SF African-American Leaders to Tour Art of Black Power


A host of prominent African-American arts and civic leaders will come together for the first time Thursday in San Francisco to tour an exhibit of black power at the de Young museum, museum officials said Wednesday.

The exhibit "Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power: 1963-83," opened in November and runs through March 15.

"It's incredibly timely," Miriam Newcomer, spokeswoman of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, said. "We're still dealing with issues of race and inequality."

Mayor London Breed and former Mayor Willie Brown are among the leaders who will be speaking starting at about 2:30 p.m. at the exhibit at the de Young at 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive in Golden Gate Park.

At least two Bay Area artists have work in the exhibit and will be on the tour. Mike Henderson is an artist, filmmaker and musician whose work looks at how music impacts culture and art, especially in challenging times.

Richard Mayhew's work is also featured in the exhibition, which heralds art that was created by black artists to promote solidarity, strength and resistance.

Other prominent people attending the tour include Jimmie Fails, lead actor in the film "The Last Black Man in San Francisco" and Joe Talbot who wrote and directed the film.

Others joining in include Belva Davis, current Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco board member; Frankie Gillette, also a FAMSF board member and Linda Parker Pennington, a commissioner for the San Francisco Arts Commission.

The exhibition will be open as the leaders speak. Visitors are welcome to listen in. The tour is private.

The exhibition includes nearly 150 works by more than 65 artists and some like that by Henderson and Mayhew are closely connected to the Bay Area. Forty-two new works are being shown for the first time at the de Young.

General admission tickets are free each Saturday, at least through the end of the exhibition. Tickets to the exhibition each Saturday are $10. The museum is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. It's closed most Mondays but open on select holidays.

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