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PAMM kicks off Black art show

Venus Williams and more attend unveiling

Carla St.Louis | 2/13/2014, 9 a.m.
Alberto Ibargüen, Faith Ringgold and Rashid Johnson. Juan E. Cabrera

The host committee for the kick-off celebration sure knows how to throw a star-studded party.

Tennis champion Venus Williams, award-winning playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney and artists Faith Ringgold and Rashid Johnson were in attendance to support the Perez Art Museum Miami Fund (PAMM) for African American Art.

Antonia Williams-Gary, the longest serving African American trustee at PAMM addressed visitors before they viewed the first works from Black artists like Al Loving Xaviera Simmons, Lorna Simpson and Leonardo Drew just to name a few.

The PAMM Fund for African American Art is a reflection of PAMM's long-standing commitment to exhibiting and collecting work by Black artists. It was initiated by a $1 million grant, funded equally by Jorge M. Pérez and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

"When Jorge Pérez called to say that he wanted to put up half a million dollars to start such a fund and asked Knight to match it, we did not hesitate," said Alberto Ibargüen, CEO and president of the Knight Foundation. "He believes, as we do, that diversity is one of Miami’s greatest assets. This fund will help ensure that PAMM’s collection reflects the breadth of cultures that make our community special."

The museum hopes to raise additional funds to support a multi-year initiative to purchase significant works by Black artists for PAMM’s permanent collection.

"Showcasing this collection is critical for all of South Florida," he said. "Great art not only inspires, it connects us to one another, creating those collective experiences that build a greater Miami. As Miamians, we want PAMM to have the best art — and also the richest and most diverse display of art."

The host committee for the kick-off celebration included Retha S. Boone-Fye, Mireille Chancy Gonzalez, Barron Channer, Jaret L. Davis, Dr. Dorothy Jenkins Fields, Rosie Gordon Wallace, Jennifer & Gerald Grant, Carole & Ira Hall, Carla & Marlon Hill, Deborah & Larry Hoffman, Marilyn Holifield, Jerome & Angelique Hutchinson, Susana & Alberto Ibargüen, Louis-Albert Jolivert, Roberta & David Lawrence, Dr. Aida Levitan, Deryl McKissack, Gail Meyers & Andrew Hall, Marijean & Rafael Miyar, Jumaane N’Namdi, Pat Papper, Bill & Beverly Parker, Darlene & Jorge Pérez, Dorothy & Aaron Podhurst, Toni & Carl Randolph, Terry Schechter, Debra & Dennis Scholl, Dr. Wallis & Dinizulu Gene Tinnie, Padma & Raj Vattikuti, Susie & Walid Wahab and Antonia Williams-Gary.

PAMM is open until 9pm every Thursday evening and every first Thursday of the month. The exhibit is free with support provided by the Knight Foundation. 

To contribute to the fund, log on to pamm.org/artfund to make an online donation, or contact Addy Castellanos at acastellanos@pamm.org or 305-375-1707.