Campus & Community

‘Bridging the Gaps’ conference at the Fogg

3 min read
Artwork by Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, one of the noted artists scheduled to attend the upcoming ‘Bridging the Gaps’ conference, is featured on the program book cover.

The Fogg Art Museum will host “Bridging the Gaps: African American Art Conference 2004” – a two-day symposium sponsored by the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research – on Nov. 5-7. Presenters are invited to explore the generational, methodological, and ideological gaps that exist within the field of African-American art, and examine such gaps that arise from differing definitions of the field of African-American art and art of the African diaspora.

Co-sponsored by the Harvard University Art Museums, “Bridging the Gaps” will include seven panels and a moderated conversation between David Driskell, Distinguished University Professor of Art at the University of Maryland, and Thelma Golden, deputy director for exhibitions and programs at The Studio Museum in Harlem. Professor Kellie Jones of Yale University will moderate the exchange.

A highly regarded artist and scholar, Driskell is cited as one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject of African-American art. He received the National Humanities Medal from President Clinton in 2000. Golden is best known for the controversial 1994 show at the Whitney titled “Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary Art.”

Noted artists scheduled to attend the conference include National Endowment for the Arts winners Carrie Mae Weems and Sam Gilliam; MacArthur Genius Award winners Kerry James Marshall and Deb Willis; Dawoud Bey, whose work was shown in the Whitney Biennial 2000; and Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons.

The registration fee is $100. Student registration with valid ID is $40. To register online, visit, and click on African American Art Conference 2004. For more information, contact Dell M. Hamilton, events and publications manager, at (617) 495-3611, or via e-mail at A detailed list of the panels is below:

  • “Constructing the Canon” will be co-chaired by Richard J. Powell of Duke University and Michael Harris, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
  • “Teaching about African American Art” will be co-chaired by Deborah Willis of New York University and Isolde Brielmier of Vassar College. This panel’s scope includes art history, performance, and visual culture.
  • “A Century of Critical Thinking about African American Art” will be co-chaired by Tritobia Hayes Benjamin and Gwen Everett, both of Howard University.
  • “The Diasporic Element: Expanding the Definition of African American Art” will be co-chaired by Salah Hassan and Cheryl Finley, both of Cornell University.
  • “Artists: Practice and Process” will be co-chaired by Leslie King Hammond, Maryland Institute College of Art, and Franklin Sirmans, independent curator. This panel’s scope includes African, African American, and Caribbean art.
  • “Museological Practice” will be co-chaired by Lowery Stokes Sims and Sandra Jackson, both of The Studio Museum in Harlem. This panel’s scope includes curators, public programming, and collecting.
  • “Sphere of Influence: How Exhibitions Shape Theory and Influence Practice” will be co-chaired by Valerie Cassel Oliver of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.