New York Artist Fuses Autobiographical, Historic, and Global Issues in New Exhibition

by January 22, 2010

Robin HolderThe Spelman College Museum of Fine Art will present “An American Consciousness: Robin Holder’s Mid-Career Retrospective,” an in-depth examination of Robin Holder’s three decades as a printmaker. Holder, a New York-based artist and educator, is a storyteller whose work fuses autobiographical, historic, and global issues.

Working in series, she addresses diverse themes that include immigration, racism, jazz, the Holocaust, and child labor. Through her work Holder unites aesthetics with sociopolitical ideas, connects personal and universal experiences, and reflects on nature and spirituality. Her self-reflective images are meditations on identity, women’s empowerment, and social realities. Featuring 65 works, “An American Consciousness” will be on view from January 21 through May 15, 2010.

“An American Consciousness: Robin Holder’s Mid-Career Retrospective” was curated by Dorit Yaron, the deputy director of the David C. Driskell Center. It is organized by the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora at the University Maryland, College Park. The exhibition was made possible through support of a special fund from the Office of the President, University of Maryland, and major support from the Maryland State Arts Council.

Robin Holder (b. 1952) was born in Chicago and raised in New York City. The daughter of an African-American Christian father and a white Russian-American Jewish mother, Holder was raised as a socialist and an agnostic. After graduating from the High School of Music and Art in New York in 1969, she received a scholarship to The Art Students League of New York. Holder’s work has been presented in numerous institutions including: The Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta; International Print Center, New York City; Hammonds House, Atlanta, and Kent State University, Ohio. She has completed several large-scale site-specific public art projects for The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Connecticut State Arts Commission, and New Jersey Transit.

Her work is included in significant collections, including The Library of Congress, Clark Atlanta University, Yale University, The Washington State Arts Commission, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The Art Commission of the City of New York, and Atlanta Life Insurance Company. She has been professionally involved with such artists as Robert Blackburn, Elizabeth Catlett, Ernest Crichlow, and Al Loving who were among the most important voices of the Black Arts Movement. In addition to exhibiting her work widely, she has held important positions such as the Assistant Director/Coordinator of The Printmaking Workshop (1977 – 1986) and as a Teaching Artist at The Studio in a School Association (1987 – 2009).

Save the date and make plans to meet artist Robin Holder and attend the preview reception in celebration of “An American Consciousness: Robin Holder’s Mid-Career Retrospective” on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The Spelman College Museum of Fine Art provides a learning environment for students, faculty, staff and alumnae. Museum activities enhance the cultural and intellectual development of the College’s community through the collection, preservation, exhibition, and interpretation of important works of art. Artists affiliated with the Atlanta University Center are of particular interest. As the only museum in the nation that focuses on works by and about women of the African Diaspora in its collections, exhibitions, and programs, the Museum serves as a complement to local, regional, national and international art resources. Recent exhibitions organized by the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art include “Amalia Amaki: Boxes Buttons and the Blues” (2006 in collaboration with the National Museum of Women in the Arts), “Hale Woodruff, Nancy Elizabeth Prophet and the Academy” (2007), “Cinema Remixed and Reloaded: Black Women Artists and the Moving Image Since 1970” (2007) in collaboration with the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston), and Undercover: Performing and Transforming Black Female Identities (2009).

The Spelman College Museum of Fine Art is located in the Atlanta University Center on the Spelman College campus in the Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby Academic Center at 350 Spelman Lane.

Suggested donation $3/parking $3

The Museum is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays, noon to 4 p.m. The Museum is closed Sundays, Mondays, major holidays and official College breaks. For more information on the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, visit

Founded in 1881, Spelman College is the only historically Black college in the nation to be included on the U.S. News and World Report’s list of top 75 “Best Liberal Arts Colleges — Undergraduate,” 2005. Located in Atlanta, Ga., this private, historically Black women’s college boasts outstanding alumnae, including Children’s Defense Fund Founder Marian Wright Edelman; U.S. Foreign Service Director General Ruth Davis; authors Tina McElroy Ansa and Pearl Cleage and actress LaTanya Richardson. More than 83 percent of the full-time faculty members have Ph.D.s or other terminal degrees and the student-faculty ratio is 12:1. Annually, nearly one-third of Spelman students receive degrees in the sciences. The students number more than 2,186 and represent 43 states and 34 foreign countries. For more information regarding Spelman College, visit:

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