Through ongoing collaboration with the communities it serves, NAAM creates exhibitions that are relevant, inclusive, engaging, and entertaining. Our exhibitions explore the connections between our region and the history, art, and culture of people of African descent.
Daniel Minter: Carvings
April 8, 2017 – September 17, 2017
Daniel Minter: Carvings reveals the tactile method employed to resurface histories and folklore of the Black Diaspora. Painter, sculptor and illustrator Daniel Minter uses cultural iconography to represent the rich and complex heritage of the Black American South, which he connects to broader rituals and traditions present within the African Diaspora.
The exhibition hosts a collection of painted woodcarvings and linoleum block prints from numerous children’s books illustrated by Minter. It explores Minter’s process, which begins with meticulously carving images into wooden blocks and concludes with colorful reproductions of the image. Daniel Minter:Carvings illuminates the importance and necessity of uncovering cultural icons and symbols from the African Diaspora to build an archive we can access for generations to come.
Intersections: Finding True North
April 8 – September 17, 2017
2017 Dr. Carver Gayton Youth Curator Program Exhibit
From inside the Artist Studio, NAAM Youth Curators present Intersections: Finding True North. This year’s Youth Curators were inspired by the rich history of the Central Area, once a community largely populated by Black people who now see that targeted growth displaces them and demolishes the built spaces that helped to create their identity.
In this exhibit, stories are told through maps. In this collective mapping project, Youth Curators use artistic techniques, historic context and storytelling to support creative messaging that adds to the discourse on livable neighborhoods, intersections & finding true north
Over twelve sessions, Youth Curators received instruction to develop their artistic skill and through the process formed a deeper regard for African American artists. As Youth Curators challenged their creativity, they experienced the limitless potential for experimenting outside of self-imposed boundaries to express art through their own creative lens.
2017 Youth Curator Program is supported by KeyBank Foundation.
An Elegant Utility
January 28- May 28, 2017
An Elegant Utility explores the creation of place, identity and the Northwest African American community that has historically characterized Seattle’s Central District neighborhood. Featuring a collection of artifacts, including photographs, utilitarian house hold belongings, and legal ledgers, An Elegant Utility examines how the personal history of artist Inye Wokoma’s familial lineage, the Green family, serves as an entry point through which the larger story of African-Americans in Seattle, is reflected.
In this exhibition, Wokoma creates a kind of sanctum encompassing the lifelong possessions of his grandfather, which tell the rich, layered narrative of hope, struggle, loss and the strong-willed drive of a family to establish place and create personal and communal identity.
The exhibit’s artifacts include turn of the 20th century work tools, recreational items such as an old metal and canvas catcher’s mask, church fans and collected issues of Ebony, Jet and Time magazines from the 1960’s & 1970’s. Wokoma’s, An ElegantUtility urges viewers to recognize the relationship between racist housing policies, civic disinvestment in public services and infrastructure, and the seemingly irresistible momentum of the current displacement of Black people.
LEGACY HALL FOYER
Spirit in Nature
February 23 – May 28, 2017
“In the Spirit in Nature collection, colors, shapes, detailed patterns, and textures continuously morph, creating movement and multiple perspectives. In each piece, I see eyes, noses, and mouths as they emerge out of tree limbs, mountains, and appear in the water and earth. Ink infused with watercolor and chalk pastel create an ethereal quality, and evoke feelings that Spirit illuminates nature through my senses.
There is something about creating art with pictures of trees, mountains, water, or the sky that brings me so much joy and peace. Art allows me to connect with my inner creative spirit. “ Earline Alston, Artist