Pérez Art Museum Miami Acquires Artworks by Gordon Parks, Tunji Adeniyi-Jones, and Kwame Brathwaite at Eighth Annual Art + Soul Celebration

PAMM Renames Fund for African American Art to Fund for Black Art, Raises Over $1.4 Million for Fund with Major Donations from the Knight Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Jorge M. Pérez

On Saturday, February 6, 2021, Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) hosted the eighth annual Art + Soul Celebration, virtually, in support of PAMM’s renamed Fund for Black Art, which allows the museum to purchase and showcase contemporary art by African Diaspora and African American artists for its permanent collection, ensuring that these artworks will be enjoyed by Miami’s community for generations to come. Watch the full celebration here.

The reimagined virtual event featured a reveal of the fund’s newest acquisitions: Untitled, Harlem, New York, a photograph by Gordon Parks; Dance in Heat II, a painting by Tunji Adeniyi-Jones; and Untitled (AJASS Model on Black Background), a photograph by Kwame Brathwaite. The addition of these three dynamic artworks expands the representation of the Black experience in PAMM’s collection and draws important connections between the historic and present day moment.

Left: Neki Mohan and Franklin Sirmans. Right: DJ Pam Jones.
Photos by Lazaro Llanes

Acclaimed news presenter and host Neki Mohan led the evening’s program, which included a lively conversation between PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans, Art + Soul honoree and acclaimed chef and co-owner of Red Rooster Harlem and Red Rooster Overtown Marcus Samuelsson, and Managing Partner Derek Fleming about art, food, culture and the meaning of “community.” Art + Soul supporters also enjoyed a specially delivered dinner designed by Marcus Samuelsson, as well as champagne, wine from Black-owned wineries, and other fun surprises in an accompanying swag bag, while listening to musical entertainment by DJ Pam Jones.

Event co-chair, and PAMM Trustee Eric G. Johnson also announced the decision to change the name of the PAMM Fund for African American Art to the PAMM Fund for Black Art, which more inclusively describes the various identities represented by the fund, including Latin America and the Caribbean in addition to the African Diaspora.

“In the wake of 2020 and the profound implications of COVID-19 and the brilliantly renewed focus on the African diasporic community via Black Lives Matter, we have decided to change the name of the Fund to the PAMM Fund for Black Art. Our aim is to embrace the momentum of which we hope to harness in the movement to make sustainable changes in the wake of ongoing systemic racist policies in America and elsewhere,” said PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans. “We are a global group that operates from the unique locale of Miami, Florida: often referred to as a nexus point between Latin America and the Caribbean, and as a crucial node on the map of the African diaspora.”

Above: Franklin Sirmans and Marcus Samuelsson in conversation at Art + Soul. Photo by Lazaro Llanes

PAMM Trustee Patricia Papper offered a heartfelt tribute to Carl Randolph, one of the earliest supporters of the Fund together with his wife, Toni.

Knight Foundation President and CEO Alberto Ibargüen announced a new $1 million-dollar contribution to the Fund, made possible by a combined effort between Knight Foundation, Ford Foundation and Jorge M. Pérez. Major donations from Eric and Donna Johnson, Dorothy Terrell, Teri and Lloyd Trotter, Pamela Joyner and Fred Giuffrida, Kathryn and Kenneth Chenault, and LIFEWTR were also acknowledged. In recognition of the incredible generosity shown towards the Fund this year, Louis Vuitton Americas gifted a limited-edition ARTY CAPUCINE bag designed by PAMM collection artist Henry Taylor to the evening’s top donor.

Last year, the Fund for Black Art acquired two artworks: The bull is out and my foot is in my mouth (are we staying or leaving)?, a painting by Theresa Chromati, and Marked Man (Mitchell), a mixed media painting by Vaughn Spann. Since the inception of the Fund for Black Art in 2013, PAMM has acquired 23 artworks for the museum’s permanent collection, including works by Terry Adkins, Romare Bearden, Kevin Beasley, Ed Clark, Lorraine O’Grady, Faith Ringgold, Tschabalala Self, Juana Valdes, Nari Ward, and more.

The Fund for Black Art is also generously sponsored by the PAMM Ambassadors for Black Art, a growing affiliate group of the museum for those with a passion for the art and artists of the African Diaspora.

For more information about the PAMM Fund for Black Art, or to join the PAMM Ambassadors for Black Art, visit pamm.org/artfund.

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