FAAAC to host Conversations with Collectors: The Joys of Collecting Black Art

The exhibition Forward Together: African American Art from the Judy and Patrick Diamond Collection was on view at the CMA from October 19, 2022, to April 2, 2023. Photo credit: Victor Johnson / Columbia Museum of Art.

Columbia, S.C. – The Friends of African American Art and Culture (FAAAC) presents Conversations with Collectors: The Joys of Collecting Black Art, featuring collectors Patrick Diamond, Dr. Philip Toussaint, and Marjorie Hammock on Thursday, June 1, at the Columbia Museum of Art (CMA). These collectors will share stories about acquiring works by Black artists and following that passion over many years. The conversation will be moderated by Waltene Whitmire, a founding and current member of the FAAAC board of directors. The event is free, though registration is preferred.

This event is also FAAAC’s annual meeting and includes a reception featuring charcuterie boards from Clarissa’s Kitchen and Catering. Attendees may start or add to their personal art collection through a silent art auction featuring original pieces by local and national Black artists. Throughout the evening, Columbia artist Ija Charles will create in real time a work of art on canvas, which auctioneer William Roberts III will present for sale during a live auction at the end of the program. Charles is a self-taught artist and entrepreneur whose work is inspired by everyday people, diverse samplings from her community, lived experiences, and culture. Her compelling and often whimsical murals dot the landscape in Columbia and surrounding communities.

For nearly 50 years, Patrick Diamond and his wife, Judy, have collected more than 120 pieces by African American artists. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is a former development director of the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture. The CMA recently exhibited works from the Judy and Patrick Diamond collection, including a remarkable selection of works by some of the most significant African American artists of the last century: Benny Andrews, Radcliffe Bailey, Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Sargent Johnson, Jacob Lawrence, Hughie Lee-Smith, Henry Ossawa Tanner, and Leo Twiggs.

Dr. Philip Toussaint is a neurologist with the Lexington Medical Center, a member of the FAAAC board of directors, and a longtime collector of Southern art, including works of many African American artists. A favorite among Toussaint’s acquisitions is a fairly extensive collection of Dave Pottery. David Drake was an enslaved artist who worked in the Edgefield, South Carolina pottery-making district in the early 1800s when Edgefield was a hub for the manufacturing of ceramic stoneware. Dave, who was also a poet, specialized in large storage jars with horizontal slab handles used for large-scale plantation food preservation.

Marjorie Hammock’s art collection is an extension of what she once referred to as “an exploration of her Blackness.” As a retired social worker, civil rights activist, and college professor, Hammock has collected works by Black artists as a source of inspiration and a foundational representation of her essence.

FAAAC presents Conversations with Collectors: The Joys of Collecting Black Art
Thursday, June 1 | 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. | Reception and silent auction at 5:30 p.m. | Conversation at 6:15 p.m. | Live auction at 7:30 p.m. | Free; registration preferred.

This program is supported in part by a general operating and support grant from Central Carolina Community Foundation.

About the FAAAC
Inclusive of all genders, ethnicities, and ages, the FAAAC was established as a member affinity group by the CMA board of directors in June 2011 to attract more diverse populations to the museum as visitors, members, and donors. Its mission is to educate, enrich, and inspire the community and visitors to the state while increasing engagement with members of the community interested in African American art and culture.

About the CMA
The Columbia Museum of Art is a charitable nonprofit organization dedicated to lifelong learning and community enrichment for all. Located in the heart of downtown Columbia, S.C., the CMA ranks among the leading art institutions in the country and is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and creative educational programs. At the heart of the CMA and its programs is its collection, which encompasses 7,000 works and spans 5,000 years of art history. Established in 1950, the CMA now welcomes more than 150,000 visitors annually and is a catalyst for community creativity and education, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds. It is the recipient of a National Medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a National Art Education Association award for its contributions to arts education, a National Park Foundation Award, and two Governor's Awards for the Arts for outstanding contributions to the arts in South Carolina. In order to serve even more audiences, the CMA underwent a transformation. Funded by a successful capital campaign, the two-year renovation project garnered new collection galleries with a progressive thematic layout, new studios for artmaking, cutting-edge program and event spaces, and an entrance on Main Street. Overall, more than 15,000 square feet of functional space were added to the building’s existing footprint. To learn more, visit columbiamuseum.org.

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