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County Recognizes Influential Black Artists with Exhibits

In honor of African-American History Month, Burlington County will host two separate art exhibits, including one showcasing the work of local artist Lady Bird Strickland.

In celebration of African-American History Month, Burlington County is presenting two special art exhibits showcasing the work of famed local artist Lady Bird Strickland and acclaimed Haitian artist Frandy Jean.

The Lady Bird Strickland exhibit will run from Feb. 1 through March 2 at the Warden’s House on High Street in Mount Holly. An opening reception has been set from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2. The gallery will be open to the public on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free. 

Now a resident of Willingboro, Lady Bird Strickland was born into poverty in the foothills of Georgia in 1926 at a time when America was still a segregated society offering little opportunity or encouragement to black American artists. She would transform herself from a young girl hanging around the Harlem clubs into a young woman who socialized with and painted some of the most influential entertainment and political figures of the mid-20th and 21st centuries.

For more than six decades, Lady Bird Strickland’s paintings have expressed aspects of life as it existed during slavery, Harlem’s Jazz Age and the Civil Rights Movement. Best described as “reflections of social consciousness,” her artwork offers the viewer a perspective often forgotten in our everyday, contemporary struggles.

The Frandy Jean exhibit will open on Feb. 7 at the Smithville Mansion Annex Art Gallery in Eastampton and run until Feb. 28. An opening reception will be held from 2-4 p.m. Feb. 9 and the gallery will be open to the public on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is also free for this exhibit.

The exhibit will feature watercolors and images of Haitian life by the artist who recently arrived in the United States. Some of his handmade jewelry will also be on display.

Frandy Jean will also conduct a Haitian jewelry workshop in the gallery from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 23. The cost of the workshop is $20 per person and all material will be provided.

The wheelchair-accessible Smithville Mansion Annex Art Gallery is located on the second floor of Smithville Mansion in Historic Smithville Park. The park is located on Smithville Road in Eastampton, just three-quarters of a mile off Route 38.

For more information about either art exhibit, or the jewelry workshop, call 609-265-5858.

Provided by the Burlington County Office of Public Information


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