By Robert M. Jones
The Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Gallery is host to yet another breathtaking art exhibit as “The Voices of FAMU Art Program” has put together a collection of six decades of art created by alumni and current students in the Florida A&M University Visual Arts Program.
The exhibit is on both the top and bottom floors of the art gallery and features one digital piece. A major theme found in every piece is each artist’s viewpoint of racism at the time of creating their artwork.
“I wanted people to witness and be affected by such strong talent that has walked the halls of FAMU’s art program through the years,” said Harris Wiltsher, who curated the exhibit. “Each piece has its own conversation and will leave an impression on anyone who comes through the door.”
Wiltsher is an alumnus of the fine arts program and is currently an associate professor of art. He stressed the importance of the success he’s seen come through the program.
“Usually people view visual arts as an industry where a lot of money isn’t made. I want people to know that these artists and their artwork are successful. Whether it’s fashion or web design or just a painting, visual arts is everywhere and FAMU alumni can be found throughout these industries.”
One of the most thought-provoking pieces of artwork in the entire collection is called “Let’s Scratch The Surface” by 2018 alumnus Denzel Goldwire.
The piece touches on today’s political climate and calls the Democrats the “Democrips” and the Republicans are named “Rebloodicans” — all surrounding the head of South Carolina church shooter Dylan Roof.
“I remember where I was when the news broke on the church shooting and it’s good to see positive art come from some of these traumatizing events,” said Arielle Hall, a junior biology student seeing the exhibit for the first time. “I’ve seen some thought-provoking pieces in this exhibit, and these artists did a good job of putting their perspective of these events into art.”
The art exhibit that opened Friday is free of charge and will be on display through April 4. The normal gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday from 12-4 p.m. The closing reception for the exhibit will be held on Friday, April 3 from 5:30-8 p.m. The gallery is located at 1630 Pinder St.
“I hope the show gives people the opportunity to see the amount of dynamic art and artists that have come through FAMU’s Visual Arts Program,” said Aja Roache, a FAMU art professor and the director of the show. “We want people in the community and beyond to see the art while recognizing the history and legacy of the program.”