After receiving more than 400 entries from across the country, the top winners of the 27th “Best in Show – Carroll Harris Simms National Black Art Competition and Exhibition” were recently announced and will be on view through March 21, 2023, at the African American Museum, Dallas, in historic Fair Park (3536 Grand Ave., Dallas, Texas, 75210). Steve Prince of Williamsburg, VA – whose work of art is titled Hallelujah Anyhow, 2021 – was named “Best in Show” and best in printmaking by jurors of the biennial competition.
In addition, two North Texas artists were top winners including Assandre Jean-Baptiste (Cedar Hill) whose artwork Homecoming, 2022 was the category winner in painting, and Inyang Essien (Addison) whose artwork Faded, 2021, was the category winner in photography. Other category winners were Austen Brantley’s (Detroit, MI) artwork Three Graces, 2022, in sculpture/assemblage; Manasseh Johnson Sr.’s (Converse, Texas) artwork Perseverance, 2022, in drawing; and Mayowa Nwadike’s (New York, NY) artwork Born and Reborn, 2022, in mixed media.
The exhibition features paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures and assemblages by 44 contemporary artists, including eight artists who hail from North Texas. In addition to Essien and Jean-Baptiste, North Texas artists selected include Atinuke Adeleke (Frisco), Stephen Adkins (Ovilla), Chelsea Emuakhagbon (Cedar Hill), Tyra Johnson (Irving), Kev’Ron Madden (Addison) and Nii Narku Thompson (Dallas).
The history of this initiative began in 1976 when the African American Museum, Dallas initiated the Southwest Black Art Competition and Exhibition. The purpose of the juried competition and exhibition stemmed from the Museum’s need to build a distinguished art collection and to provide Black artists in the region a venue to showcase their work.
Over the years, the Southwest Black Art Competition and Exhibition attracted the attention of artists beyond its geographical boundaries. In 1999, the Museum’s board renamed the biennial competition to the “Carroll Harris Simms National Black Art Competition and Exhibition” in honor of Carroll Harris Simms’ outstanding contributions to art and art education.
Simms (1924-2010) was a master sculptor and ceramist, painter, jeweler and author. He was a distinguished professor and educator who helped shape Texas Southern University’s art department as well as the careers of many acclaimed Texas artists.
The African American Museum is open from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Free self-parking is available in nearby lots.
Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, go to aamdallas.org or call 214-565-9026.