Africa in the Arts of Philadelphia:
Bullock, Searles, Twins Seven-Seven
February 8 - September 7, 2020
Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia
Barbara Bullock"Animal Healer," 1990, gouache on shaped paper, 67" 40," Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Charles Searles"First Flight," 1982, acrylic on masonite and wood, 89"x47"x46," Jim's of Lambertville.
Africa in the Arts of Philadelphia explores the collaborative cross-fertilization of ideas and assertions of African and African American cultural identity. Barbara Bullock, Charles Searles, and Twins Seven-Seven participated in the activities of the Ile-Ife Black Humanitarian Center, established in 1969 by dancer and choreographer Arthur Hall to offer visual arts, performance, and musical arts classes and programs for the Philadelphia community. Deriving its name from the ancient Yoruba city held to be the site of the world’s creation Ile-Ife focused on educating audiences in traditional African culture and aesthetics and infusing African and African-inspired art forms into contemporary Philadelphia experience. Bullock and Searles formed Ile-Ife’s art department, while Twins Seven-Seven introduced authentic Yoruba culture and aesthetics into its activities. Africa in the Arts of Philadelphia examines the work of these artists and the formative experiences at Ile-Ife that expanded their understanding of the richness of African traditions.