Curtis Barnes, Sr., Self-Study, 1978, oil on canvas, 44 x 44 in., courtesy of Curtis Barnes, Jr. Image: John Sousa.

Curtis Barnes, Sr., Portrait of Dorothy (Woman in Red), 1979, 62 x 45 in., courtesy of Curtis Barnes, Jr. Image courtesy of John Sousa.

Curtis Barnes, Sr., Portrait of members of the Westwood Community Center, 1992-1998, courtesy of Curtis Barnes, Jr. Image courtesy of John Sousa.

Curtis Barnes, Sr.: Love & Peace

Spring 2021

Curators Zachary Armstrong and Michael Goodson, working with Curtis Barnes Sr.’s family, quite literally pulled these paintings from a dark storage room off of far West Salem Ave. Though some of these works need restoration, these works immediately sprung to life as they came into the light.

The grid of “community portraits” made by Curtis Barnes, Sr. in 1995 during his affiliation with Dayton’s Westwood Community Center will be but one vital component of the exhibition, Curtis Barnes, Sr.: Love & Peace, words he tenderly wrote on the back of each of these paintings along with his own name and the first name of each sitter.

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These paintings, collectively, are more than a mere gathering of likenesses. All were made during a year in which Curtis Barnes, Sr. was deeply involved with this community center in Dayton’s west side neighborhood, Westwood. In this regard, the grid as a whole is a collective portrait of a time and a place. Dayton’s west side has long produced dedicated artists and educators, including Barnes, an underappreciated and prolific artist who exemplified a generation of black painters who came of age in the 1960s through the 1990s, and whose contributions are still deeply felt today.

These faces are also portraits of the spirit of that history. It will be a dense installation of the faces that moved and motivated this great artist: the Westwood portraits, portraits of his immediate family, and, importantly, stolid yet moving images of his own visage, which collectively act as a portrait of the passage of time and a life dedicated to painting.

This exhibition also stands as a signifier for the Co’s history of and newly invigorated dedication to diversity through exhibitions by women and artists of color who have helped to shape the contours of our past, present, and future.

 

Additional Programs & Initiatives

Virtual Viewing Room
A curated digital portal to learn more about the artist, his work, and his place in contemporary art today; featuring interviews and exhibition tours on loan from the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, the Pérez Art Museum, Miami and Lehmann Maupin, New York.

Exhibition Publication
A full-color publication with an interview with the artist by Guest Curator, Michael Goodson; exhibition checklist; artist biography, and annotations of additional resources.

Ohio Curators Safely-Distanced Breakfast & Live ZOOM Tour
Date TBD
An on-site and virtual opportunity for our 75+ Ohio museum and gallery curator partners to learn about the exhibition, it’s potential to tour to partner venues, and meet the curator.

Friends & Family Open House
Date TBD

Meet the Artist: A Virtual Interview with Curtis Barnes, Jr. & Curator Michael Goodson
Date TBD

Exhibition Sponsorships & Benefits

SPONSOR NOW

$25,000 Presenting Sponsor
• Name of Company or Family Name Presents: Zachary Armstrong
• Level 4 recognition on exhibition wall and website
• All benefits listed below

$10,000 Inaugural Catalogue Series Sponsor
• Logo and name on title page
• Level 3 recognition on exhibition wall and website
• All benefits listed below

$5,000 Digital Sponsor
• Web page banner
• All benefits listed below

$2,500 Exhibition Partner
• Level 2 recognition on exhibition intro wall and website;
Level 2 is 2” vinyl company logo on exhibition wall and on sponsor section of website
• All benefits listed below

$1,500 Public Program Partner
• Level 1 recognition on exhibition intro wall and website;
Level 1 is 1” vinyl company logo on exhibition wall and on sponsor section of website
• All benefits listed below

$500 Exhibition Friend
• Recognition on gallery signage, all print and digital materials
• Invitation to Sponsor Preview

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