Scripps College's Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery announces exhibition 'Gettin' It Done'

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Scripps College's Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery announces exhibition 'Gettin' It Done'
Samella Sanders Lewis (1923-2022), Field, 1968. Linocut on paper. Scripps College, Samella Lewis Collection. Purchase by the Jean and Arthur Ames Fund and the Hewett Mellon Presidential Discretionary Fund.

CLAREMONT, CA.- On August 26th, Scripps College’s Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery will present “Gettin’ It Done: A Selection of Work by Elizabeth Catlett, Samella Lewis, Betye Saar, Emma Amos, Alison Saar, Letitia Huckaby, LaToya Hobbs and Kenturah Davis.” The exhibition will be featuring 48 works by celebrated Black artists from the 20th and 21st centuries. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, September 16, from 6 to 9 p.m.

In particular, “Gettin’ It Done” will highlight pieces from the Samella Lewis Contemporary Art Collection at Scripps, which focuses on works by women and artists of color. The collection, which honors the legacy of Scripps College Professor Emerita of Art History Samella Lewis, was created in 2007 by former Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Director of the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery Mary MacNaughton, Scripps alumna and artist Alison Saar, and Professor Emerita Susan Rankaitis. Lewis, who died in May 2022, was an art historian, curator and celebrated visual artist. She was the first Black woman to earn a doctorate in fine art and art history at the Ohio State University and the first tenured Black professor at Scripps.

“Through her art, her teaching, her writing, and her advocacy, Dr. Lewis profoundly impacted not only Scripps College, but the entire fields of art and art history,” said Erin M. Curtis, Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Director of the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery. “This exhibition not only celebrates her life, but explores the themes that animated her work, particularly the realities of Black life in the United States during the 20th century.”

In addition to pieces in the Samella Lewis Contemporary Art Collection, the exhibition will feature artworks loaned by the Talley Dunn Gallery of Dallas, the Matthew Brown Gallery of Los Angeles and the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation in Portland, OR. Additional key lenders to the exhibition include LaToya M. Hobbs, Robert E. Holmes, Alitash Kebede, JoAnn and James Newton and the estate of Samella and Paul Lewis.

“The work in the exhibition expresses humanity and hope, while shedding light on the complexities of Black women’s experiences,” said Curtis. “Mentorship is a key theme in the exhibition: Elizabeth Catlett taught Samella Lewis at Dillard University, and Samella Lewis mentored Alison Saar at Scripps College. ‘Gettin’ It Done’ is imbued with Dr. Lewis’ creative force and singular vision.”

Scripps College was founded in 1926 by Ellen Browning Scripps, a pioneering philanthropist and influential figure in the worlds of education, publishing and women’s rights. Today, Scripps is a nationally top-ranked liberal arts college and women’s college with approximately 1,080 students and is a member of The Claremont Colleges in Southern California. The mission of Scripps College is to educate women to develop their intellects and talents through active participation in a community of scholars, so that as graduates they may contribute to society through public and private lives of leadership, service, integrity and creativity.

Scripps College
'Gettin' It Done'
August 26th, 2023 - October 15th, 2023
Opening reception on September 16th from 6 - 9 p.m.

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