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Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center (PGAAMCC) is proud to announce The Elements that Define Us, a Black contemporary portraiture exhibition, presented in conjunction with the University of Maryland David C. Driskell Center’s exhibition: Portraits of Who We Are. The Elements that Define Us exhibition at PGAAMCC will be on display from Feb 2nd-May 26th, 2018.

The Elements that Define Us is a mixed media exhibition, highlighting color, materials, and composition style, that presents a contemporary perspective of the Black American experience. The exhibition will highlight portraits of the DC Metropolitan community and address the stylistic elements used to express the Black American experience locally and beyond. Curator Tomora Wright will focus on the compositional aspects of each piece, which lend symbolic meaning to the subject. Compositional styles and mediums in works of art are intentional and speak to Black American history, culture, communities, rituals, and lifestyles. In this exhibition, we want to give artists a chance to tell us the significance of their chosen artistic medium and how the elements they use play an important role in the stories they tell.

The Elements that Define Us will showcase 22 artists’ diverse perspectives of the Black experience. Wright carefully selected a group of multigenerational artists from the Greater Washington DC Area who excel in various mediums and styles. From mixed media collages to installations, from paintings to drawings and more, this exhibition presents a dynamic and multifaceted selection of work. Exhibition artists include:

Alonzo Davis

Akili Ron Anderson

Gina Marie Lewis

Chanel Compton

Taryn Harris

Ulysses Marshall

Preston Sampson


Al Burts

James Terrell

Toni Lane

Jay Durrah

Egbert Evans

Will Watson

Ronald Jackson

Larry Cook


Tre Wilkes

Elana Casey

Jamea Richmond Edwards

Curtis Woody

Michael Booker

Shawn Lindsay

Zsudayka Nzinga Terrell


It is important to include Black artists in the Art History discourse, while also constantly redefining what it means to be a Black American artist in the 21st century. We often reference and draw inspiration from our history and artists who have paved the way, but artwork in 2018 is also undertaking equally challenging themes. PGAAMCC aims to highlight the current cultural climate and encourage continued dialogue. The artwork in The Elements That Define Us challenges viewers to see themselves in the composition of the pieces and recognize their own emotions through the artist’s hand. “Portraits are an intimate lens into the artist’s psyche,” Wright says. “In this exhibition, we will study the artists’ stylistic choices and impulses that ultimately help narrate unique stories, experiences, and emotions.”

Join us on February 2nd for the exhibition opening of The Elements that Define Us. In support of continued community growth in Prince George’s County, we look forward to your participation in supporting the arts and hope to see you there.


Exhibition sponsored by Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council

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