No Mo’ Shet! - Pen & Ink 1979 - (for the Black Arts Review)
Back to the Fields – 1991 – Mixed media sculpture
Royalty on U Street -  Fabric Collage - 1985

FROM ARTISTS COLONY TO ART GALLERIES

 

Zenith Gallery got another one of my families started—it was in the loft bed that they taught me and my boyfriend, Enoch, to build, in 1979 that probably brought the greatest change into my life.

 

Not long after moving in I was moving out with the blessing of the colony to make my own home and begin the Thompson family.

 

Five children later, I could not have imagined it any other way.  They have enhanced not only my life but my work and my skills as an artist.  Even as all artists try to deny the biographical influences in their work, the themes of relationships, motherhood, community, and culture were ever present.

 

Simultaneously Miya Gallery stepped up to help exhibit my work as an emerging artist on the new arts landscape in Washington, DC.  Together with my first public show and illustration & graphic design for the “Black Arts Review” Vernard Gray (the director) helped to launch my experience into the burgeoning museum audience that continued to grow through the ’90s—GABA (The Golden Age of Black Artists).  While awaiting his opening I previewed with the emerging Evans-Tibbs Gallery partnering with fellow workshops alumnus Schroeder Cherry.  It was not long afterwards that my illustrations on cards brought me into Sun Gallery of Adams Morgan.  This family of artists nurtured me through the ‘80s bringing “Visions” to empower my work and ultimately creating the Belmont Arts space.  Their representation landed my work in important collections strong exhibits, and meaningful catalogs. Washington bragged of more than 20 Black galleries during this period and I was fortunate enough to exhibit in many of them and sustained by a wonderful circle of new collectors.

 

It proved to be a wonderful beginning for an era of drawing, painting, and soft sculpture that would carry me into what is now the BADC (the Black Artists of DC).  Here the training and education continued as I learned to curate art exhibits and raise my own expectations and standards for my work.

Copyright © 2015 Julee Dickerson-Thompson