By Carrie Stetler
Art in the Atrium’s 22nd annual exhibition, which has its opening reception on Jan. 24, 2014, in Morristown, will include the work of more than 25 black artists to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.
The title of the exhibition, which runs through March 14 at the Morris County Administration & Records Building, is Your Crown has Been Bought and Paid For…, a quote from African-American author James Baldwin. The second line is …All you have to do is wear it.
“The theme celebrates the struggles we’ve been through and the efforts of civil rights workers,’’ says Victoria Craig, director of administration for Art in the Atrium.
The opening reception will runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the county administration building on Court Street.
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The exhibition’s featured artist will be James Denmark of South Carolina, whose acclaimed works of collage and watercolor will be on display. Denmark will also speak at the reception.
Other artists, most from New Jersey, include Leroy Campbell, Maceo Mitchell, Bisa Butler, Janet Taylor Pickett, Sandra Smith, Dwight Carter and Alonzo Adams.
Art in the Atrium’s annual exhibition, which showcases the work of African American artists, is the largest of its kind in New Jersey.
“It really helps to expand people’s idea of what African American art can be,’’ says Craig. “We have works in all mediums and genres. It’s not just figurative paintings with a mask in them.’’
The non-profit organization began in 1992 after Craig’s husband, attorney Charles Craig, noticed that none of the art work exhibited in the Morristown administration building was by African American artists.
Art in the Atrium was formed to mount an exhibition of black artists and has expanded to include other events such as seminars, jazz brunches and collectors’ workshops.
The first exhibition was held on the second floor, but now, art work is displayed throughout the building.
In addition to its other programs, Art in the Atrium co-sponsors artist residencies in the Morris School District that benefit between 200 and 500 students each year. It also awards an annual scholarship to a student artist
This year’s show features the work of Andre Woolery, a Morristown High School graduate, who was named one of 40 African-American Artists to Watch in 2014 by the MSNBC website, theGrio.com, which features news for African-Americans. Newark artist Jerry Gant, who is also on theGrio’s list, will be exhibiting, too.
This article was submitted on behalf of Art in the Atrium. The public is invited to Friday’s reception. There will be a free buffet and free parking, in a garage below the building. Enter on Schuyler Place and take the elevator from the garage to 5th floor.