The Art and Legacy of Ronald Lockett

Hey Y’all!

This is an invitation to very special event today, Tuesday, July 19th 6pm – 10:30 at the American Folk Art Museum. I assure you won’t want to miss this. The short story is I have a limited number of tickets (value of $35) to attend an extraordinary event exploring the art and legacy of Ronald Lockett (1965–1998, Bessemer, Alabama).

The Panel and After Party

First, there will a panel of contemporary artists and arts professionals including Cre8tive YouTH*ink’s new friend Kevin Blythe Sampson who will be considering Lockett’s remarkable life and work. A bumping party with live DJ, hors d’oeuvres and plenty to drink will follow the discussion. This event is presented by Young Folk, the young patrons of the American Folk Art Museum. Young Folk also generously provided us our tickets. Organized by Emily Counihan and Donnamarie Baptiste.

Ronald Lockett

Born and raised in Bessemer, Alabama, Lockett learned to paint by watching his older cousin, the celebrated self-taught artist, Thornton Dial (1928–2016), whose work was inspired by the African American tradition of yard displays. Lockett watched as Dial built an incredible body of large-scale paintings coated with tar-thick paint, insight and anger. His work has been described as monumental, propulsive and spirited and that address social injustices such as poverty, the war in Iraq and the African slave trade. Lockett spent a lot of time with Dial, who encouraged him and was the only person who took him seriously.

Lockett1
Lockett on his porch

Lockett always knew he wanted to be an artist, but it wasn’t until his early twenties that turned his attention to making art in earnest. By the time of his death at age thirty-two from HIV/AIDS-related pneumonia, Lockett had produced more than 350 works.

Ronald Lockett went largely unrecognized in his lifetime.

Lockett 3
Ronald Lockett, Timothy (Oklahoma Series) 1995, sheet metal, tin, wire, paint and nails on wood.

Ronald Lockett is now considered the youngest noteworthy southern African American vernacular visual artist. During his life, Lockett agonized over the plight of inner-city city black males—whose loudest cultural sign is the fear they provoke throughout American society. Working within the artistic traditions of found materials, Lockett addressed subjects of racial, economic, and political unrest, including the unfulfilled promises of the civil rights movement and environmental degradation.

Lockett 2
Untitled, circa 1985, tin, nails and pencil on woo

Up Close and Personal – Gallery Club Thursday with Nibor at the Metropolitan Museum!

Nibor’s First Love

William, a bright-blue hippo who lives in the Egyptian Wing, was Nibor’s first love at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but later there were many more. As an intern at the museum after college, she ranged far and wide over its vast collections, helping out as a tour guide and at the front desk. These days she returns often.

Join her this Spring Break on Thursday for a personal tour of some old favorites, new galleries, and special exhibitions. During a day of looking, sketching and conversation, she’ll give tips on how to decide what to see–and how to find it–so you can use these great collections as a resource when you come back on your own.

Morning Session 11:00am – 1:00pm

Walk Like an Egyptian

First we’ll visit the Egyptian galleries, learning about the art history of mummies and seeing everything from William the Hippo (above) to the Temple of Dendur.

The Museum's collection of ancient Egyptian art consists of approximately twenty-six thousand objects of artistic, historical, and cultural importance, dating from the Paleolithic to the Roman period (ca. 300,000 B.C.–A.D. 4th century).

Sword Play

Then we’ll move to the Arms and Armor exhibition from Europe, America, Japan, India, and various Islamic cultures.

Arms and armor have been a vital part of virtually all cultures for thousands of years, pivotal not only in conquest and defense, but also in court pageantry and ceremonial events. Throughout time the best armor and weapons have represented the highest artistic and technical capabilities of the society and period in which they were made, forming a unique aspect of both art history and material culture.

Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

These galleries showcase art of the peoples of sub-Saharan Africa, the Pacific Islands, and North, Central, and South America dating from as early as 3000B.C.E. to the present. Nibor stops in at some of her faves, including this Ci Wara headddress from Africa’s Bamana peoples and a feathered hanging from Peru’s Wari culture.

Headdress: Male Antelope (Ci Wara)

Lunch in Central Park 1:00pm-2:30pm

Picnic lunch and play Frisbee in Central Park

Afternoon Session 2:30pm-5:00pm

Islamic Art

We return from lunch to visit the museum’s newest galleries to see works ranging in date from the 7th to the 19th century, from as far westward as Spain and Morocco and as far eastward as Central Asia and India.

The Museum's collection of Islamic art ranges in date from the seventh to the nineteenth century. Its nearly twelve thousand objects reflect the great diversity and range of the cultural traditions of Islam.

‘Chinese Art in an Age of Revolution’

Finally, we wrap up our day at this special exhibition showcasing the art of Fu Baoshi, a figure painter and landscapist of China’s modern period, who lived through the overthrow of China’s last imperial dynasty and the establishment of the Chinese Republic.

Perhaps the most original figure painter and landscapist of China's modern period, Fu Baoshi created indelible images celebrating his homeland's cultural heritage while living through one of the most devastating periods in Chinese history.
Sketchpads, lunch and metrocards compliments of the Gallery Club.

This event was made possible by the artist Retna.