Diggs Gallery Exhibit Highlights Variety of Perspectives from 56 Represented Artists Through November 2

Belinda Tate

Belinda Tate
October 5, 2012

Diggs Gallery pays homage to iconic American, African, Haitian, Japanese and European artistry in a short-term exhibition entitled By Special Request on view now through November 2. 

“The 69 works featured survey the multiplicities of culture and the unique historical perspectives of the 56 artists represented,” said Belinda Tate, gallery director and curator of the exhibit.  “The depth of material, breadth of medium, diversity in cultures, and scope of genres represented in By Special Request offer an excellent resource for teaching, learning and engaging the exploration of the arts for those at WSSU as well as the community-at-large.” 

Paintings by Walter Edmonds, Preston Sampson, Andrew Turner and Eric McRay (U.S.A.); drawings by Artis Lane (Canada); prints by John Biggers, Jacob Lawrence, David Driskell, Willie Birch, Hughie Lee-Smith, Lois Mailou Jones (U.S.A.), Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Japan), Malcolm Morley and Auguste Brouet (Europe); sculpture by Leon Woods, and original works on paper by Verna Hart, Vandorn Hinnant and Maya Freelon-Asant are on display along with an engaging assemblage by Haitian artists - Calixte Henri; Murat Brierre; A.B. Jean; Sisson Blanchard; Pierre Augustin; Joseph Jean Laurent; and Gesner Armand (which were donated to Winston-Salem State University in 1998 by John and Vivian Hewitt).  An IRIS print by the late, great Gordon Parks; chromogenic prints by cutting-edge photographers Hank Willis Thomas and Sheila Pree Bright; and traditional black and white photographs of brick maker George Black and his family by Susan Mullaly are also on view. 

In addition to one print by prolific artist Bruce Onabrakpeya (Nigeria), By Special Request also highlights contemporary African artists  -  Hamid Kachmar (Morocco), Sokhaya Charles Nkosi (South Africa), Bayo Ogundele (Nigeria), Kerima Ahmed (Ethiopia), Samuel End (Ethiopia), and Daudies TingaTinga (Tanzania) -  with traditional examples from the Bakongo, Kongo, Kuba, Mbuti, Yaka, Tabwa, Songye, Lega, Dogon, Dinka, Yoruba, Ashanti, Bozo, and Punu ethnic groups showcased.  

The exhibition is free and open to the public.  Hours for Diggs Gallery are Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. and the gallery is located on the lower level of the O’Kelly Library on the campus of Winston-Salem State University (WSSU).  The exhibition was made possible through charitable gifts to the WSSU collection by John and Vivian Hewitt, Robert Brown, Gordon Hanes and Charles Guice, and a generous loan from collector and gallerist Cheryl Sutton.  

Diggs Gallery is one of the South’s leading showcases for African and African American art.  It mission includes preserving and interpreting art of the African Diaspora and the unique collection of Winston-Salem State University.  Through social engagement, public programs and exhibitions, the Gallery serves as a cultural meeting place where people of all walks of life can meet, share and enjoy the best of art.

For more information, contact Diggs Gallery at or call 336 750-2458.

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Nancy Young                                                       Aaron Singleton
Director                                                              Director
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336-750-8764 (office)                                         336-750-3152 (office)
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