On Their Walls: Area African American Collectors and Their African American Art

Posted in Past Exhibits


July 11 – September 13, 2015


Gallery Talk: Collecting African American Art

July 26, 2015

2 pm


Curated by Kali McMillan

Read the curator’s essay about the exhibit The Essay

Exhibit displayed in conjunction with the Trenton African American Cultural Festival

August 15, 2015


Mercy Moyo, The Dancers

Mercy Moyo, The Dancers

On their Walls: Area African American Collectors and their African American Art showcases works of art by a select group of African American artists collected by four local African American women. Highlights of the show include five serigraphs from the Prevalence of Ritual Portfolio by Romare Bearden completed in 1974 as well as a few rarely seen paintings by noted Trenton artist, Tom Malloy. The artists in the exhibition range from established to rising local and international artists, including Frank Morrison, Sanford Biggers, Ellen Powell Tiberino, and Mercy Moyo.

Curator Kali McMillan, a former West Windsor resident and art historian who recently earned her Masters in Art History from the University of Glasgow: Chirstie’s Education, London. Her thesis How Ya Like Me Now?explored issues of redefining black identity in contemporary art. Kali received her BA in art and art history from Colgate University. An accomplished photographer, McMillan’s work has been exhibited both in the US and abroad. She was selected as an emerging photographer at Milk Underground Gallery NYC in the fall of 2011. She currently is a cataloguer at an estate auction house.

According to McMillan, “This exhibition is not only an assortment of fantastic works held in private collections created by a wide range of African American artists, but it visually translates the role of ritual and tradition in the African American experience and shows how artists use their lives and stories to convey these multi-generational values.”

The exhibition includes pieces collected by New Jersey resident Diana Tyson who also fosters the development of emerging female African artists including Mercy Moyo. When asked why she collects art, Tyson says, “My collection reflects my life: experiences that I have had, social commentary, and flights of fantasy inspired by abstract works.”

Frank Morrison, Stompin

Frank Morrison, Stompin



Artists included in the exhibition: Ann Tanksley, Romare Bearden, Tom Malloy, Cassandra Gittens, Richard Mayhew, Louis Delsarte, Alonzo Adams, Frank Morrison, Mikalene Thomas, Janet Taylor Pickett, Mercy Moyo, Sandford Biggers, Charlie Palmer, Dean Mitchell, and Ellen Powell Tiberino.


Read Janet Purcell’s enthusiastic review in the Times.

Read Aubrey J. Kauffman’s insightful review in the U.S. 1 Newspaper.