Shared Heritage Unites Artists' Differing Views

By Dean, Mensah | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), February 15, 1996 | Go to article overview

Shared Heritage Unites Artists' Differing Views


Dean, Mensah, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


How one celebrates black history depends heavily upon how one sees the world. Painters create images to ponder and enjoy with bright, vibrant colors that explode on canvas.

Such is the case at the Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives at 17th and M streets NW. Scenes of domestic tranquility and sisterhood and renderings of moments in a day's work emerge from the convergence of colors in "Three Points of View," on display through April 18.

The artistic points of view come from J. Goncalves from Bahia, Brazil, and Kofi Tyus and Anita Philyaw, both residents of Washington. What links the three artists is the great love and appreciation each has for his heritage, says Harriet Lesser, the exhibit's curator.

"I had seen a lot of expected images," Ms. Lesser says. "I didn't see the mark of the artists so well, and with these [artists] I do."

Mr. Tyus' mark is subtle, yet distinct. Typical is the watercolor "Pulling Together," which depicts a group of fishermen pulling a boat from the sea onto the beach, and the etching "Getting Ready," which shows a girl getting her hair braided.

"This show is a collection of works demonstrating a calm through which people continue to go about their lives in ways that call to mind those of past generations," says Mr. Tyus, a Howard University graduate who also has illustrated books, calendars, posters and articles for magazines and newspapers.

His most ornate work on display is "Dance of the Okumfos," an acrylic painting done in vibrant orange, red, green and lavender. The scene is of an African chieftain sitting under a shade umbrella as festively dressed women dance around him during a celebration. …

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