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Release Date: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 1:54 PM
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Sholnn Freeman
Communications Specialist
Howard University to Present 24th Annual James A. Porter Colloquium
Featured Artists Include DJ Spooky, Bjorn G. Amelan and Bill T. Jones
DJ Spooky

WASHINGTON (April 4, 2013) – The Howard University Department of Art is pleased to announce the 24th Annual James A. Porter Colloquium on African American Art from April 11-13. The Porter Colloquium is the leading forum for scholars, artists, curators as well as art enthusiasts in the field of African-American art and visual culture.

Leslie King Hammond, Ph.D., graduate dean emerita and founding director of the Center for Race and Culture at the Maryland Institute College of Art, will speak at the colloquium on the morning of Friday, April 12. Hammond’s lecture, on-site registration, and Porter Colloquium events will be held in the Howard University School of Business auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Notable speakers and panelists for this year’s Porter Colloquium include: Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid, who intersects music, art, and technology, while addressing contemporary cultural issues. In the Friday afternoon presentation, he will perform with a student violinist. On Saturday, Bjorn G. Amelan, sculptor and set designer, will lead a conversation with his partner, Bill T. Jones, the celebrated choreographer and dancer. Amelan will also discuss the work of the late African-American fashion designer Patrick Kelly.

In addition to the conference, attendees are invited to a Benefit Gala from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, in the Howard University Gallery of Art. This year, the lifetime achievements of Sam Gilliam, Howardena Pindell, Norman Parish and Ruth Fine will be honored. For information on purchasing gala tickets, please email Anthony McEachern, interim chair of the Department of Art, at

The Porter Colloquium is held in conjunction with the Twelfth Annual David C. Driskell Distinguished Lecture at The Driskell Center at the University of Maryland, College Park on Thursday, April 11. The event will feature Dr. Elizabeth Alexander, the Thomas E. Donnelly Professor of African American Studies and Chair, at Yale University. Reservations are required for the public reception that begins at 5 p.m., and the lecture at 6 p.m. To RSVP, contact the Driskell Center at 301-314-2615 or

The Colloquium’s theme, “The Transitioning Role of Studio Practice in Modern and Contemporary African American Art,”examines the continuity and consistency within the established principle of what constitutes the “artist studio,” while encouraging wide-ranging inspection, introspection and discussion of the many ways artists work or choose not to work in their studios.

For more information, please contact Anthony McEachern, interim chair of the Department of Art, at or 202-806-7047. For additional information regarding the Colloquium, please visit the website

The James A. Porter Colloquium was established at Howard University in 1990. It is named in honor of James A. Porter, the pioneering Art Historian and Professor, whose 1943 publication Modern Negro Art laid the foundation for the field of study. The Colloquium continues his legacy through dynamic programming, scholarly research and artistic leadership. Past Colloquium presenters have included such leading scholars and artists as David Driskell, Leslie King Hammond, Samella Lewis, Lowery Stokes Simms, Robert Farris Thompson, Salah Hassan, Franklin Sirmans, Mark Bradford, Deborah Willis, and Okwui Enwezor. The Porter Colloquium is presented by the Department of Art, Howard University in Washington, DC.


Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at

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