Black history celebrated through professional, student art

Black history celebrated through professional, student art

READING, Pa. - Black History Month is time to reflect on the culture of African Americans. Art lovers can soak up that history and culture from the eye of professional and student artists at the GoggleWorks in Reading.

"It takes hundreds and hundreds of dots to make an image like this," said artist Ed Terrell, who explained how he created images of men and women from the 30s and 40s who were part of the Negro Baseball League. "Back then there was very strong segregation in the sports fields so the Negroes had their teams and the Caucasians they had their teams."

With different sized pens, Terrell captured their faces and their stories.

"His name was Rube Foster. He was a manager and he was very successful at what he was doing, but he got too successful and was committed into a mental institution," said Terrell, pointing to one of his portraits.

There is also storytelling in another work Terrell created based on his travels to Africa.

"This is a very prestigious event that goes on there," said Terrell, pointing to a colorful painting hanging near the front desk at the GoggleWorks.

For Black History Month, on the first floor of the GoggleWorks, you can see two exhibits by Terrell.  And on the second floor in the ACOR gallery, you can see works done by students.

"Children, they have a good concept for color... because they're not so inhibited to be structured. They're more free flowing," said Terrell.

The artwork in the gallery was created by Reading School District students in first through 12th grades on the theme, "Moving Forward."  Terrell said the name comes from Barack Obama's second presidential campaign, and students' interpretations are vast.

"This is the first year that I've ever gotten a sculpture piece that was so explanatory when you look at the object and you can see what it's all about," said Terrell, pointing to an 11th grader's ceramic sculpture of a slave ship.

Terrell said all the works will be on display through February.

"We're highlighting Black History Month and through the art and culture, we feel that this is the perfect venue for people to come out and appreciate the art and culture of the African American community," said Terrell.

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