I am pleased to join the President and the Provost of the University and the Director of the Gallery of Art in welcoming you to this landmark exhibition of alumni from the Department of Art. As we survey the groundbreaking productions of Howard University’s sons and daughters, we find much to celebrate and extol. Through a multitude of artistic media—paintings, sculpture, works on paper, ceramics, and mixed media--we find evidence of talent and extraordinary skills brought to their highest level through long hard hours of dedicated work and the finest education and training in the world. The wonderful display we have the honor of viewing is but a precious glimpse of the accomplishments of the multi-talented professionals that have matriculated over the years in the Department of Art. Throughout the decades we have not only seen them make their mark in the field as pioneers or as avant-garde “activists,” we have watched them assume positions of leadership in the profession as well as continue to produce work of exceptional critical acclaim in every existent medium. Assisting them in honing their skills and transforming talent into highest level of artistic realization has been the dedicated and committed faculty of the Division of Fine Arts, an integral part of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Many of the artists represented in this exhibition have become acclaimed in their field. A number have engaged the discourse of their professions and made lasting contributions to American culture through visible and measurable ways. Many, too, have continued their work through subtler, less prominent venues. This exhibition represents a unifying moment of celebration and reunion and a remarkable opportunity to come together after many decades to reinvigorate professional passions and to renew old acquaintances and friendships. All those who gather here are the esteemed and beloved prodigy of Howard University. Of them, Alma Mater is most proud.
Given the bounty of extraordinary artistic productions represented in this exhibition, productions that represent a broad spectrum of art—from representational to abstract and varied nuances in between—it is safe to say that these artists are, in many ways, interpreters of our society, our history, and our culture. Their sustained, crystal-clear vision has given us a lens through which to view ourselves and the world. We sing their praises. In lauding them, we affirm all that is good and lasting about our Howard University. We are confident that you, too, will sing and celebrate with us as we welcome with joy A Proud Continuum: Eight Decades of Art at Howard University.
A. Donaldson ,
Dean, College of Arts & Sciences