The Object Tells a Story: African American Folk Art from Florida Exhibit

January 20 - February 28, 2014

Authentic artwork/objects from local St. Augustine residents and local vernacular artists.

Behind Flagler College
(904) 826-8530
  • Please Note: This event is from 2014.

    Exhibition at the Crisp-Ellert Art Museum entitled, The Object Tells a Story: African American Folk Art from Florida. The works in this exhibition highlight a sense of community by reflecting on both personal truths as well as the collective history of the African-American experience.

    Who are the Artists? This exhibition brings together a selection of works by four well-known African American vernacular artists from Florida: Alynne Harris, Mary Proctor, Ruby C. Williams and Purvis Young. Interspersed throughout the exhibition will are objects lent by members of St. Augustine's African American community, including paintings, quilts, dolls and ceramics.

    Also, students from Ketterlinus and Osceola Elementary Schools donated artwork they created in recent workshops with Ruby C. Williams at Fort Mose Historic State Park. Recorded interviews as well as written statements by each community lender will be displayed alongside their chosen objects.

    About the Exhibit: Each piece makes use of found objects including house paint or acrylic on plywood, canvas or discarded doors, scraps of wood, fabric and other detritus found around the house and yard. The artwork touches on subjects from religion and history, race and urban development to joy and death. Each piece demonstrates an inherent narrative quality as well.

    There will be objects created by more well-known artists on display as well to provide a historical and cultural context for folk art. Through these objects visitors can interpret the African-American experience in St. Augustine and their changing role in the cultural heritage of the city.

    "The Object Tells a Story" will open in concert with the City of St. Augustine's exhibition, "Journey: 450 Years of the African-American Experience," on view at the Visitor's Center, along with several other venues throughout the city.

    This exhibition has been generously supported by a grant from The Community Foundation of Northeast Florida. Further in-kind support has been provided by the City of St. Augustine and Fort Mose Historic State Park.

    Admission: FREE

    Where? The Crisp-Ellert Art Museum located at 48 Sevilla Street St. Augustine, FL 32084. (Adjacent to the Ringhaver Student Center).

    When? Opening on January 20th until February 28th, 2014. Museum hours are Mon - Fri: 10 am - 4 pm

    The Crisp-Ellert Art Museum hopes that the community involvement of this exhibition will help to redefine the space of the museum and make it more actively engaged with generating dialogue within the larger community about history, art and the local community. Also, by illuminating and celebrating the ties between what is widely held as "folk art" and the objects and artworks lent by St. Augustinians, the museum hopes to create a lasting conversation about the significance of objects.

    For more information on this exhibit please contact Julie Dickover at (904) 826-8530 or visit

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