The Bishop Gallery, a contemporary art gallery based in Bed-Stuy (the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York), has announced that it has launched an exclusive art tour at several historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
Brooklyn, NY, November 30th, 2022 – The Bishop Gallery, a contemporary art gallery based in Bed-Stuy (the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York), has announced that it has launched an exclusive art tour at several historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). This tour features early works by well-known artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988). The Bishop partners with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and Hennessy which are sponsoring the tour.
This is integral to the gallery, as the Bishop was actually the first gallery outside of the Brooklyn Museum to showcase a solo exhibition by Basquiat, himself a Brooklyn native. That exhibition was shown at Art Basel 2021 and has now embarked on an HBCU tour. Entitled “Our Friend, Jean”, the exhibit contains artwork on loan from a select group of collectors who knew Basquiat personally. Over 20 works will be on display, including drawings, writings, apparel and mixed media collage, giving viewers a tiny but intimate look at Basquiat’ life prior to the fame.
The exhibition also includes ephemera and photography from a past collaborator who co-created SAMO with Basquiat. This street art – graffiti – helped create the style that is showcased in these early works from the artist. The Bishop team feels that including this exhibit as part of an HBCU tour is key to honoring the artist’s legacy and it is pleased at the attention garnered by the upcoming tour, which will bring both new and established patrons to the gallery.
Launching this novel HBCU tour is in concert with the Bishop’s other most recent initiative, as it has opened an artist residency program in Brooklyn. The program provides a living and working space for selected artists, as well as supplies, materials, and other resources.
Since its inception in 2012, the Bishop, launched by Erwin John and Stevenson Dunn, Jr., has continued a tradition of providing both emerging and well-known artists with a platform with which they can connect to a global audience, as well as the Brooklyn art scene. This mission by the Bishop ties in to its homage to Jean-Michel Basquiat, who started as a street artist who embodied Brooklyn itself.
The new residency program is also a true reflection on the goals of the gallery, which strives to embrace varying cultures, genres, backgrounds, and means of artistic expression. Doing so has allowed the Bishop to forge lasting relationships with artists and surrounding communities. The gallery is known for using art as a catalyst for uniting these communities and encouraging development.
The Bishop Gallery has locations in Brooklyn and Baltimore, and first displayed the Basquiat exhibit in 2019. Since its launch, the gallery has curated exhibits by hundreds of artists from around the world. In 2020, the gallery provided emergency support to artists affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which was the basis for starting the residency program.
The staff at the Bishop are committed to honoring artists of the past while supporting the artists of today and tomorrow. A spokesperson for the gallery has stated that the upcoming HBCU art tour will shed new light on the gallery’s initiatives. “We continue our journey to bring world-class art and artists to Bed-Stuy in a way that’s illuminating, entertaining, and most importantly accessible,” says the representative for the Bishop.
Over the next 5 years, the Bishop team plans to open several new galleries both within the US and internationally. “Being able to have a measurable impact on our peers, community and society at large is what success looks like for us,” says the team.
The Bishop Gallery is a contemporary art gallery located in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. The Bishop, launched in 2012, is an offspring of the Lamont Bishop Gallery in Washington DC. The gallery provides both new and established artists with a platform to showcase their work.