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Lecture & Late Night
with Melissa Messina

Thursday, July 21, 2016 5:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Mildred Thompson5:30 p.m. Wine Reception

6:00 p.m. Lecture
7:00 p.m.  Late Night




Or call 501-372-4000 for tickets

Searching for Mildred Thompson: An Artist’s Legacy Project

Melissa Messina, a seasoned arts professional and curator of the Mildred Thompson Estate, will discuss her curatorial venture to reclaim a lost figure of American abstraction, Mildred Thompson. Through the lens of Messina’s passionate investigation of Thompson’s life and oeuvre, starting from her years as Thompson’s student and mentee through to her recent efforts to exhibit, educate and promote her work, the audience will learn about a prolific yet under-recognized artistic voice.

Mildred Thompson (1936-2003) transcended art world narratives prescribed for her race, gender and generation, focusing instead on a life-long exploration of abstraction for its ability to convey universal themes. In this discussion, Messina will present images of dynamic works from Thompson’s various series - ranging in media from painting and drawing, to printmaking and sculpture - from the early 1960s to today. She will follow the arc of Thompson’s creative life as a young artist at Howard University, to her early career living as an expatriate in Europe, and finally to her later years as a working artist, art magazine editor and educator in Atlanta, GA. Messina will also explore recurrent themes and imagery in the work; famous cultural figures who were influential to the artist; and Thompson’s trials and tribulations as an African American female artist working solely in the language of abstraction in the latter half of the twentieth century. Thompson’s legacy will be addressed from both a personal and academic perspective, ultimately describing a unique American artist whose creative impetus and influence are only now being more fully examined and honored.

Stay after the lecture and tour the galleries, enjoy dinner at Best Impressions and shop in The Museum Shop! For restaurant reservations, please call 501-907-5946. The Arkansas Arts Center will be open until 9 p.m.

Location: Alice Pratt Brown Atrium, Galleries, Museum Shop, Best Impressions Restaurant
Fees: Free for members, $10 for non-members
Contact: 501-372-4000
Calendar: AAC Calendar
Category: Lectures + Conversations
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