The Museum of African American Art
One of BAIA Foundation’s 2022 initiatives is instituting marketing assistance for African American Museums and Cultural Centers.
“Generally speaking, the work is never finished.”
—Dr. Samella Lewis
Although she transitioned from this life on May 27, 2022, Dr. Samella Lewis’s work continues on through her legacy in The Museum of African American Art in Los Angeles, which she founded in 1976. She gathered with other like-minded artists, business owners, and community leaders to create the nonprofit to inspire awareness and support for African-American art. Dr. Lewis served as the museum’s director for the first decade since it’s opening, honoring and uplifting the preservation of art and experiences of African descendants. Afterward, she remained an active board member for a few years, supporting the museum’s mission with educational and cultural programs and art exhibitions.
The Godmother of African-American Art, Dr. Samella Lewis was an internationally recognized artist, an art historian, author, activist, educator and leading voice of African America artists and their cultural experiences. Her artwork is featured in The Museum of African American Art and her beliefs about art echo throughout each of her pieces, reminding us that “art can and should be a part of our everyday lives.” She believed this to be especially true for children, but that they shouldn’t be given coloring books because it restricts their creativity and originality. In honor of her passing, MAAA is accepting donations for the Samella Lewis Scholarship Fund At Scripps College.
At the Museum of African American Art, visitors can view Dr. Lewis’s art by appointment, along with their current exhibition, Art by Leon Washington, which features the art of an unhoused artist in need of support. You can learn more about Leon and donate here. This is just one of many examples of how MAAA upholds Dr. Samella Lewis’s vision and selfless acts of love in the pursuit of bringing awareness to the side of artists that many don’t see, but are very prevalent in the symbolism of their work. Along with the various art exhibits, visitors can also shop the MAAA store for a selection of items highlighting African American art and culture. Supporting the museum store helps keep MAAA’s exhibitions and cultural and educational programs free to the public.
THE BLACK ART IN AMERICA (BAIA) FOUNDATION is a 501c3 organization that applies what we’ve learned over our 12 years as a multifaceted arts company to facilitate the growth of artists while cultivating the relationships and opportunities that bring Black artists and communities together.
We invite you to become a monthly supporter of the BAIA Foundation. Starting at just $3 a month, YOU become a stakeholder and begin to help us transform lives through art. We are growing the BAIA team and will use your contributions to hire more team members for the purpose of creating more educational and marketing resources for schools and universities about african american artists both past and present. Such art initiatives and educational programming like Blacklite with Steve Prince, Relating to Art with Dr. Kelli Morgan, and BAIA BITS would not be possible without the ongoing support of our Patreon members. Please consider becoming a monthly Patreon member today!
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