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Romare Bearden — Beat of a Different Drum Exhibit

Black History Month is kicking off in Fayetteville this year with the Romare Bearden Beat of a Different Drum exhibit. Original prints from Bearden’s only published children’s book, Li’l Dan, The Drummer Boy: A Civil War Story, will be the highlight of the Fayetteville/Cumberland County Arts Council. Featuring twenty-six original watercolors created by Bearden for the book, there will also be text panels with audio narration by Maya Angelou.

Join the Cumberland County Art's Council for Romare Bearden Beat of a Different Drum for Black History Month

© Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.

Li’l  Dan, the Drummer Boy: A Civil War Story was published posthumously in September of 2003. The book tells the story of Li’l Dan, a slave on a Southern plantation. He loves to play his drum. When a company of Union soldiers announces the slaves have been set free, Dan has no place to go, so he follows the soldiers, who make him their mascot. When Confederate soldiers attack, Dan discovers that he is the only one who can save his friends.

Join the Cumberland County Art's Council for Romare Bearden Beat of a Different Drum for Black History Month

©Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

LIL-DAN

©Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

The free exhibition is open from January 22 through March 5, 2016, during regular gallery hours. An array of dynamic programming is planned around this exhibit, including a lecture by Diedra Harris-Kelly, Co-Director of the Romare Bearden Foundation in New York City, performance of an original play entitled The Color of Courage, lectures and music programs from the Fayetteville State University Fine Arts Department and a drum workshop for youth. Several historical components will be included in the display, including an original Civil War drum, a reproduction Union Soldier’s Uniform, a southern Civil War-era female outfit, a bayonet and an original painting of the Fayetteville arsenal before it was destroyed in 1865.

Join the Cumberland County Art's Council for Romare Bearden Beat of a Different Drum for Black History Month

©Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Join the Cumberland County Art's Council for Romare Bearden Beat of a Different Drum for Black History Month

©Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Join the Cumberland County Art's Council for Romare Bearden Beat of a Different Drum for Black History Month

©Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

“This exhibition and related programming offers a fitting celebration of  an artist hailed as one of the most creative and original visual artists of the twentieth century, Romare Bearden,” says Mary Kinney, Director of Marketing at the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County. “Additionally, we’re proud that the exhibit ties together many cultural components – Civil War and African-American history, visual arts and theater.”

About Romare Bearden 

Romare Howard Bearden was born on September 2, 1911, to (Richard) Howard and Bessye Bearden in Charlotte, North Carolina, and died in New York City on March 12, 1988, at the age of 76. His life and art are marked by exceptional talent, encompassing a broad range of intellectual and scholarly interests, including music, performing arts, history, literature and world art. Bearden’s work is included in many important public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and The Studio Museum in Harlem, among others. He has had retrospectives at the Mint Museum of Art (1980), the Detroit Institute of the Arts (1986), as well as numerous posthumous retrospectives, including The Studio Museum in Harlem (1991) and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (2003).

About The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County

The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County was founded in 1973. As a link between artists, arts and cultural organizations and the community, the nonprofit agency administers programs in partnership with a variety of local agencies to stimulate community development through the arts. The Arts Council supports individual creativity, cultural preservation, economic development and lifelong learning through the arts.

About the Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, not-for-profit organization responsible for positioning Fayetteville/Cumberland County as a destination for conventions, sporting events and individual travel. For additional information, visit www.visitfayettevillenc.com or call 1-800-255-8217.

Learn More about Romare Bearden Park located in Uptown Charlotte.

Visit:

The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County is located at 301 Hay Street, Fayetteville, NC

Romare Bearden Park — Charlotte, NC

In honor of Black History Month in North Carolina, I’m going to kick things off with Romare Bearden Park located in Uptown Charlotte. (Not to worry, Handmade NC will be sharing more about the life and works of Mr. Bearden later this month.) This 5.4 acre public park is named in honor of Charlotte born artist, Romare Bearden, and opened August 2013.

When life has been hectic, Bearden park is a spot I find myself at time and time again. Always changing, I like sit and study the sections while I host an internal debate on which pieces of Bearden’s work are represented in different sections as I stroll or sit on one of the many benches available to visitors. My husband works one block away from this gorgeous spot and it is one of our favorite meeting places for lunch.

Bearden was born in 1911 in his great-grandparents’ house at the corner of Second (now MLK Jr. Boulevard.) and Graham Street in Uptown, a short walk from his namesake park which is based on Bearden’s collages and paintings, a creative music “playground” and a colorful waterfall that has become a popular photo backdrop. Plants and flowers were planned to bring to life the work of Bearden through nature. Among the lush landscaping, you find fitness classes, impromptu jam sessions from local musicians, workday lunch breaks, romantic strolls, planned festivals, and inspiration.

“The park design is based on the work of public artist Norie Sato. Her concepts were inspired by Bearden’s multimedia collages where he used memory, experiences and tradition as the basis of his work. For example, the main pathway that bisects the park from Church Street to the main plaza of the future Charlotte Knights Ballpark is named the Evocative Spine, named as such to represent the way Bearden created his work by ‘evoking’ his childhood memories. Two other features of the park, Madeline’s and Maudell’s gardens, represent how Bearden used the memory of the beautiful garden’s kept by his mother and grandmother to inspire his art.” – Charlotte Center City Partners


Evoking Bearden and his use of memory as triggers for past experience, the elements of the park represents how he worked and the imagery he used to channel the spirit of his life and artwork.

To learn more about Romare Bearden Park and the concepts behind it’s development, please visit the Bearden Foundation.

VISIT: 

Romare Bearden Park is located at 300 S. Church Street, Charlotte, NC.

Many thanks to James Willamor, founder of Croquet Records, a nonprofit record label and songwriter incubator focused on developing and recording new and emerging artists in North Carolina, for the stunning images of Romare Bearden Park used in this post.