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Pigment International hosts noted African-American fine art collector Darrell Walker for Salon Talk

July 20 event at Loyola University to include art exhibition and student talk

Pigment International® will host an exclusive Salon Talk with Darrell Walker, Corliss High School grad, former NBA champion and University of Arkansas at Little Rock Men’s Basketball Coach on Saturday, July 20, at the Crown Center for the Humanities on the campus of Loyola University. The evening begins with a reception at 6:00 p.m. followed by the Salon Talk at 7:00 p.m. Tickets may be purchased on Eventbrite.

Walker, one of the most prolific African-American fine art collectors in the country, will discuss his evolution as a collector, how he builds artists’ careers by collecting their work, and the legacy he hopes to impart within the African-American art world. Moderating the discussion will be Director of the Joyce Foundation’s Culture Program Tracie Hall, and emceeing the event will be Dionne Miller, ABC  7 Sports anchor and reporter. Walker has shared his insights about collecting in numerous settings, among them the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and he has published a catalogue of his collection.

From noon – 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, Walker will speak with high schoolers and college students to discuss his career and African-American art. This discussion will be moderated by student Toni Reynolds.

The day begins at noon on Saturday with an exhibition and sale of works by Pigment International Artists Paul Branton, Tyler Clark, Lesley Etherly, Jason E. Jones, Barrett Keithly, Blake “BLen” Lenoir, Angelica London James Nelson, Dana Todd-Pope, Martha Wade, Dwight White, and Eddie Santana “Edo” White.

Walker cites NBA star Bernard King, who he calls the godfather of collecting, as his role model for collecting African-American art. He began collecting as he was transitioning from the Washington Bullets to the Detroit Pistons in in 1989. Among the first pieces he collected were Jacob Lawrence’s “Birth of Toussaint,” Romare Bearden’s “Open Door,” and works on paper by  Robert Colescott.  In turn Walker was an ‘art mentor’ to other players, encouraging them to invest in African-American art, among them Elliott Perry  and  Juwan Howard. Walker now is a prolific collector of contemporary art, and his collection includes work from Carrie Mae Weems, Kehinde Wiley, Theaster Gates and Hank Willis. Additionally, Walker is cultivating the careers of emerging artists.

One of the founding tenents of Pigment International is the relationships collectors have with artists, and Walker has been involved with artists since he began collecting, citing as one of his most profound encounters the time he shared cocktails with Jacob Lawrence.  He offers, “If you have conversations with artists, they will break it (their work) down for you. It is my duty to educate, to share the work of African-American artists, especially because it has been undervalued.”

“We are more than excited to have a collector of Darrell’s caliber join Pigment International for this event,” said Patricia Andrews-Keenan, founder of Pigment International. The depth and breadth of his knowledge about African-American art is inspiring, and we hope everyone joining us on the 29th will leave with some new insights into African American Art and collecting.”

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