Event Information

October 21, 2017

National Museum of
American Jewish History
101 S Independence Mall E
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Since 1976, the Brandywine Workshop and Archives has honored individuals who have excelled in the fine arts as an artist, curator, art historian, patron, or collector. In addition to their achievements in the field, the awards also recognize contributions as an educator or advocate for social change through their work in the arts. This year, we honor a mid-career, Virginia-based artist whose large body of work already reflects a lifetime’s worth of exploration and accomplishments; perhaps the most celebrated contemporary artist on the continent of Africa today; and a legendary American art historian-curator responsible for some of the most historically significant exhibitions of the last three decades.

The Awards Gala is our major fundraising event that supports fees paid to our high school and college level internships at Brandywine. Traditionally, each award presentation is sponsored by patrons who subscribe to a limited edition print(s) created specifically for the Gala by the awardees. These prints will be reproduced over the next several months with much of the work occurring during the summer. If serving as a patron, you must rely upon the quality and value of the artist’s past work knowing that you will benefit with V.I.P. tickets, a discounted retail price on the actual work when finished, and a tax-deductible portion of the overall contribution.

The 2017 Awards Gala is also coinciding with our forty-fifth anniversary. I hope you will read the background information provided in this package on our organization and the artists we are honoring and consider participating as a Patron or Super Patron of the event. If you also choose to attend, we are providing hotel packages and other programs to make it a great weekend in Philly.

An opportunity we would like to share with our patrons is the ability to donate the original print(s) to an institution of your choice at full retail value and/or ticket(s) to a worthy young artist or student, who would otherwise not be able to attend. If you are considering to support and would like to choose one of these options, Brandywine is partnering with several art museums and university collections to create and grow the collections of their prints. We highly recommend any one of these institutions. A full list of these Satellite Collections is provided in the enclosed 2020: The Way Forward brochure.

Get your tickets!

VIP Admission - 6:30 PM - Entire Program
General Admission - 7:45 PM - Awards Program
Ticket sales end October 10, 2017


El Anatsui

 El Anatsui was born in Ghana and currently lives and works between Ghana and Nigeria. Anatsui is an internationally acclaimed artist who transforms simple materials into complex assemblages that create a distinctive visual impact. His use of liquor bottle caps and cassava graters to create sculptures reflects his interest in reuse, transformation, and an intrinsic desire to connect to his continent while transcending the limitations of place.

Anatsui is well-known for his large scale sculpture composed of thousands of folded and crumpled pieces of metal sourced from local alcohol recycling stations and bound together with copper wire. These intricate works, which can grow to be massive in scale, are both luminous and weighty, meticulously fabricated, and yet malleable.

In 2015, he was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, the Venice Biennale’s highest honor. His solo exhibition Gravity and Grace: Monumental Works by El Anatsui was organized by the Akron Musuem in Akron, Ohio in 2012 and has since traveled throughout the United States. His work has been featured in many international exhibitions including the Venice Biennale and the Paris Triennial. Anatsui has also been represented by the Jack Shainman Gallery since 2005.

More information on El Anatsui can be found through his gallery: Jack Shainman | El Anatsui

Sonya Clark

 Sonya Clark was born in Washington, DC. She gained an appreciation for craft and the value of the handmade from her maternal grandmother who was a professional tailor. Many of her family members also taught her the value of a well-told story and so she finds value in the stories held in objects.

Clark has been Chair of the Craft and Material Studies Department at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Richmond, Virginia since 2006. She is the recipient of several awards including an Art Prize Grand Jurors co-prize, a Pollock-Krasner Grant, a United States Artist Fellowship and an Art Matters Grant. Clark’s work is featured in collections at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Musees d’Angers in France among other institutions.

Her work utilizes unique and common materials like human hair, combs, beads, flags and currency and provide an interesting perspective on culture and history. Her Comb Series, for instance, tells of the meaning in the materials. The black plastic combs evoke a legacy of hair culture, race politics, and antiquated notions of good hair and bad hair. On the other hand, when a comb has broken or missing teeth there is evidence of struggle.

More information on Sonya Clark can be found through her website: http://sonyaclark.com/

Ruth E. Fine

 Ruth E. Fine a Philadelphia native, artist, curator, and writer, she is the former curator of Special Projects in Modern Art at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Born in Philadelphia, she trained in printmaking and became the curator of the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection before its move to the National Gallery. Her specialty has been one-man exhibitions by artists often associated with contemporary print-publishing workshops including Romare Bearden, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, John Marin and most recently Norman Lewis. Photo of Ruth Fine by Charlotte Daley

Fine recently curated the traveling exhibition Processions: The Art of Norman Lewis in collaboration with PAFA becoming the first comprehensive exhibition exploring Norman Lewis and his contributions. Her work can be viewed here: https://www.pafa.org/normanlewis


Emma Amos
Benny Andrews
Romare Bearden
Nanette Rohan Bearden
John Biggers, PhD
Camille Billops
Robert “Bob” Blackburn
Charles Blockson
Moe Brooker
Selma Burke, PhD
Elizabeth Catlett-Mora
Barbara Chase-Riboud
John Dowell, Jr.
David C. Driskell, PhD
Sandra Dungee Glenn
Melvin Edwards
Samuel L. Evans
Edmund Barry Gaither
Sam Gilliam
Herman Gundersheimer, PhD
Richard Hunt
Johnny Irizarry
Lois Mailou Jones
Paul R. Jones
Paul F. Keene, Jr.
Leslie King-Hammond, PhD
Jacob Lawrence
Hughie Lee-Smith
Samella Lewis, PhD
Richard Long, PhD
Alvin Loving
Mary Lovelace O’Neal
Richard Mayhew
Evangeline Montgomery
Keith Morrison
Mamie Nichols
Gordon Parks
Howardena Pindell
Meyer “Pat” Potamkin
Betye Saar
John T. Scott
Charles Searles
Lowery S. Simms
Louis Sloan
Hank Willis Thomas
James L. Wells
Walter “Billy” Wolf
William T. Williams
Deborah Willis, PhD
John Wilson
Cecilia Yep

2017 Gala Planning Committee (as of April 1, 2017)

Walter E. Allen, Oakland, CA
Linda Lee Alter, Philadelphia, PA
Azuka Anyiam, PhD, Philadelphia, PA
Jude Arijaje, Philadelphia, PA
Zakiya Black Barnett, Esq., Philadelphia, PA
David Brigham, PhD, Philadelphia, PA
Hon. Blondell Reynolds Brown, Philadelphia, PA
Samella Lewis, PhD, Los Angeles, CA
Charles E. Mather, III, Philadelphia, PA
Keith Morrison, Meadowbrook, PA
Odili Donald Odita, Conshohocken, PA
Donyale Reavis, Esq., Santa Monica, CA
Tatiana Reinoza, PhD, Hanover, NH
Otis Robertson, Abington, MD
Clare Scarborough, PhD, Philadelphia, PA
Innis Shoemaker, PhD, Philadelphia, PA
Gail P. Smith, Washington, DC
Barbara Wallace, Philadelphia, PA
Dianne Whitfield-Locke, DDS, Mitchelville, MD