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News Release

Date: February 27, 2006
Media Contact: Elizabeth Homan, 301-251-7970; Joyce Jewell, 301-650-1375

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Montgomery College Hosts Exhibit of Rarely Seen Haitian and African Art
Works from the Private Collection of John Fox and Beverly Sullivan

PHOTO EDITORS: For a high-resolution image to accompany this release, click on this link: JacmelCarnivalbyFritzLamour.jpg.               

Packed with carnival fun and luminary insight, Montgomery College’s newest art exhibit, “Heart to Art,” features a rarely seen mix of works of Haitian and African fine art and crafts from the local private collection of John Fox Sullivan and his wife Beverly. The exhibit is on display through March 18 at the College’s Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus Art Gallery, located in the Pavilion of Fine Arts, New York Avenue, Takoma Park, Md. The exhibit is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and by appointment.   

Beverly Sullivan, an alumna of Montgomery College, was approached by the show’s curator, adjunct professor of African art history Francine Farr, to make this fresh and upbeat selection of mostly Haitian works—many of which are original works, such as the Pascale Monnin paintings and frames, the freestanding fers découpés and Nasson sculptures—complemented by African art forms like iron bridewealth blades.

The exhibit features a wide range of media, from painting, metalwork and masks to dolls and effigies, ceramics and appliqués, altar assemblages and shrine installations. The selections from the Sullivan Collection show how closely related, in form and function, Haitian art is to African art, and how much it has also borrowed from the Native American, the French and Iberians.

The Sullivans explored Haiti throughout the 1980s and 1990s. They sought out artists, acquired fine art and crafts, and made friends with Haitians and fellow art collectors from the United States. The couple also collected works on their travels to Kenya, South Africa and Namibia, helping build a bridge between Haiti, one of the prominent African diaspora countries in the New World, and Africa. 

“Heart to Art” opened with a videotaped interview of Beverly Sullivan by Professor Farr, the exhibit curator. Copies of the videotape, which also catalogues and documents the exhibition installation, are available on request along with an exhibition checklist and announcement.

For more information or to schedule an appointment to view the exhibit, contact Priscilla Walker at 301-650-1368 or Maureen Kohl at 301-650-1375.

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md.  The College serves more than 55,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.

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