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For Immediate Release
College Park, MD August 20, 2015 – Beginning September 27, 2015 Delilah W. Pierce Natural Perspective opens at the University of Maryland University College Arts Program Gallery. The show runs to January 3, 2016. On November 8, 2015, from 3 pm to 5 pm, there will be a panel discussion and reception at the College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center featuring Floyd Coleman, Ph.D., Art Historian, Jerry Langley, Art Collector, Author, Wanda Spence, Great-Niece of Artist, and Myrtis Bedolla, Owner, Galerie Myrtis.
Delilah W. Pierce, born in 1904, 34 years after the American Industrial Revolution (1820-1870), was an African American artist and Washington, DC native who, through her body of work, helped to expand western thought about what African American art and subject matter was at the time. Delilah captured what was beautiful, simple, and innocent in the world. Her usage of figurative to abstract subject matter was inspired by her ability to see prosperity and opportunity during Jim Crow and mass lynching. Art critic Judith Means agrees:
“The way she perceives the world, with joy and optimism, and the stunning clarity of her finely-developed aesthetic sense are integral not only to her character but also to the vivid visual textures of her work.”
Join the Arts Program at University of Maryland University College for an art exhibition showcasing the works of Delilah W. Pierce. Delilah W. Pierce also worked in D.C. public schools for more than 25 years to provide artistic training to the next generation of artists.
You are invited to experience the art of Delilah W. Pierce, as well as take a journey through the life and artistic expression of one of Washington, DC’s rediscovered artists, educators, curators, and advocates. To RSVP: www.umuc.edu/artrsvp.
Office of the President
University Arts Program
3501 University Boulevard East, Suite 0144
Adelphi, MD 20783-8000
Delilah W. Pierce helped expand the Black Arts Movement with her figurative and abstract paintings. Her art helped express the diversity within the black aesthetic, during a time where African Americans were exploring the idea of what it meant to be “BLACK” and how that related to the larger mainstream American culture. This was also a time of women fighting for equality.
The Black Arts Movement is often connected with the protests of the 1960’s. What many forget is the groundswell of black publishing houses, magazines journals and art institutions during the time and how the Black Arts Movement led to the creation of many African American studies programs in universities outside of historically black institutions.
In 2009, the Mint Museum of Art published, along with Lois Mailou Jones Pierre-Noel Trust and Carla M. Hanzal (authors) a historical review of Lois Mailou Jones’ life and artistic career. The book is connected with a traveling exhibition. In the book Ms. Jones talks about the 1960’s and how artists like Delilah W. Pierce and poet Maya Angelou were “pioneers in introducing the movement among [their] students.” Click to learn how you can read: Loïs Mailou Jones: a life in vibrant color.
- Lois Mailou Jones: A Life in Vibrant Color at The Women’s Museum Dallas Art News
- Loïs Mailou Jones: A Life in Vibrant Color New York Public Library
Delilah W. Pierce was not only an artist, she was an activist, educator and community leader. Ms. Pierce believed in supporting historically black institutions. She had exhibitions at the Howard University Gallery in 1960, 1963, 1964, 1966, and 1976. Delilah W. Pierce’s Gay Head Cliffs is among their permanent collection. Visit the Howard University Gallery as soon as you can!
The Washington Water Color Association is holding its Spring Art Exhibition from March 5 to May 31 2013 at the Woman’s National Democratic Club. Delilah was an active member during her life and regularly exhibited. Delilah W. Pierce served as their Vice President 1974 ‑ 1976, Treasurer 1978 to 1983, Board Member 1974 ‑ 1983, Elected Honorary Member and Exhibits Chairman in 1983.
In 1980 Delilah W. Pierce’s painting Shorelife-Harborside was featured in Art Voices/South, volume 3.
In 1991 Delilah W. Pierce was honored by the Women’s Caucus of Art Lifetime Achievement Award. Delilah was recognized for her achievement in the visual arts.
In 2001 Delilah W. Pierce was included in Daniel J. Frye’s African American Visual Artists: An Annotated Bibliography of Educational Resource Materials.