The International Review of African American Art, Vol. 7 No. 2 (1987)


Art in Public Places
Published in 1987, this 64–page volume of the Hampton University Museum’s The International Review of African American Art is dedicated to the role of public art and street art in African American communities. Included in this issue are many color and black & white photographs of artists’ works, and very insightful commentaries by highly respected art reviewers.

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Samella Lewis, Ph.D.

Associate Editor
M. J. Hewitt, Ph.D.

Consulting Editor, International Affairs
Jimi Lee

Contemporary public art (or street art) is generally created for the enjoyment of urban dwellers. In African American culture, it is an art about the people and for the people. It focuses on the aims and objectives of the total community, on methods of interpreting their common experiences, and on ways of achieving their common goals.

In a general sense, contemporary art in public places includes such installations as store windows, neon decorations, billboards, and numerous other forms of expression through which messages and esthetic inspiration can add visual dynamics to the streets of urban communities.

Effectively rendered and properly received, public art is a valuable agent for enabling communities to assess the realities of their existence, that is, to gain insight into those problems that affect their lives on economic, environmental, political, social and spiritual levels. Public art must be more than a mere commercial vehicle: it must represent a visual quality of expression that documents where people are and what they are becoming. Further, artists who create public art for African American communities must be dedicated to educating the public on the importance of contemporary role–models and great episodes in African American history.

Public art is an art form through which people can interact and share experiences. Some projects depend upon collaborative efforts, while others rely solely upon individual participation. Because its chief concerns are with basic ideas and reactions, public art offers its participants opportunities to work together in determining the focus and direction of works that will affect their lives and the lives of those around them.

—Excerpt from “Art in Public Places: An African American Perspective” by Samella Lewis, Ph.D.

Feature Articles and Contributors:

“George Smith”, Samella Lewis, Ph.D.

“Richard Hunt”, Samella Lewis, Ph.D.

“Elizabeth Catlett”, M.J. Hewitt, Ph.D.

“Mel Edwards”, Watson Hines

“Masayuki Oda”, Robert Biddle

“Maren Hassinger”, Watson Hines

Bibliographic Details

Title:                                      The International Review of African American Art


The International Review of African American Art, Los Angeles, California

Publication Date:              1987

Binding:                                Pictorial Softcover

Book Condition:                Excellent

Book Type:                          Quarterly Magazine


Made possible, in part, by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Shipping Terms:

All books are padded and wrapped carefully.  Most are shipped in a box, unless very small, in which case they will be shipped in a padded envelope.


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