Saturday, October 2, 2010

Winston-Salem State University's Diggs Gallery to celebrate its 20th anniversary

Winston-Salem State University's (WSSU) Diggs Gallery will celebrate its 20th anniversary on Friday, October 15, 2010, with an evening of art, dinner, jazz and poetry.

Hosted by Chancellor Donald J. Reaves and Dr. Deborah R. Reaves, the reception will begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner and a program at 7:00 p.m. Former artists who have been featured in past Diggs Gallery exhibitions will be in attendance.

“Have Art, Will Travel – Remembering The Past, Investing In The Future,” is the theme for this 20th anniversary celebration. Attendees will travel through time with a festive tour through the Diggs Gallery by costumed actors from WSSU’s Drama Department. Pride and Dignity from the Hill: A Celebration of the Historic Happy Hill Community, an art exhibit inspired by Winston-Salem’s oldest African American Community, will also be on view. This exhibition pays homage to the struggle and progress of all African Americans through a vibrant interplay of stories and family photos from Happy Hill intermixed with important works by nationally celebrated artists.

Diggs Gallery

Diggs Gallery is named for James Thackeray “T” Diggs, Jr. (1915-1989), a 1934 graduate of Winston-Salem State, a painter and a former WSSU art professor for more than 40 years. The gallery is the major cultural center at Winston-Salem State University and offers one of the largest exhibition spaces dedicated to the arts of Africa and the African Diaspora in North Carolina. Exhibitions, publications and programs address abroad range of artistic expression, with special concentration on African-American and regional art.
The Joe Robinson Quartet will provide the jazz. Robinson, who grew up in the Happy Hill Community himself, has captivated audiences with his music for 40 years and is recognized as a musical pioneer. James Funches also grew up in Happy Hill and is a visual artist as well as an accomplished saxophonist. Several local poets will perform their works to round out the evening.

“Diggs is a cultural meeting place where tens of thousands have been inspired over the years,” said Belinda Tate, director of the gallery. “We are inviting the community to come out and take part in this very special, one-time celebration. It is not only for arts patrons, but for all of us who believe that art can bridge cultures and broaden our understanding of the world around us.”
Tickets for the 20th Anniversary Celebration are $50. For ticket information please call 336‐750‐2458, e‐mail The Gallery relies on donations to provide activities and exhibitions related to the visual arts for the community.

Diggs Gallery, one of the South’s leading showcases dedicated to African and African‐American art, is located on the lower level of the O’Kelly Library on the campus of Winston‐Salem State University, 601 South Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Winston‐Salem, N.C. The gallery is a major cultural center at Winston‐Salem State and offers one of the largest exhibition spaces dedicated to the arts of African and the African Diaspora in North Carolina. In 2007, the gallery was identified as one of the top 10 African‐ American galleries in the nation. For more information visit the website: ###

CONTACT: Nancy Young Director of Public Relations 336-750-8764 (office) 336-413-1472 (mobile) Belinda Tate Diggs Gallery Director 336-750-2460 October 1, 2010. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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