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African American Museum, Dallas announces top winners of Carroll Harris Simms National Black Art Competition and Exhibition

After receiving more than 400 entries from across the country, the top winners of the 27th “Best in Show – Carroll Harris Simms National Black Art Competition and Exhibition” were recently announced and will be on view through March 21, 2023, at the African American Museum, Dallas, in historic Fair Park.

Steve Prince of Williamsburg, VA – whose work of art is titled “Hallelujah Anyhow,” 2021 – was named “Best in Show” and best in printmaking by jurors of the biennial competition.
In addition, two North Texas artists were top winners. They include Assandre Jean-Baptiste, of Cedar Hill, whose artwork “Homecoming,” was the category winner in painting, and Inyang Essien, of Addison, whose artwork “Faded,” was the category winner in photography.

Other category winners were Austen Brantley’s, of Detroit, for “Three Graces” in sculpture/assemblage; Manasseh Johnson Sr., of Converse, Texas, whose won for “Perseverance,” in drawing; and Mayowa Nwadike, of New York, who won for “Born and Reborn,” in mixed media.

The exhibition features paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures and assemblages by 44 contemporary artists, including eight artists who hail from North Texas. In addition to Essien and Jean-Baptiste, North Texas artists selected include Atinuke Adeleke of Frisco, Stephen Adkins of Ovilla, Chelsea Emuakhagbon of Cedar Hill, Tyra Johnson of Irving, Kev’Ron Madden of Addison, and Nii Narku Thompson of Dallas.


“Herald-Portrait in Quarantine,” 2020, the category winner in drawing (Jesse Hornbuckle).

The history of this initiative began in 1976 when the African American Museum, Dallas initiated the Southwest Black Art Competition and Exhibition. The purpose of the juried competition and exhibition stemmed from the Museum’s need to build a distinguished art collection and to provide Black artists in the region a venue to showcase their work.

Over the years, the Southwest Black Art Competition and Exhibition attracted the attention of artists beyond its geographical boundaries. In 1999, the Museum’s board renamed the biennial competition to the “Carroll Harris Simms National Black Art Competition and Exhibition” in honor of Carroll Harris Simms’ outstanding contributions to art and art education.

Simms (1924-2010) was a master sculptor and ceramist, painter, jeweler and author. He was a distinguished professor and educator who helped shape Texas Southern University’s art department as well as the careers of many acclaimed Texas artists.

Season sponsors of the African American Museum, Dallas, are Atmos, Eugene McDermott Foundation, Fair Park First and Spectra Venue Management, Friendship West Baptist Church, Oncor, State Fair of Texas, and the City of Dallas’ Office of Arts and Culture.
The exhibit runs through March 21, 2023 at the African American Museum, located at 3536 Grand Ave., Dallas 75210. The museum is open from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Free self-parking is available in nearby lots.
Admission is free and open to the public.

Carroll Harris Simms Carroll Harris Simms was the chairman of the Art Department at Texas Southern University. In 1950, Simms joined the faculty of Texas Southern University (formerly Texas State University for Negroes) and became the co-founder of the Art Department. He served as Professor of Art until 1987. Professor Simms developed a unique program of ceramics and sculpture at the University.

The African American Museum, Dallas was founded in 1974 as a part of Bishop College. The Museum has operated independently since 1979. For more than 40 years, the African American Museum has stood as a cultural beacon in Dallas and the Southwestern United States. Located in Dallas’ historic Fair Park, the African American Museum is the only museum in the Southwestern United States devoted to the collection, preservation and display of African American artistic, cultural and historical materials that relate to the African American experience.

The African American Museum incorporates a wide variety of visual art forms and historical documents that portray the African American experience in the United States, Southwest, and Dallas. The Museum has a small, but rich collection of African art, African American fine art and one of the largest African American folk-art collections in the United States.
Learn more at aamdallas.org.

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