Current Hampton University Museum Exhibition

Akili Ron Anderson, A 50-Year Retrospective

July 9 – November 18, 2016

Akili Ron Adams, Self-PortraitAkili Ron Anderson still acts on the principles of the Black Arts Movement that he helped to build in the late 1960s. "Africans have to continue to struggle," he said during his talk at the reception for his retrospective exhibit at the Hampton University Museum on September 10, 2016.  His vision for that struggle: for African people to reach a "status of full world citizenship, with all the powers and responsibilities that accompany that position" is expressed in his artist statement.

Akili Ron Adams, Bird Woman, mixed media on paper, 23 x 29 inAnderson's own mastery of multiple mediums — painting, printmaking, wood sculpture, ceramics and found objects, and stained glass design and installation — attests to an African and African American tradition of skillful resourcefulness and versatility. And such traditions feed Anderson's convictions about the huge potential of black people.  So, at age 70, he continues to insist that he and his associates "have serious business to do" — business that both includes and transcends racial concerns.     

He urges the students in his Howard University painting classes to do "work that's interesting" and to the ones attending the reception, he asked, "What does that mean?"

"Worthy of further investigation!," they replied in unison.

Akili Ron Anderson's art work easily exceeds this definition of "interesting" and we're investigating it further in an upcoming IRAAA+ feature article.  Stay tuned!