Inez Nathaniel Walker
Visionary Folk Artist

An exhibition in observance of Black History Month and Women’s History Month
“Her Story: Self-Taught African-American Women Artists”

February 9- March 5, 2004
Auburn University Art Department’s Biggin Gallery opens “Her Story: Self-Taught African American Women Artists” in observance of Black History Month and Women’s History Month. “It is a comprehensive survey exhibition of self-taught African American women artists over the last thirty to forty years in the United States,” says exhibition curator Jim Furr, professor of art. “We are fortunate that the center of African-American self taught art is the southeastern United States including Alabama. This is a rare opportunity to view work by all of these artists in the context of one curated exhibition.”
Artists include: Clementine Hunter, Mary T. Smith, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Minnie Evans, Sarah Mary Taylor, Yvonne Wells, Bessie Harvey, Beverly Buchanan, Annie Lucas, Mozell Benson, Annie Tolliver, Bernice Sims, Betty Sue Matthews, Sister Mary Proctor, Juanita Rogers, Mary Whitfield, Nellie Mae Rowe and Inez Nathaniel Walker.

“Only eight of the 18 women in the exhibition are living and still producing art,” says Furr.
A number of significant pieces are featured in the exhibition including: “The Tongues,” an early Bessie Harvey root sculpture portraying the souls she saw in the branches and roots; a rare crucifixion scene, “Christ on Cross” by Clementine Hunter; five portraits of women drawn by Inez Nathaniel Walker made at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, Bedford Hills, NY in the early 1970s, and a quilt, “Portrait Of A King II,” depicting the life of Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement by living artist Yvonne Wells. Mary T. Smith’s untitled triangular-shaped painting on a wooden panel is a waving self-portrait meant to greet friends and neighbors by her home.

This exhibition is the result of many partners: Auburn University’s Department of Art, Biggin Gallery, the College of Liberal Arts, the Women’s Studies Program, The Center for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and the Black Student Union.

The exhibition opened Monday, February 9 and will run through to Friday, March 5. A special opening celebration will be held in Biggin Gallery, 101 Biggin Hall, Wednesday, February 18 at 4:30 p.m. (C.S.T.) with remarks by Georgine Clarke, Visual Arts Program Manager, Alabama State Council on the Arts. Many of the artists will be present.

Lenders to the exhibition include: Don Bayley, Curator:, Mozell Benson, Georgine and Jack Clarke, Wesley and Missy Cochran, The Cochran Collection, John Cram, Blue Spiral 1 (Asheville, N.C.), William Dunlop, Jim Furr, Mark Jones, The Lamar Dodd Art Center, LaGrange College, Collection of Barbara Louviere, Annie Lucas, Keith and Tess Seitz, Annie Tolliver, Marcia Weber Art Objects (, Yvonne Wells.

The gallery is located at 101 Biggin Hall, Auburn University campus at the corner of South College and West Magnolia streets. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., open during lunch and by appointment by contacting Barb Bondy, Exhibitions and Lectures Coordinator, Biggin Gallery,  334-844-3483 or

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