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Emma Amos. Photo by Becket Logan.
Writer: Madison Bledsoe,
Contact: Michael Lachowski,, 706-542-9078

Georgia Museum of Art to hold annual Black History Month dinner

Athens, Ga. — The Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia will host its annual Black History Month dinner and awards ceremony on Feb. 26 at 6:30 p.m., at the museum. The event, “Hallowed Ground: Sites of African American Memory,” will honor two African American contributors to art and culture in Georgia: Emma Amos and Michael L. Thurmond.
Tickets are $55 for members of the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art and $75 for non-members and can be purchased at Mae Castenell is chair of this year’s event.
Shawnya Harris, the museum’s new Brenda and Larry Thompson Curator of African American and African Diasporic Art, will lead a gallery talk at 6:30 p.m., on the subject of Amos’ work. Dinner and the awards ceremony begin at 7:30 p.m. and will feature a performance by the UGA African American Choral Ensemble, as directed by Dr. Gregory Broughton.
This year’s event echoes the national theme of Black History Month 2016, which celebrates the numerous sites throughout the United States where African Americans have made history as essential to the fabric of African American accomplishments.
The 2016 Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Award will go to artist Emma Amos for her contribution to visual art in Georgia. Since her debut art exhibition, in Atlanta in 1960, Amos has had a successful career in painting, printing, weaving, textile design, craft, illustration and art education. Her work is characterized by a complex use of color, composition and abstract representations; it has also focused heavily on the historic representation of black subjects in art. Amos’ work has been exhibited internationally and at a number of major American museums, and has won numerous awards and grants. The Georgia Museum of Art is in the process of planning a major retrospective of her work.
Michael L. Thurmond, a native of Clarke County, will receive the 2016 Lillian C. Lynch Citation for his dedication to cultural education and service. Thurmond has distinguished himself as an attorney, author, lecturer and public servant during his long career in Georgia. He has served on the Georgia General Assembly, as Georgia Labor Commissioner and as Dekalb County Superintendent. During his time in office, Thurmond provided major tax relief to his constituents and effective plans for growing the workforce. He currently serves on the Board of Curators at the Georgia Historical Society.
“The Thompson Award and the Lillian Lynch Citation reflect the Georgia Museum of Art and the University of Georgia’s commitment to celebrating the rich contributions of culture, education and service by African-Americans,” said Harris. “The Friends and staff of the Georgia Museum of Art are excited about the opportunity to honor such great achievers.”
The presenting sponsor for this year’s event is Morgan Stanley. Other sponsors include: Valerie Aldridge; Lacy Middlebrooks and Thomas G. Camp; Kathy Prescott and Grady Thrasher; the Athens (GA) Chapter, The Links, Incorporated; Dr. and Mrs. Louis A. Castenell Jr.; David and Becky Matheny; Julie and Ira Roth; the UGA Alumni Association; the UGA Office of Institutional Diversity; Norman and Peg Wood; Dr. L. Bigelow; Sige and Melanie Burden; Dr. Claire Clements and Dr. Robert Clements; Dr. and Mrs. Mark Dawkins; Cynthia S. Harbold; Gail Hurley; Dr. Craig H. Kennedy and Ms Tiina Hyvønen; Marian and Carl Mullis; Edgar and Betty Myrtle; Chris and Sarah Peterson; Charles Pinckney; Dr. and Mrs. Robert A. Pratt; Margie Spalding; and Kendell and Tony Turner. Event partners are the Athens Printing Company, Barron’s Rental Center and Epting Events.

High-resolution images available upon request from
Museum Information
Partial support for the exhibitions and programs at the Georgia Museum of Art is provided by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. The Georgia Council for the Arts also receives support from its partner agency, the National Endowment for the Arts. Individuals, foundations and corporations provide additional museum support through their gifts to the University of Georgia Foundation. The Georgia Museum of Art is located in the Performing and Visual Arts Complex on the East Campus of the University of Georgia. The address is 90 Carlton Street, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga. 30602-1502. For more information, including hours, see or call 706.542.4662.
Copyright © 2016 Georgia Museum of Art, All rights reserved.

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