Quincy Art Show ‘The Other Room’ Features Masterpieces By 6 Black Artists
For 32 years, St. Louis-based artist Robert Powell has collected and educated art lovers on the vast contributions of African Americans in fine visual arts. Powell is the founder of Portfolio Gallery & Education Center, which he launched in 1989 to raise awareness about how Black visual artists are largely overlooked in the industry.
His latest curated exhibit at the Quincy Art Center continues that tradition.
On view through July 23, “The Other Room” showcases six artists Powell believes deserve high recognition. As an example of how rarely Black artists are given the spotlight, his curator’s statement asks visitors to name five African American visual artists as well known as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí and Claude Monet.
“There have been a number of museums, as well as galleries, the [Quincy] Art Center being one of them, that are reaching out to try to diversify the artists that they exhibit,” Powell said.
“‘The other room' is a description or a direction giver/provider. Look in the other room sometime for those things that you are saying you can't find, don't know exist — it's been there all along.”
On Tuesday's St. Louis on the Air, Powell joined host Sarah Fenske to discuss the new art show in Quincy, which he dubs the “unknown capitol of art collecting.” The exhibit showcases artists Stanwyck Cromwell, Anthony High, Ed Johnetta Miller, Dean Mitchell, Lonnie Powell and Sandra Smith.
Powell also offered advice for people interested in becoming art collectors. He said “buy what you like,” but take it a step further.
“You have to champion that artist … Almost shame your friends,” he added, into thinking they’re missing out. “‘Oh, you don’t have a Lonnie Powell [piece]? You don't have a Dean Mitchell? You gotta buy this.’ Because that's what's gonna push it up and get the groundswell.”
What: “The Other Room”
When: May 21–July 23
Where: Quincy Art Center (1515 Jersey St., Quincy, IL 62301) and online
“St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.