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Honoring Black History: The Artists of Zion Union Heritage Museum

February 1, 2019 - March 24, 2019

The Cape Cod Museum of Art (CCMoA) is honored to collaborate with Zion Union Heritage Museum

(ZUHM) to celebrate Black History Month with an exhibition of several of Zion’s resident artists: Michael Alfano, Sean Cassidy, Pamela Chatterton-Purdy, Joseph V. Diggs, Carl Lopes, Robin J. Miller, and Claudia Smith-Jacobs.

“We are excited to put the spotlight on these artists’ beautiful and thought-provoking artworks that inform us of the unique history and contributions of people of color to the Cape,” said Benton Jones, acting director of CCMoA.

ZUHM resident artist Pamela Chatterton-Purdy who has created a series of 37 icons that mark the history of the civil rights movement said, "Lest we forget, the Zion Union Heritage Museum continues to educate that Civil Rights is not a dead issue, especially given the current political climate.” Her icons are all on display at ZUHM and she is represented in this show with an archival print of her recent icon of Emanuel 9, the original of which in the Church in Charleston, South Carolina, where members were brutally murdered in 2015.

The artists in this exhibition curated by Michael Giaquinto are:

Michael Alfano is well-known for creating figurative and surrealistic sculpture that conveys philosophical ideas and abstract concepts. His life-size bronze statue of an African-American/Cape Verdean holding a globe welcomes visitors at the entrance of ZUHM. His bronze head Homo Cosmos is on display here.

Sean Cassidy, a Cape Cod figurative oil painter, displays a series of portrait paintings of famous jazz and blues musicians at ZUHM. In this exhibit, we see a portrait of Mohammad Ali from Cassidy’s Historic Origins series that raises questions about the effect of birthplace on famous persons.

Pamela Chatterton-Purdy, a retired art teacher, has created “Icons of the Civil Rights Movement,” a collection of 37 portraits and events of the movement which are on display at ZUHM. Her husband Rev. Dr. David Purdy, researched and wrote the text that accompany each of the icons. They are also the authors of the book Civil Rights Icons Past and Present.

Joseph V. Diggs, a figurative and abstract artist, is a resident of Osterville whose landscapes and abstract art is often inspired by Micha’s Pond, a beautiful area of his property that his grandfather had established as a vacation residence when segregation was the norm. His work in this show is Joe’s Twin Villa in the Rear View Mirror.

Carl Lopes, retired as head of the Art Department of Barnstable High School, is noted for his striking contemporary art work inspired by African masks and shields. Images in his work are embellished with geometric motifs and designs in high gloss acrylics. His Nevertheless We Rise is on display here.

Robin Joyce Miller, a retired New York City art teacher and poet, focuses on African-American history and poetry. Her mixed media collage quilts from her book, The Faithful Journey- From Slavery to Presidency, co-authored with her husband James W. Miller, are on exhibit at ZUHM. Her Mother to Son, based on a poem by Langston Hughes is on view in this exhibit.

Claudia Smith-Jacobs is a resident of Falmouth whose art is shaped by her multi-cultural heritage. Haitian-American, Cherokee, French, Scotch-Irish, she is focused on injustice in her multi-media work. Her collage/assemblage Are We Still Fighting the Civil War? is exhibited in this show.

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