Pérez Art Museum Miami acquires works by Vaughn Spann and Theresa Chromati

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Pérez Art Museum Miami acquires works by Vaughn Spann and Theresa Chromati
Theresa Chromati & Susie Kravitz. Photo: WorldRedEye.com

MIAMI, FLA.- On Saturday, February 15, Pérez Art Museum Miami hosted artists, philanthropists, and museum supporters for the seventh annual Art + Soul, which supports the museum’s Fund for African American Art and highlights the vast scope of African American and African Diasporic artists.

PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans revealed the fund’s most recent art acquisitions: The bull is out and my foot is in my mouth (are we staying or leaving)?, a painting by Theresa Chromati, and Marked Man (Mitchell), a mixed media painting by Vaughn Spann. Both artists address themes of African American identity and the politics of life in the moment with personal though also collective subjectivity.

The evening also honored philanthropist and collector Pamela Joyner, whose collection will be displayed in PAMM’s upcoming exhibition opening next month on April 24, Solidarity and Solitary: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection, which highlights the influence that Black artists have had on developing the discourse of abstract art from the 1940s to the present, including artists Norman Lewis, Mark Bradford, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Mel Edwards, Sam Gilliam, Leonardo Drew, and Glenn Ligon.

“With guests joining us from South Florida and across the country, the evening highlighted the importance of this annual gathering. We were honored to host such a beautiful and smart crowd while celebrating art and artists, and the inimitable Pamela Joyner. Pamela and Fred’s collection has become a marker for new narratives in a history of modern and contemporary art that continues to evolve. Pérez Art Museum Miami, as a leader in the presentation of art from Latin America and the Caribbean, believes strongly in the creation of new stories in art history,” said PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans.

Guests enjoyed inventive cocktails and an intimate dinner by celebrity chef Amaris Jones on PAMM’s iconic waterfront terrace and entertainment by Guitars Over Guns, a nonprofit that offers students from disadvantaged backgrounds a powerful combination of music education and mentorship. Following a toast to the acquisition reveal, DJ Pam Jones kept guests moving until an intimate late-night performance by "Best New Artist" Grammy-nominated band Tank and the Bangas in celebration of PAMM and the Fund for African American Art.

Art + Soul attendees were also able to peruse PAMM’s galleries, including Polyphonic: Celebrating PAMM’s Fund for African American Art, an exhibition showcasing a selection of artworks acquired through the fund. On view through July 26, 2020, the exhibition highlights a wide range of works, including paintings, sculptures, and photographs that have since become the museum’s most recognizable pieces, including work by Terry Adkins, Romare Bearden, Kevin Beasley, Ed Clark, Nari Ward, Lorraine O’Grady, Faith Ringgold, Tschabalala Self, Juana Valdes, and more. The title of the exhibition points to the idea of various, distinct artistic voices coming together in a spirit of harmony and solidarity.

Notable guests included Desiree Rogers, former White House Press Secretary; marketing communications pioneer Thomas and Madeleine Burrell; Peter Thomas, formerly of Real Housewives of Atlanta; former Chair and CEO of Time Warner Richard and Laura Parsons; former chair and CEO of Aetna Ron and Cynthia Williams; Dr. Hansel Tookes and Peter Ortega; Miami Television anchor Neki Mohan; artists Sanford Biggers, Chakaia Booker, Christopher Carter, Theresa Chromati, Adler Guerrier, Napoleon Jones-Henderson; Monetta White, Director of the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco; MOCA North Miami director Chana Budgazad Sheldon, Leigh-Ann Buchanan, Webber Charles; Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, Judge Darrin P. Gayles, Marlon and Carla Hill, Arturo Nunez, Rodney M. Miller, Erica Knowles, Reginald Van Lee, and Julia Brown.

PAMM’s Fund for African American Art allows the museum to purchase and showcase contemporary art by African American artists for its permanent collection. Last year, PAMM acquired a large-scale tapestry by Jamaican visual artist Ebony G. Patterson, whose first museum solo exhibition, …while the dew is still on the roses… was on view at PAMM in 2018.

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