By Crocker Staff

February 18 is a day for celebration at the Crocker! Opening in conjunction with Faith Ringgold: An American Artist and the Museum's Black History Month celebration, Hopes Springing High: Gifts of Art by African American Artists, an exhibition of promised gifts and recent acquisitions to the Crocker, will open with an array of artistic visions through the work of 20-plus African American artists.

Honoring the strength and resilience of African Americans, the exhibition includes such vanguard artists as sculptor and graphic artist Elizabeth Catlett, Betye Saar and her politically evocative assemblage art, and renowned painter Romare Bearden, whose two pieces in the exhibition, Sunrise #7 and Untitled (Sax Player), will join his Mother and Child, 1968, already in the Crocker collection.

Lina Iris Viktor, No. XIX / Came the devil so shrewd in all his ways, 2017. Pure 24 karat gold, acrylic, and ink on cotton rag paper, 10 1/4 x 8 1/2 inches. Crocker Art Museum, gift of the Amar Gallery, 2018.2

Hopes Springing High will also feature Portrait of Simon George II, the Crocker’s first acquisition by artist Kehinde Wiley. Wiley’s piece, Philip the Fair, was one of the highlights of the Crocker’s summer 2017 exhibition Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose. Wiley is known for his naturalistic portraits of urban black and brown men, and he has been commissioned to paint the official portrait of President Barack Obama.

The addition of these works to the Crocker’s collection helps to further expand the diversity of voices and narratives represented at the Museum, and celebrates the abundant cultural contributions of African American artists.

Interested in learning more? Check out these other exhibitions and exhibition-related programs:

Black History Month Celebration: A Free Family Festival
February 18, 2018
12 - 4 PM
Black History Month Free Family Festival returns to Sacramento with live performances, hands-on activities, and our community’s one-and-only Black and Beautiful Community Marketplace. The celebration will feature explosive beats by Grant High School’s renowned drumline, drama by Celebration Arts, and a special "Baby, that’s Jazz" presentation exploring African American musical roots and legacy. If that’s not enough, inspired by the history-making Black Panther film, the Festival will explore AfroFuturism in art and music! Get ready to sing-along, call, respond, and most of all celebrate the amazing contributions of African Americans.

Women, Art, and History: E. Charlton Fortune, Corita Kent, and Faith Ringgold in Context
Sundays, February 25, March 4 & March 11, 1 – 3 PM
This spring, the Crocker will host three exhibitions, each devoted to an important American female artist: E. Charlton Fortune, Corita Kent, and Faith Ringgold. Because the dates of these shows overlap, they offer a unique opportunity to explore in depth the subject of women in 20th-century art history. From Fortune’s picturesque Impressionism to Kent’s spiritually-infused Pop and Ringgold’s socially-engaged quilts, we will explore the unique contributions these women and their sister artists have made to the history of American art.

Panel Talk: Art and Activism
Thursday, March 22, 6:30 PM
The lives and work of Corita Kent and Faith Ringgold, featured in exhibitions at the Crocker through May 13, offer stirring examples of artistic practices extended into activism. In this provocative panel talk, we take inspiration from these women to hear from and about artists connecting art and social justice. Speakers will include Michael Duncan, a scholar and curator of Corita Kent's work, and Lizzetta LeFalle-Collins, a scholar of Black artists who has studied the work of Faith Ringgold for many years. Attendees will be encouraged to ask questions and share their own ideas about the role art can play to increase awareness of injustice and act as a bridge toward understanding divergent viewpoints.

Lunch & Learn
Tuesday, April 3, 12 & 1 PM
Join an in-depth examination of Faith Ringgold’s large silkscreen Tar Beach #2. Before or after the 30-minute gallery conversation, take time to enjoy lunch at the Crocker Cafe by Supper Club.

Top Image: Richard Mayhew, Nostalgia, 2016. Oil on canvas, 48 x 60 in. Crocker Art Museum, gift of Loren G. Lipson, M.D., 2017.42