Photo by Chris Cardoza
On the occasion of Napoleon Jones-Henderson’s recently-opened exhibition, Napoleon Jones-Henderson: I Am As I Am – A Man, join the artist and Dr. Leslie King-Hammond, art historian, curator, artist and cultural art activist, for a conversation on Jones-Henderson’s work and practice.
Born in 1943 in Chicago, Napoleon Jones-Henderson attended the Sorbonne, Paris, holds a B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a M.F.A. from Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. As a longstanding member of the influential artist collective African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists (AfriCOBRA), he was included in the collective’s first exhibition Ten in Search of a Nation at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1970, which was later presented at the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists in Roxbury and the University Art Gallery at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. More recently, his work was included in AfriCOBRA: Messages to the People at Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami in 2018, a portion of which traveled to Venice, Italy, as AfriCOBRA: Nation Time, an official Collateral Event of the 2019 Venice Biennale. Jones-Henderson has been awarded several public art commissions, including at the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building in Roxbury and Roxbury Community College. He is Executive Director of the Research Institute of African and African Diaspora Arts in Roxbury, Massachusetts, where he lives and works.
Leslie King-Hammond is an art historian, curator, artist and cultural and community innovator. She is Professor Emerita, former Graduate Dean and founding Director of the Center of Race and Culture at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). King Hammond sits on the board of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, Collections and Acquisitions Committee of the Walters Art Museum and the Baltimore Arts Realty Corporation (BARCO) — an initiative committed to developing and supporting arts hubs and incubator labs in Baltimore City. She has had an active career teaching, consulting, lecturing, curating exhibitions, writing essays and publications on numerous artists and cultural movements that include Jacob Lawrence, Hughie Lee-Smith, Betye Saar, Romare Bearden, Oletha DeVane, Aminah Brenda Lynne Robinson, and Joyce J. Scott among others. King Hammond’s artistry has been exhibited at the New York Historical Society, Benjamin Banneker-Douglass Museum, Museum of Biblical Art, The Smithsonian-Arts and Industries Building, Galerie Myrtis, Apex Gallery, Montserrat College of Art Gallery, MICA-Meyerhoff Gallery and the James E. Lewis Museum. Her mixed media-bricolage installations and fiber works explore the anonymity of women’s handwork and the intersection of African Diasporic spiritual beliefs.
Face coverings are required throughout the museum, and proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test is required for programs taking place in the Barbara Lee Family Foundation Theater.
Napoleon Jones-Henderson: I Am As I Am – A Man is organized by Jeffrey De Blois, Assistant Curator and Publications Manager.