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Images of America

African American Voices / Selections from the Collection of Mr. & Mrs. Darrell Walker

  • Dates
    Sep 15 - Nov 11 , 2006
  • Venue
    Weston Art Gallery

Exhibition Sponsor(s):

B2B Equities; CES/Link Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation; Sue & Bill Friedlander; Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease, LLP

Images of America

African American Voices / Selections from the Collection of Mr. & Mrs. Darrell Walker

The Cincinnati Arts Association’s Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery in the Aronoff Center for the Arts debuts its 2006-07 exhibition season with Images of America: African American Voices / Selections from the Collection of Mr. & Mrs. Darrell Walker, an extraordinary collection of historical and contemporary African American artists; and Blue Collar: Sculpture by Kyle & Kelly Phelps, a poignant look at the daily struggles of factory workers.

The genesis of the exceptional collection that forms the exhibition Images of America: African American Voices began when Darrell Walker, assistant coach of the New Orleans Hornets and former professional basketball player with the NBA in the 1980s and ‘90s (New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets and Washington Bullets—now the Wizards), developed a passion for collecting art during the extensive traveling required by his professional sports career. Over a period of years, Walker amassed an eclectic yet discerning collection that is both impressive and broad and represents Mr. Walker’s philanthropic interest in preserving and showcasing African American culture.

The collection was first showcased at the Walton Art Center in Fayetteville, AR in 2004 and most recently traveled to the DuSable Museum in Chicago. It presents a diverse and historical overview of the African American discipline as it ranges through the last century and moves into the contemporary realm. The collection—more than seventy works of art and growing—features some of the most influential African American artists of the 20 th century including: Charles Alston, Romare Bearden, Chakaia Booker, David Driskell, Sam Gilliam, Jacob Lawrence and Norman Lewis. Tarrence Corbin, renowned Cincinnati abstract painter and professor of art at DAAP at the University of Cincinnati is also represented in the collection. In addition, two new acquisitions by Walker of contemporary artists Mickalene Thomas and Demetrius Oliver will be featured. Special guests Darrell Walker, catalogue essayist Dr. Michael Harris, and artists Sam Gilliam, Kevin Cole and Tarrence Corbin will be present at the opening reception. A full-color exhibition catalogue produced by the Walton Art Center is available for purchase. 

Darrell Walker grew up in the inner city of Chicago, IL. As a youth he had little exposure to art or cultural institutions. His initiation to art and later passion for collecting began during the course of his career as an NBA player when downtime in his professional travels allowed fellow teammate Bernard King to entice him into visiting art museums and galleries. Over a period of years his insatiable interest and learning led him to become an avid collector and owner of an extraordinary collection. Walker continues to expand his collection from his home in Little Rock, AR in between his responsibilities as an assistant coach with the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets.

This exhibition was originally organized by the Walton Arts Center of Fayetteville, AR and curated by Michele McGuire. Exhibition Consultant: E. Selean Holmes, Chicago.

Images of America: African American Voices / Selections from the Collection of Mr. & Mrs. Darrell Walker is presented in conjunction with Tha Blast, an urban arts festival produced by Robin Harrison and Cedric Cox of Hip-Notic Concepts.

Gallery Talk Series: Thurs., Oct. 12, 7 p.m.

Families Create! Education Workshop: Sat., Oct. 14, 2006