"Shifting Time: African American Artists 2020-2021"

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"Shifting Time: African American Artists 2020-2021"
Shifting Time cover image: Stephen Arboite and Morel Doucet, Yellow as Gold, 2021. Mixed media (mylar, aerosol paint, ink, tissue paper), indigenous flora and flora, 30 x 22 in. Collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami (MOCA). Photo credit: Pedro Wazzan, © Stephen Arboite and Morel Doucet.

PHILADELPHIA, PA.- The Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art announced the publication of Shifting Time: African American Artists 2020-2021. Co-edited by Klare Scarborough and Berrisford Boothe, this book offers a glimpse into the lives of over 70 selected African American artists during a critical period of turmoil and uncertainty.

Shifting Time contains essays by Berrisford Boothe, Imo Nse Imeh, Dianne Smith, Danny Simmons, Dominic Chambers, Ronald Jackson, and more. The pages are filled with vibrant artwork and heartfelt reflections by Mequitta Ahuja, Tawny Chatmon, Willie Cole, Alfred Conteh, LaToya Hobbs, Martha Jackson Jarvis, Juan Logan, Julie Mehretu, Mario Moore, Debra Priestly, Arvie Smith, Felandus Thames, and many more. The text also includes an illustrated timeline of historical events; poignant excerpts from ‘Shuga and Wata,’ a series of virtual salons organized and hosted by the PFF Collection are included; and memorial tributes to artists and luminaries who passed away during the pandemic.


“In the spring of 2021, Klare Scarborough and Berrisford Boothe, the founding Principal Curator of the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art, approached us with a proposal to produce a book that surveyed the impacts of the COVID pandemic on African American artists. We were immediately interested in supporting the project. Over the course of a year they managed to produce a deeply moving time capsule of a critical period of uncertainty that centers the voices of preeminent Black artists and intellectuals. In doing so, they have not only crafted a book of enduring value, but they have also helped further the mission of the PFF Collection to bring focus to the full range of African American visual creativity and its essential place in the history and discourse of American art.” - Claudia Volpe, Director, Petrucci Family Foundation.

“As you explore the contents of this book, you are peeling back layers of time and revealing an archive of personal creativity during a momentous global event. We hope it gives you cause for reflection of your own place during this period. It may rouse your anger or trigger action. It may inspire your own creativity. But most of all, we hope it will bring you healing and peace.” - Klare Scarborough and Berrisford Boothe, Shifting Time Editors.

“If we look to the artists, in this volume and elsewhere, we will hear the call and response of the world screaming and the artists answering the challenges of the moment. So, by taking on these projects, artists have been able to offer a tangible reaction to questions that no one has yet fully formulated.” - Lewis Tanner Moore, Collector and Shifting Time contributor.

“During periods of stillness in 2020, I reflected on my life and its brevity. I know I will not be here for an eternity, but my art, my writings, and every action I take as a human being will.” - Tawny Chatmon, Artist and Shifting Time contributor.

“When I was overwhelmed by the grief of contending, intimately, with the wild horror of what it was for George Floyd to be suffocated to death on a street corner; or trying to comprehend the utter catastrophe of Elijah McClain’s death; or thinking about the blatant, abject cruelty of the police shooting Breonna Taylor and just leaving her there to bleed out her life onto her living room carpet for 20 minutes – there are some of the art things that I made so that I could keep my heart from becoming a sharp and elevated bitterness.” - vanessa german, Artist and Shifting Time contributor.

“I look at this book as a healing, because people will read the words and say, that’s how I felt too. People will read what artists have been through and understand that the words are real.” - Barbara Bullock, Artist and Shifting Time contributor.

Shifting Time: African American Artists 2020-2021 is supported and published by the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art. It is an 8 x 11” hardcover book that contains 240 pages and 214 illustrations. Shifting Time will be available for purchase on Amazon for $40 in November 2022. All proceeds will be donated to African American arts organizations. Events and programming, TBA.

Founded in 2006, The Petrucci Family Foundation (PFF) actively responds to the needs of the communities it serves. The PFF mission is to support education and create opportunities for Americans at every stage and station of life. The PFF Collection of African American Art is a targeted initiative to bring focus to the full range of African American visual creativity and its essential place in the history and discourse of American art.

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