The large exhibition space was already full of well-heeled New Yorkers when I arrived, just fifteen minutes after the opening of the Art of Giving Back event, for the UNCF, at the School of Visual Arts Gallery, on West 26th Street. Dressed in the looks of the moment, the crowd peered at an array of artworks that spanned time, taste and style. The list of contributing artists, curated by Natalie Jones, read like a Who's Who in the African American panoply of creative visual arts. Legends like Romare Bearden, Richard Mayhew, Lois Maillou Jones, Norman Lewis and Faith Ringold shared space with emergent Ramona Candy, Paul Goodnight, Leroy Henderson, Philemona Williamson and Glenn Tunstull.
The benefit's goal of raising money to support the multitude of national programs the United Negro College Fund has in place, assisting African American student achievement, was a worthy one pursued by many that night. The crowd was filled with some that I recognized and some who remained incognito. A number of my collectors were there lending me great support, well wishes and hope.
The inclusion in the exhibition represented a long held dream of being included within the ranks of such noted artists as listed above. I met a few of the mentioned artists as indicated in photos below. As my works filled a large wall in the main room they seemed complementary in this stellar lineup.