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Detail of Ebony G. Patterson’s . . . a wailing black horse . . . for those who bear/bare witness, 2018.

Pérez Art Museum Miami Acquires Ebony G. Patterson Work, Raises $1 Million for African American Art Fund

The Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) raised more than $1 million for its Fund for African American Art at the institution’s sixth annual Art + Soul Celebration, which welcomed nearly five hundred guests on Saturday night. During the event, which aims to elevate the appreciation of African diaspora art and culture, PAMM director Franklin Sirmans revealed the fund’s newest acquisition: a large-scale tapestry by Jamaican visual artist Ebony G. Patterson.

The fund was initiated with a $1 million grant from the Jorge M. Pérez and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation for the purpose of adding contemporary art by African American artists to the museum’s permanent collection. “In just these few years, PAMM has raised an additional $1.1 million to endow the fund, and bought fourteen major works in addition to acquiring several important donations of works by African diaspora artists for our permanent collection,” said Alberto Ibargüen, president and CEO of the Knight Foundation. Through the fund, the museum has added works by Al Loving, Faith Ringgold, and Xaviera Simmons to its holdings.  

PAMM director Franklin Sirmans said: “Our mission as a twenty-first century museum, dedicated to modern and contemporary art, is to represent that wide terrain in a way that is unique and reflects the constituents of the Miami community while creating a museum environment unlike any other. Our collection is informed by the local as much as the global, and we are very grateful for the Knight Foundation’s recent $1 million challenge and constant contribution to our Fund for African American Art, and to have acquired an incredible artwork by Ebony G. Patterson.”

Patterson’s first museum solo exhibition, “. . . while the dew is still on the roses . . .,” is currently on view at PAMM until May 5. The show, which includes works produced by the artist over the last five years, focuses on the role that gardens play in her practice as places of both beauty and burial.

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