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Printmaking and the Unconventional Pathways of African American Artists


June 28 @ 11:00 am
October 13 @ 5:00 pm
Michael Gibson, Crowned in Her Glory, 2022. Serigraph print on paper. Collection of Raven Fine Art Editions.

This year, Mystic Museum of Art (MMoA) highlights the importance of access to the pathways that lead to creative careers. Mapping these pathways, discerning the barriers to them, and forging new pathways where none existed, lead not only to extraordinary works of art, but to a richer, more comprehensive conversation that we can have as a country and as members of a world community.

Historically, the conventional Western European road to the arts led through the study of neoclassical painting and sculpture in the academies of Europe, to the patronage of the elite, Access to patrons and familiarity with their tastes and traditions was paramount. Artists of color have consistently been excluded from such access. The tastes and traditions of the affluent were far removed from the lived experience of minorities, whose histories and cultures were suppressed by mainstream cultural, historical, and economic conventions.

Faith Ringgold, Here Comes Moses, 2014. Serigraph print on paper. Collection of Raven Fine Art Editions.
David C. Driskell, Yellow Hat, 2016. Mixed media. Collection of Raven Fine Art Editions.

On loan from the collection of Raven Fine Art Editions, this exhibition follows the pathways of African American artists, whose histories and lived experiences remain largely unrecognized by mainstream Western European culture. We ask how these artists forged their own pathways to distinguished artistic careers and we explore their innovative uses of printmaking as a primary artistic medium, a means of collaboration and mutual support, and a democratic means of circulating their art.

Remarkable individuals and communities manage to break through, or find their way around, discriminatory barriers. In doing do, they create their own pathways, and become the exceptions to the rule. Curated by scholar and master printmaker Dr. Curlee Raven Holton, this exhibition will feature their art, trace their journeys–and ask how we can change the rule.

Barbara Bullock, Seeing is Believing, 2011. Serigraph print on paper. Collection of Raven Fine Art Editions.


Featured artists include: 

Ron Adams
Emma Amos
Benny Andrews
Mason Archie
Romare Bearden
Robert Blackburn
Berrisford Boothe
Barbara Bullock
Elizabeth Catlett
Ifeatuanya ‘Ify’ Chiejina
Kevin Cole
Willie Cole
Alfred Conteh
Eldzier Cortor
Alan Rohan Crite
Roy Crosse
David C. Driskell
Louise Delsarte
John Dowell
Mel Edwards
Michael Gibson
Sam Gilliam
Paul Goodnight
Leon Hicks
Robin Holder
Curlee Raven Holton
Joseph Holston
Paul Keene
Jacob Lawrence
Al Loving
Lois Mailou Jones
Richard Mayhew
Lynn Marshall Linnemeier
Delita Martin
Charly Palmer
Martin Puryear
Faith Ringgold
Alison Saar
Charles Sallee
Preston Sampson
Danny Simmons
Arvie Smith
Nelson Stevens
Willam T. Williams