Galleries to visually represent that reality in an engaging way.  This exhibit is presented as a catalyst to explore, not only the causes of gun violence, but more importantly, the models that have proven successful, and how they can be replicated fast-forward.”

Pate is intentional in naming the exhibition “KKK,” a longtime symbol and source of terrorism for African-Americans, particularly during the Jim Crow era.  Pate’s series of images, which include 12 charcoal drawings and one oil painting, each represent a “moment of silence and dedication” to people who have been impacted directly by gun violence.  The artist portrays African-American men in pointed “hoods,” similar to those worn by members of the Ku Klux Klan as a way to juxtapose disparate worlds and underscore the irony. Pate points to the book, “Without Sanctuary,” by Leon F. Litwack, which cites that “between 1882 and 1968, an estimated 4,742 blacks met their death at the hands of lynch mobs.” However, between 1976 and 2000, 94 percent of black homicide victims in America were killed by other blacks.  Pate’s notation of the latter statistic by the Bureau of Justice, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s research that homicide has been the leading cause of death for black males between the age of 15 and 34 in recent years provide the impetus for the KKK Series.

This series is a traveling art exhibition curated by Bing Davis and organized by Shango: Center for the Study of African American Art and Culture, Inc. and Ebony Nia Gallery in Dayton, Ohio.  The exhibition in Atlanta is supported in part by the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs.

The second exhibition, Ascending Yellow, is a memorial exhibition and art auction, celebrating the late Dr.Richard A. Long, the longtime fine art advisor to the Galleries.  The exhibit will open Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014, the day that would have been Long’s 89th birthday, with a fundraiser reception from 2 to 5 p.m.  The program will begin at 3 p.m.  Acclaimed film, television, and stage actor Lisa Arrindell Anderson will serve as the mistress of ceremonies for this auspicious occasion.

Long’s steadfast devotion to the preservation of the permanent collection made him an invaluable supporter until his death in January 2013.  He was recognized as a major cultural historian, and was the Atticus Haygood Professor Emeritus of Interdisciplinary Studies at Emory University.

To commemorate his cultural legacy in the humanities – founder of the Triennial International African Art Symposium in its 15th cycle – and his contribution to the visual arts, CAU commissioned a fantasy coffin in the image of Long’s indispensable car, a 1974 yellow B210 Datsun. The coffin, created in Accra, Ghana, will be unveiled during the reception.  The fantasy coffin will be on display until Dec. 12, 2014, and is a part of the CAU Permanent Art Collection.  In March 2013, the “CBS Sunday Morning”television show featured the Ghanaian tradition of memorializing the dead that can often include a vernacular crafted coffin in the likeness of an object or subject related to the deceased’s favorite pastime.

The reveal will be preceded by adance performance and reading of Long’s poem, Ascending.  Included in the presentation are works by local Atlanta artists inspired by Long’s legendary car that will be for sale in support of the university’s permanent collection to raise funds to continue to preserve its internationally acclaimed collection, which is esteemed among historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). This event is made possible through the generous support of Jim and Marsha Meadows, whose contribution covered the entire expense of the coffin’s production and shipping. 

Arms Race to Embrace: James Pate’s KKK Series and Ascending Yellow are presented incollaboration with the citywide celebration, Africa Atlanta 2014.

For more information on theseexhibitions and sponsorship opportunities for Ascending Yellow, pleasevisit send an e-mail to: