DIASPORA STORIES: SELECTIONS FROM THE CCH POUNDER COLLECTION
By P. Andrews-Keenan
CCH Pounder’s contemporary art collection is showcased in what many might think an incongruous space, The DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center. The works in Diaspora Stories: Selections From the CCH Pounder Collection are culled from the award winning actress’ New Orleans home and are not works from long deceased Black masters. This is a who’s who of today’s contemporary artists from Kehinde Wiley to Robert Pruitt; and from Ronald Jackson to Mickalene Thomas to Rockford native Harmonia Rosales. It confirms that Pounder, over her more than four decades of collecting, has both an eye, and some impressively high ceilings. An immense oil painting of Winnie Mandela by South African artist Loyiso Mkize greets you as you enter Diaspora Stories, no doubt a nod to Pounder playing the icon in 2004’s Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story.
The exhibition also showcases the depth and breadth of Diaspora artists, something particularly important to the Guyana native. Pounder has been extensively involved with the arts as a patron, collector, gallery owner and museum founder. Her collection consists of Caribbean and African artists and artists of the African Diaspora.
The exhibition includes works by Jamaican Ebony Patterson, South African artist Loyiso Mkize and Cape Verdean-American Tony Ramos. Pounder also showcased a piece by the late Geoffrey Holder that was as off-the-minute as the “Cola Man’ himself.
She thanked the DuSable for incorporating Black living history within their walls, and for taking the leap to transform their iconic entrance into a contemporary art gallery. Congratulations to the curatorial team at the DuSable for flipping the script. The venue may not be avant-garde, but the exhibit certainly is. And you can soak up a little history in the process.
Catch it during EXPO Chicago’s South Side Openings in April. Pigment International is a media sponsor to Expo Chicago.
And for those who asked the CCH stands for Carol Christine Hilaria.
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