Nearly 350 guests attended Pérez Art Museum Miami’s Fifth Annual Reception for the PAMM Fund for African American Art, Art + Soul,on Saturday, February 18. The special evening kicked off with an intimate dinner in Paresky Hall emceed by Local 10 Anchor Neki Mohan. Alberto Ibargüen, president and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, welcomed supporters and announced that Knight Foundation would match every dollar raised this year in an effort to support the growth of PAMM’s incredible collection of African American Art. Throughout the evening, more than $250,000 was raised towards the match-more than $500,000 total-ensuring that works by African American artists will always be represented in PAMM’s permanent collection for generations to come.
“We are thrilled to see how this fund has evolved and grown over the past five years. By offering a match, we’re supporting the Miami community in building a collection of great art by African American artists that will inspire and connect us all,” said Alberto Ibargüen, president of Knight Foundation.
During the evening’s celebration, PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans also revealed the fund’s newest acquisition, a painting by Tschabalala Self-a renowned 26-year-old female artist whose work celebrates the Black female body in contemporary culture.
“We are continually grateful for Alberto and Jorge’s contributions to this Fund, which grants us the incredible opportunity to continue to build a great collection of contemporary African American art that our audiences can enjoy for generations to come, and we are overjoyed to add Tschabalala’s work to our collection this year.”
Self said a few words about her work, Chopped Cheese (2017), which explores the environments of identity politics by focusing specifically on bodegas-public storefronts that serve as a hallmark of lower-income Black and Latinx communities throughout New York City. Known for her collage and assemblage paintings, Self’s work examines contemporary perspectives on femininity, race, and gender.
The lively event also featured special musical performances by Cellist Guy Michel, songstress TXS, and DJ She-J Hercules. The program also includedart historian and artist David C. Driskell and celebrity chef Amaris Jones. Notable guests included Knight Foundation VP/Arts Victoria Rogers, Director of Arts Bahia Ramos and Director of Journalism LaSharah Bunting; Mayor of Tallahassee Andrew Gillum; songwriter and producer Rico Love; playwright and actor Tarell Alvin McCraney;former White House Social Secretary for President Obama Desiree Rogers; and PAMM collection artists José Bedia, Adler Guerrier and Tomás Esson.
The PAMM Fund for African American Art was established in 2013 with the donation of a $1 million grant, funded equally by Jorge M. Pérez and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, for the purchase of contemporary art by African American artists for the museum’s permanent collection. Through the Fund, the museum first acquired works by Al Loving, Faith Ringgold, and Xaviera Simmons. These works joined other significant PAMM collection objects by artists such as Leonardo Drew, Sam Gilliam, Rashid Johnson, Lorna Simpson, James Van Der Zee, Carrie Mae Weems, Kehinde Wiley, and Purvis Young, among others.
The Fifth Annual Reception for the PAMM Fund for African American Art was supported by Knight Foundation, Microsoft, and Kim Crawford.
For more information about the PAMM Fund for African American Art, or to join the PAMM Ambassadors for African American Art, visit pamm.org/artfund.
Photos by Llazaro Llanes and WorldRedEye.com