“BEUTIFUL” Irony

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October 2018

About the Exhibit

GAZING UPON THE HANGING TARP AND EXPOSED BEAMS OF THE NEWLY OPENED DOWNING-GROSS CULTURAL ARTS CENTER, ARTIST THOMAS HEATH REFLECTED ON THE MEMORIES OF HIS CHILDHOOD AND HIS
GRANDMOTHER, BEULAH FOX WHO WAS THE ONLY AFRICAN AMERICAN EMPLOYEE AT THE ALL-WHITE WALTER REED SCHOOL LOCATED ON THE CORNER OF 24 TH STREET AND WICKHAM AVENUE. HEATH AND HIS SIBLINGS, LINDA CRAIG AND AUDREY BOLDEN, OFTEN HELPED FOX CLEAN THE VERY SCHOOL THAT THEY WOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO ATTEND.

50 YEARS AFTER THE PASSING OF THEIR GRANDMOTHER, AND 10 YEARS AFTER THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE DOWNING-GROSS CULTURAL ARTS CENTER, FOX’S DESCENDANTS RETURN TO CURATE A STORY OF “BEUTIFUL” IRONY. THIS IS THE STORY OF A WOMAN WHO “LAUGHED WHEN SHE TALKED, WAS EXTREMELY EMPATHETIC, RELIGIOUS [SHE WAS A MEMBER OF ZION BAPTIST CHURCH UNDER REVEREND DAY], AND FAMILY ORIENTED”, AND THE RECOMPENSE GAINED FROM HER GRANDSON DISPLAYING HIS ART IN THE VERY BUILDING THAT HE WAS NOT ALLOWED TO ATTEND AS A CHILD. OF COURSE, THIS BUILDING IS NOW THE DOWNING-GROSS CULTURAL ARTS CENTER- A RE-PURPOSED SPACE THAT CELEBRATES THE DIVERSITY OF THE COMMUNITY AND IS OPEN TO ALL! THE EXHIBIT WILL BE COMPOSED OF THE ARTWORK OF NEW YORK-BASED ARTIST THOMAS HEATH OF THE HEATH GALLERY AND PERSONAL ARTIFACTS FROM THE HEATH FAMILY.

WHILE THE INCREDIBLE ARTWORK IS MORE THAN AN INCENTIVE TO VISIT THE EXHIBIT, THE POWERFUL NARRATIVE AND HISTORICAL RELEVANCE ARE REASONS WHY IT SHOULD NOT BE MISSED. THE RECEPTION was OCTOBER 5, 2018 FROM 6:30-9:00 PM WHERE YOU Could COME AND MEET THOMAS HEATH AND FAMILY AS THEY SHAREd THEIR STORY AND ART WITH THE COMMUNITY.