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Inaugural Black Fine Art Month this October opens with press conference and Salon Talk at DuSable Museum of African American History

Press Conference at 10 a.m.; Art & 1619 Salon Talk at 5:30 p.m.

Pigment International, the Black Art Collective is partnering with the DuSable Museum of African American History, a Smithsonian affiliate, on the international launch of Black Fine Art Month. The kickoff Press Conference for the inaugural event will be held from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Thursday, October 3, 2019 in the Ames Auditorium at the DuSable. A launch celebration will be held, at the same location, from 5:30 pm – 7:00 p.m., that acknowledges the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the landing of the first African slaves in the then British colonies in America, and the artistic impact of the African Diaspora event. Additionally, the artists of Pigment International and invited artists will debut a special exhibition of work in the Museum’s Harold Washington Skylight Gallery. The Salon Talk is free to the public.

Black Fine Art Month, held each October, is a global celebration of the Black Fine Art aesthetic, an annual recognition of artists, innovators, collectors, curators and those vested in the Black Art tradition, and an opportunity to commemorate and elevate these contributions through art programming. The celebration lies at the intersection of the past, present, and future of Black Art, and affords us a moment to toast the bold gallerists and esteemed art purveyors who revere the aesthetic, drive the value; and invest in artists who are making a cultural impact. Black Fine Art Month is an initiative of Pigment International™.

“Chicago has been the epicenter of numerous art movements, including the Works Progress Arts Movement that birthed the South Side Community Art Center, The Muralist Movement, led by Bill Walker, AfriCobra in the 70’s and Afrofuturism, the Black Art Movement (BAM),  and others,” said Pigment Founder Patricia Andrews-Keenan. “It is fitting that this celebration begin here and spread globally.”

“As an institution co-founded by the late artist and activist Dr. Margaret Burroughs, we are pleased to partner with Pigment International™ for this inaugural event,” said Perri Irmer, President & CEO of the DuSable Museum of African American History. “This is another way to highlight Chicago’s vital role in the Black Art movement and to share the historical contributions of Black artists, collectors, and curators to the world.”

Each Thursday during October, Pigment International™ in partnership with the DuSable Museum will host a Salon Talk exploring Chicago’s unique contribution to the on-going historical narrative documented through art created by African American artists. The Salons will be streamed live via YouTube and on social media. The celebration will be documented in Pigment Magazine, an Ozzie Award Finalist for “Best Design for New Magazine.”

Partners for this event include the Chicago Reader, Black Art in America, Hummingbird Press, and the Business Leadership Council. More than 30 supporters across the country have also joined in the inaugural celebration.

Details for the Press conference and Salon Talk are as follows.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

BFAM Press Conference and Exhibition Opening – Ames Auditorium

10:00 a.m. – Press Conference announcing the inaugural Black Fine Art Month as an annual international celebration. The press announcement will introduce an exhibition of artwork by Pigment International™ .

5:30 p.m. – The 1619 Project Salon*

The commemoration of the beginning of American slavery in the U.S. is a story of the contributions of Black Americans to the building of this nation and allows us a moment to examine how artists interpret this unique anniversary and what it means at this pivotal point in our history. Among the Chicago specific areas to be covered during this Salon are “Negro Day” at the 1893 Columbian World Exhibition and The Negro World’s Fair of 1940 held at the Museum of Science and Industry. The conversation will also examine how the African Diaspora event continues to  shape and inform global art movements.

Introduction: Patricia Andrews-Keenan, Founder Pigment International and Devorah Crable, CMO Pigment International

Moderator:  Lolly Bowen, Reporter Chicago Tribune

Video Introduction:

Ted Ellis, Fine Artist and Pigment Intl. nominated Commissioner 400 Years of African-American History Commission


Daniel Duster, Great-grandson of journalist and civil rights activist Ida B. Wells,

Christopher Reed, Professor Emeritus of History, Roosevelt University 

Clinee Hedspeth, Hedspeth Art Consulting

Exhibition Artists:  Paul Branton, Tyler Clark, Ted Ellis, Lesley Etherly, Gerald Griffin,  Michael Gunn, Jason E. Jones, Barrett Keithley, Blake Lenoir, Angelica London, James Nelson, Raymond Thomas, Dana Todd Pope, Martha Wade, Eddie Santana White, and Dwight White, Kevin Williams.

About Pigment International

About The DuSable Museum of African American History – A Smithsonian Affiliate

As the oldest independent African American History museum in the United States, the DuSable Museum is important not only to Chicago, but the nation. Our mission is to educate all people on the achievements and contributions of African Americans through our art, history and culture. Awarded Smithsonian Institution Affiliate status in 2016, the DuSable has proven not only to be inextricably woven into the cultural fabric of our great city, but also continues to stand as a global destination for tourists, educators, artists, historians and people of all cultures.

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