Dates: November 16, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Join us for inspiring end-of-the-semester presentation by an artist who was named a 2014 USA James Baldwin Fellow. This special event features a guided tour of Birch’s twelve large-scale portraits from the series Witnessing New Orleans, now on view in the exhibition “Face to Face.”
Willie Birch was born in New Orleans in 1942. He received a BA from Southern University in New Orleans in 1969 and a MFA in art education from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore in 1973. After a brief incursion into abstraction, he began a long and honest search for his own personal voice, studying Western Art, African philosophy, the music of jazz and the legacy of African American artists. It led him back to his own roots, New Orleans and its complex heritage and culture, and to the tradition of the narrative.
Birch's work is imbued with powerful political, sociological and spiritual meaning. His latest work, a series of large-scale paintings made in acrylic and charcoal on paper, documents and celebrates the people and spirit of New Orleans. Begun in color, and later done in a very distinctive black and white technique, these works capture the vibrant rituals and spirit of New Orleans in street parades, second lines and the revelry of Zulu but also the harshness, dignity, uniqueness and beauty of everyday life.