Art Sunday #213: Benny Andrews – Leaving Home


Benny Andrews (November 13, 1930 – November 10, 2006) was an African-American painter, printmaker, and creator of collages. During the 1950s, he studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he began to take an interest in painting. In 1958, he moved to New York City to pursue artistic and activist work. Among other successes, he created art education programs to serve underprivileged students at Queens College and participated actively in the Black Emergency Cultural Coalition (1969). His advocacy of artists of color Howardena Pindell, Sam Gilliam, Roy DeCarava, and others contributed to their increasing visibility and reputation in museums and the historical canon. He received many awards, including the John Hay Whitney Fellowship (1965–66), the New York Council on the Arts fellowships (1971–81), and the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (1974–81).

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Art Sunday #212: Varnette Honeywood – Old Dinner Party


Varnette Patricia Honeywood (December 27, 1950 – September 12, 2010) was an American painter, writer, and businesswoman whose paintings and collages depicting African-American life hung on walls in interior settings for The Cosby Show after Camille and Bill Cosby had seen her art and started collecting some of her works. Her paintings also appeared on television on the Cosby Show spin-off A Different World, as well as on the TV series Amen and 227.

Fine Art reproduction of “Old Fashioned Dinner Party.” Copyright 1982, Varnette P. Honeywood. This piece portrays the wonderful times a family can have while cooking. The love that is spread throughout her brush, is shown with vivid, lively colors, throughout this artwork.

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Art Sunday #211: Georgia Mills Jessup – Rainy Night Downtown


Georgia Mills Jessup (March 19, 1926 – December 24, 2016) was an African-American painter, sculptor, ceramicist, muralist, and collage artist.

Jessup, a native of Washington, D.C., was of African-American, Native American, and European descent. Her father, Joseph Mills, was a member of the Pamunkey tribe her mother was Margaret Hall Mills. The thirteenth of eighteen children, she was one of twenty-nine members of her family who followed an artistic profession. After an early display of artistic talent she was apprenticed to Herman L. Walker; two of her paintings were shown at the 1939 World’s Fair. Jessup was a 1943 graduate of Dunbar High School.  She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Howard University, where she studied with Loïs Mailou Jones, in 1959, following that with a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Catholic University of America in 1969. Jessup spent thirteen years teaching in the public schools of Washington, D.C., eventually becoming supervisor of art education for the system. She founded “The World is Your Museum”, forerunner of the Capital Children’s Museum, and was the first artist-in-residence at the Anacostia Community Museum. She died at home in Columbia, Maryland, and was survived by two sons and two daughters.

Jessup’s 1967 painting Rainy Night, Downtown is in the collection of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Other works are in private collections.


Art Sunday #210: Emmi Whitehorse – Red Start


Emmi Whitehorse (born 1957) is a Native American painter and printmaker. She was born in Crownpoint, New Mexico and is a member of the Navajo Nation. She currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Whitehorse grew up on the open land northeast of Gallup, New Mexico in a family where only the Navajo Language was spoken.

In 1980, Whitehorse earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in painting from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque (UNM). She earned her master’s degree in art in 1982, also from UNM, majoring in printmaking and minoring in art history.

Whitehorse’s paintings draw upon a personal iconography, based on her reflections of her natural surroundings. She brings together Navajo cosmological perspectives with abstraction in her work. Whitehorse’s work is deliberately apolitical. Her paintings are usually oil on paper, mounted on canvas, such as Movement, in the collection of the Honolulu Museum of Art. This work, from 1989, demonstrates the luxuriant, atmospheric, and meditative abstractions for which she is known. Her work is represented in public collections throughout North America, Europe, Japan, Uzbekistan and Morocco.

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Art Sunday #209: Norma Howard – Kids in the Field


Norma Howard (born 1958) is a Choctaw-Chickasaw Native American artist from Stigler, Oklahoma, who paints genre scenes of children playing, women working in fields, and other images inspired by family stories and Choctaw life. Howard won her first art award at the 1995 Red Earth Native American Cultural Festival in Oklahoma City. Her work is popular with collectors and critics.

A central theme in all of Howard’s painting is family. She had seven brothers and sisters and her family often struggled against poverty on the same parcel of land that her mother, Ipokni, homesteading after walking almost 500 miles from Mississippi to Oklahoma in 1903.

In spite of financial hardships, however, Norma’s personal memories of her family tend to be joyful and exuberant. Whether painting images of youth play or remembering sharing the same bed with four sisters and her mother, the artist always manages to depict a deep sense of commitment and affection.

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