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From Black Art In America:

This dynamic exhibition showcases the private family art collection along with personal items from the artist.

As an added plus to the Homecoming exhibition celebration and in the tradition of the Changing Gallery’s renowned reputation we have invited artists to showcase their artwork that pays homage to the influence of the mastery of Hale Woodruff and what it has had on their creative process as visual artists. The artists are Alexander Austin, Spenser Albertsen, Melena Brown, Najee Dorsey, Clifford Doyle, Daniel Edwards, José Faus, Amy Hughes, Al Hawkins, Selina ONeal, Lonnie Robinson, Grant Robinson, Harold Smith, and Michael Toombs.  Curated by Sonié Joi Thompson-Ruffin, Visiting Curator of the American Jazz Museum.

Hale Aspacio Woodruff (1900–1980), a native of Cairo, Ill., taught art at Talladega College during the 1930s. His experience at the college and around the country caught the attention of the college’s president, Dr. Buel G. Gallagher (1934 – 1943) who commissioned the talented artist and educator to paint the murals. Woodruff jumped at the opportunity, drawing off his reputation he had already made to developing African American art and distinguishing himself as an arts educator. He also had studied art both at the John Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis and the Fogg Museum of Harvard University.

Woodruff’s first mural project was collaboration with Wilmer Jennings in 1934. The four-panel mural, titled “The Negro in Modern American Life: Agriculture and Rural Life; Literature, Music, and Art,” was part of a public works project and a teaching project that involved both Woodruff’s students and a local junior high school.

In 1935, Woodruff shared his expertise on Works Progress Administration (WPA) murals for the Atlanta School of Social Work. Between 1931 and 1946, he served as the first chair of the newly established art department of Atlanta University. Also in 1935 Hale married Theresa Ada (Ted) Barker of Topeka, Kansas in 1935, their only child Roy was born in 1936.

To help him make the murals at Talladega that much more impressive, Woodruff studied mural painting in Mexico under the mentorship of Diego Rivera during the summer of 1936. He wanted to capture the detail and drama of each panel for the murals, and learned as much as he could to improve his technique.

In 1946, he became a teacher at New York University, where he taught art for more than 20 years until his retirement in 1968. During the mid-1960s Woodruff and fellow artist Romare Bearden were instrumental in starting the Spiral Group, a collaboration of African American artists working in New York. The Studio Museum in Harlem presented a retrospective of his work titled “Hale Woodruff: 50 Years of His Art” in 1979, and the High presented “Hale Woodruff in Atlanta” in 2004, the first solo exhibition of Woodruff’s paintings in Atlanta since his death in 1980.

All Hail to Hale Exhibition Public Programs 
October 2015
Conversation: Partnering with Cultural Institutions
Friday, October 2 | 6-7:30 pm | Free
Location American Jazz Museum
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Beta Omega Chapter
Moderator: Suzetta Parks / Parks Pennington 
This is not a panel. It is an informal conversation concerning how cultural institutions can collaborate to change the landscape of communities through the arts.
Preserving Your Paintings: Bring Your Questions  
Saturday, October 17 | 6 – 7 pm | Free
Scott Heffley | Senior Art Conservator of Paintings at the Nelson Atkins Museum
Hosted by Valerie Chow & Jon Gray
Changing Gallery Art Walk 
Location: American Jazz Museum
Light hors’ dourves

November 2015
Preserving Works on Paper and Photographs
Saturday,November 14 | 1-2:30 pm | Free
Location: Black Archives of Mid-America
Deborah Dandridge & Mark Stevenson
Light hors’ dourves
Deborah Dandridge is the University of Kansas Kenneth Spencer Library Research Field Archivist /Curator of African American Experience Collection and Kansas Collection
Mark Stevens is a conservator in private practice serving and advising museums, corporations and private collectors. Lead investigator to the Kemper Museum of Art and Design, Kansas City, MO on the Georgia O’Keeffe/Canyon Suite watercolors, Winter 1999-2000
Amistad the Movie
November 22 |1:30 – 5 pm | Free
MC / Glenn North
The Black Archives of Mid-America
Hosts: Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
Location: Gem Theater, Kansas City
Cash Bar
Cheptoo Kositany Buckner-Deputy Director of the Kansas City Public Library
Stephanie Knappe – Nelson Atkins Museum of Art Kansas City / Samuel Sosland Curator American Art

December 2015
Murals in Sound
Thursday, December, 3 | 7- 9 pm
Blue Room Performance | Jazz Disciples
MC/ Chris Burnett
Hosts: AJM Volunteer Staff
Artists / Jose Faus, Mike Toombs, Selina ONeal
This special showcase in the award winning Blue Room Club will fuse performance and visual artist in spontaneous performance. Three visual artists will be commissioned to create original artworks as the music evolves in collaboration the performance work jazz artist on the stage, thus giving intimate connection to the creative process at work.

January 2016
American Jazz Museum |  Take Five Tour
Tuesday, January 18, 2016 | 6-7 pm | Free
Guests will tour the American Jazz Museum
Musical Handshake
Thursday, January, 21 | 7-10 pm
Blue Room| MC/ Bill Mckemy
To honor Hale Woodruff’s fascination with the guitar and music of the African Diaspora, A Musical Handshake explores the music and guitars of the Spanish and Portuguese colonies as well as the United States. The evening will feature  jazz guitarists Will Matthews, James Ward and members of Ensemble Ibérica as they celebrate many diverse musical styles and cultures that combined to create new sounds in the new world.

February 2016
American Jazz Museum Atrium
Friday, February 5, | 10-11 am | Free
Storytelling featuring vocalist Lisa Henry, storyteller Brother John, bassist Tyrone Clark, and drummer Mike Warren meet educational standards, introduces children to new music & cultures, and provides opportunities to enhance their social skills in a safe environment.

Public Relations:
American Jazz Museum | Arlene Walker 816-474-8463 | awalker@kcjazz.or
Museum At A Glance:
American Jazz Museum | 816-474-8463
All Public Programs are Free
Museum Hours Sunday 12-5 pm, Monday – Closed,TuesdaySaturday 9-6 pm

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