Busboys and Poets, Langston Room, 2021 14th St NW, Washington

May 21st, 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Women Collectors of Color is a panel discussion highlighting local Women of color and their visual art collections. Discussion topics center around the importance of collecting, engaging artists, connecting with their communities and navigating through the “art-world.” The panel discussion features collectors, Leslie King-Hammond, Diane Whitfield-Locke, Changamire, Myrtis Bedolla and moderated by Independent curator, Rhea Beckett.

This program is in conjunction with In the Artist Studio at Busboys and Poets

Leslie King-Hammond, PhD is a scholar, curator, author, artist, and currently a Senior Fellow with the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation. Professional experience includes Professor Emerita and Founding Director for the Center for Race and Culture, Dean of Graduate Studies, Project Director - Ford/Phillip Morris Fellowships for Artist of Color, Maryland Institute College of Art; former Chair and member of Board of Directors, Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, past President, College Art Association (1996 -1998). King Hammond has curated major exhibitions at the Museum of Biblical Art, Met Life Gallery, Studio Museum in Harlem, Ceres Gallery, Spelman Art Museum, Baltimore Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of African American History and Culture. King Hammond’s artworks have been included in exhibitions at the SmIthsonian, New York Historical Society, James E. Lewis Museum,  and the Howard University Gallery of Art. She also actively lectures and has published numerous essays, catalogs, brochures and books on American art and artists.

Dianne Whitfield-Locke is a collector. Her goal is to search for African-American artists who are rarely seen in museums and to give them more exposure. “I remember reading about the art competition with the Harmon Foundation and the events at the most famous Atlanta Annuals. I delight in loaning works from my collection to museums and universities. I have loaned art to numerous exhibitions and the Art in Embassy with the United States State Department. The ultimate goal is to use the  collection as an educational tool for adults and children.” Dianne Whitfield-Locke has over 150 artworks in her collections.

Changamire is a jazz singer who was raised on the music of Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn and Dinah Washington. She began singing at jam sessions and receiving vocal instruction around the D.C. area. Glenn Turner (Gil Scott Heron) was her first vocal coach, and she later studied with vocalist Ronnie Wells and saxophonist Charlie Hampton. In 2001, Changamiré released her critically acclaimed debut album, Only Human. AllAboutJazz.com said, "It's difficult to nail down just what makes her voice so darn compelling. Maybe it's the comfort and familiarity, maybe the confiding honesty. Whatever the case, it works exceptionally well." A recipient of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities' Artist Fellowship, Changamiré released her second album, Love, in 2014 and has performed since 2007 with a world class ensemble of musicians. She has collected art since the late 90s and has encouraged the act of collecting and fostered art appreciation through soirées and programs she has hosted over the years.

Myrtis Bedolla, Founding Director of Galerie Myrtis a contemporary fine art gallery and advisory located in Baltimore, Maryland. The gallery specializes in twentieth and twenty-first century American art with a focus on work created by African American artists. Bedolla possesses over 30 years of experience as an advisor to private collectors, and public and private institutions in the acquisition and deaccession of fine art; and provides professional curatorial services, lectures and educational programming to corporate, civic and arts organizations.

Rhea Beckett is an arts administrator, artist, and independent curator based in Washington, DC.  Beckett graduated from Fisk University with a degree in Art. Beckett received her MFA in Curatorial Practice at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 2016. Following, she served as a Content Producer for MuseWeb as a part of their flagship program, Be Here – a platform for publishing cultural stories. Her curatorial project, Baltimore Sounds, investigated the underground music culture in Baltimore. She was former Grants and Legislative Affairs Specialist for the Washington, D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Currently, Beckett serves as Registrar of The Howard University Gallery of Art where she oversees the permanent collection consisting of more than 4,000 artworks.