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Saturday, January 27, 2018

A Toast to the Arts

By Sylvia L. Peters, Chairman of Gathering Light: The Delaney Project
Images courtesy of Sylvia L. Peters

Program for "A Toast to the Arts"

On Saturday, January 13, 2018, more than 150 people gathered at the Knoxville Museum of Art to celebrate the acquisition and unveiling of art by Beauford Delaney. It was a stellar affair attended by a diverse audience of citizens who contributed funds to bring home the work of this native son.

The event was the result of a partnership between The Knoxville (TN) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated and the Knoxville Museum of Art (KMA). The purpose of this unique relationship is to increase awareness of Beauford Delaney’s place in the international art world and to raise funds to bring a critical mass of his work home to Knoxville, TN to allow it to be placed in a Center of Excellence for the study of his art.

The Links, Incorporated is one of the oldest African American professional women’s organizations in the world. In 2016, the Knoxville (TN) Chapter became a significant partner in a unique community-wide effort to promote and honor Beauford and his brother, artist Joseph Delaney.

Members of the Knoxville, TN chapter of
The Links, Incorporated

The reception, "A Toast to the Arts," took place on the weekend that most Americans celebrate the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In the minds and hearts of those who attended, this event became one to not only honor Beauford Delaney and Martin Luther King, but to also bring together people from diverse backgrounds to celebrate the goodness of the values and culture that are the hallmarks of a civil democratic society.

Table setting for "A Toast to the Arts"

The brief program included remarks by David Butler, Executive Director of the museum, and Avice Evans Reid, President of the Knoxville (TN) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated,

David Butler, Executive Director at KMA

Avice Evans Reid, President of the Knoxville Links Chapter

as well as a presentation by Stephen Wicks, KMA curator, which highlighted three new Delaney acquisitions that were made possible by the KMA/Links partnership and donors who attended the event.

Curator Stephen Wicks presents the acquired works

Bass Baritone Dominick White sang a stirring rendition of Amazing Grace; and Michael Delaney, a close relative of Beauford Delaney, sang two vocals and accompanied himself on acoustic guitar. He was introduced to the audience by Derek Spratley, who is the attorney for the Delaney Estate.

Bass Baritone Dominick White

Michael Delaney

The evening was a glorious one of “Amazing Grace” in Knoxville - one that showed the promise and power of celebrating culture, the arts and diversity.

Attendees at table

Full house

Derek Spratley presents Michael Delaney

It was an evening that Beauford would have enjoyed.

Jan and Sylvia Peters

The acquisitions
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esq.,
Court Appointed Administrator

Delaney Project logo

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful group of folks who are raising the Delaney name into it's rightful place... I am humbled...