Daily Plant Masthead

Volume XXV, Number 5347
Thursday, Feb 10, 2011

“Heritage Of Innovation” Exhibit Celebrates Black History Month

Misha McGlown, Florence in the Spotlight, oil on canvas
Misha McGlown, Florence in the Spotlight, oil on canvas
(Florence Ballard, founding member of the Supremes)

The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation is pleased to host Heritage of Innovation, an exhibition of more than 30 artworks by 15 artists on view at the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park. Contemporary artists highlight African American innovators in political, social and cultural fields. Currently on display through February 28, this collection of drawings, paintings, sculpture, and graphic prints reflects a rich tradition of African American vanguards.

“This exciting collection of artwork offers revealing portrayals of African American innovations in New York City and in America,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “From Lewis Latimer’s improvement of light bulb filaments to Alvin Ailey’s enduring influence on modern dance, the people portrayed in this exhibition are pioneers who have had a lasting impact on our lives and our communities. We are grateful to the Parks Department’s Ebony Society Black History committee for once again organizing an exhibit that showcases the talents of professional artists and Parks staff members alike.”

This year’s contributions include Alison Saar’s maquette for her sculpture Swing Low: A Harriet Tubman Memorial—located at 123rd Street and St. Nicholas Avenue— and Stephen Alcorn’s vivid relief prints of Frederick Douglass from the book Frederick Douglass: In His Own Words. Illustrator Ansel Pitcairn honors groundbreaking jurist Thurgood Marshall, as well as every day heroes whose innovations have affected him on a personal level.

Artists included in the exhibition are Stephen Alcorn, Kwame Brathwaite, Amanda Diva, Andrew Eccles, Lewis Latimer, Misha McGlown, Justin Nissley, Charly Palmer, Kaliyma Pearce, Ansel Pitcairn, Victor Polanco, Felica Grant Preston, Alison Saar, Olga Torrey and staff members from the Von King Recreation Center. The exhibit has been jointly organized by Parks & Recreation’s Ebony Society Black History Committee and the Parks’ Division of Art & Antiquities.

The Arsenal Gallery is dedicated to examining themes of nature, urban space, wildlife, New York City parks and park history. It is located on the third floor of the Parks Department Headquarters, in Central Park, on Fifth Avenue at 64th Street. Gallery hours are Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information on the Arsenal Gallery, please call 212-360-8163.


“The creative process is not controlled by a switch you can simply turn on or off;
it’s with you all the time.”

Alvin Ailey
(1931 – 1989)

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