Friday, August 1, 2003

Six other artists commissioned

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center's Public Art team has awarded six public art commissions in addition to the one given to Aminah Robinson.

The Freedom Center's team of experts, which included nine jurors and five selection committee members, has worked since February 2002 reviewing hundreds of proposals and bios submitted by U.S. artists.

"The menu of works selected by the Freedom Center's public art committee is a sparkling display of recently produced works and an unusual configuration that delves deeply into the expression of freedom's story," said Rita Organ, director of exhibits and collections. "The contemporary works will be a lively collection representative of local and national talent. We are pleased with the outcome."

The artists are:

Malaika Favorite, Atlanta

Her paintings have been shown in the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit; the Bass Museum of Art in Miami; and included in The Spirit of Martin, The Living Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a traveling show sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.

Favorite won the commission for the auditorium entrance. It will consist of 20 washboards hung in closely connected groups. Each group, representing courage, cooperation, perseverance and freedom will tell a story of slavery and the Underground Railroad.

Michael Cummings, New York

A quiltmaker with a strong sense of history who draws inspiration from Africa and the art of African-Americans, Cummings has had solo shows at Cinque Gallery in New York and the Studio Museum of Harlem. He has also been featured in group shows at the Cincinnati Art Museum, High Museum of Art in Atlanta and the American Craft Museum in New York.

He will make four quilts telling the story of a family escaping from slavery.

Jane Burch Cochran, Rabbit Hash, Ky.

Cochran's art quilts are known for their sparkling embellishments, vibrant colors and potent representations of everyday life. Her work has appeared in shows nationwide, from the American Craft Museum in New York to the San Francisco Craft Museum in California, as well as in Europe and Japan. She will make three contemporary quilts.

Carolyn Mazloomi, Cincinnati

Mazloomi's quilts contain references to African-American life and history, as well as life in Africa before slavery. Her quilts can be found in numerous museums and collections including the American Craft Museum and the Exxon Corp.

She will design two quilts centered on the themes of freedom and courage that will symbolize the story of the Underground Railroad.

Brian Joiner, Cincinnati

Joiner is a prolific multimedia artist who will create four 4-foot-by-5-foot wood panels of an aquatic landscape created by a collage of documents and photos depicting African-American history.

Karen Heyl, Cincinnati

A stone carver, Heyl combines old-world carving techniques with contemporary design to sculpt work with varied textural surfaces and simple yet sophisticated sensual forms.

She will carve six Indiana limestone bas-relief carved panels to be mounted on the third-floor terrace. The panels will hold a collage of symbols and images depicting the hope, courage and determination needed to travel on the Underground Railroad.

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