Artist Tarleton Blackwell invited to the White House
By Scott Bigelow
Pembroke Art Professor Tarleton Blackwell was invited
to the White House on May 17 as the guest of First Lady Laura Bush to
be honored for his participation in the Art in Embassies program.
It is the 40th anniversary of the program, and Blackwell, the Martha
Beach Endowed Chair in Art at UNCP, was also the guest of Secretary
of State Colin Powell at a State Department reception.
President George W. Bush praised the program for spreading American
ideals and values around the globe.
"This outstanding program places the art of hundreds of American
artists into our embassies around the world," President Bush said.
"These works communicate the values and diversity of the people
of the United States, as well as the aspirations and hope common to
U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Howard Franklin Jeter requested Blackwell's
life-size group portrait, entitled "The Unity Series II: Sisterhood."
It is a large oil-on-canvas painting that was displayed in the ambassador's
residence in Lagos, Nigeria from 2001-03.
"Unity Series II" represents young girls dressed in costumes
symbolizing four Pan Hellenic sororities in the setting of the historic
Mann-Simons Cottage Museum of African-American Culture in Columbia,
This summer Prof. Blackwell's works were on display at the High Museum
of Art in Atlanta and on a national tour, entitled "Thinking with
Blood: Conflict and Culture in the American South." The exhibition
was in Asheville, N.C., for three month ending June 20.
The exhibition encompasses three decades of contemporary American art
that explores issues of identity, racism and Southern stereotypes. The
tour will be in New York City at the Dorsky Gallery, July 5 through
A Manning, S.C., native, Blackwell joined the faculty at UNCP in 2003
and teaches painting.
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