“Soul Stirring: African American Self-Taught Artists from the South” on view at CAAM through April 6, 2014
LOS ANGELES (December 13, 2013) – The California African American Museum (CAAM) hosts its latest exhibition, Soul Stirring: African American Self-Taught Artists from the South, on view through April 6, 2014.

The exhibition features more than 50 works by renowned African American artists from the southern United States. These late, self-taught artists created evocative artworks without any formal training using a variety of media including cast-off roofing tin, recycled paper, poster board and wood. Their work brilliantly reflects the political, religious, and societal expressions mined from their varied life experiences.

Leroy Almon imbued his carvings with devout faith; Sam Doyle painted Gullah history on cast-off roofing tin; Roy Ferdinand illustrated graphic urban tableaux on poster board; Clementine Hunter rendered rich biographical paintings in oil; Sister Gertrude Morgan painted inspired testaments on recycled paper; Nellie Mae Rowe added delightful titles to her color-filled works; Herbert Singleton carved socio-politically themed wood bas reliefs; and the indomitable Purvis Young artfully renewed his neighborhood.

CAAM – Soul Stirring: African American Self-Taught Artists from the South   
spirits or diminish their commitments to their communities. The originality and intensity of their artworks vividly establishes their indelible contributions to American art. This is the essence of Soul Stirring, and clearly defines why the exhibition is one of the highlights of the 2013-2014 Fall Season.

Soul Stirring: African American Self-Taught Artists from the South has received enthusiastic reviews. The Los Angeles Magazine’s Lyle Zimskind described Soul Stirring as a "drive to create... the wonderful Soul Stirring exhibition." KCRW’s Edward Goldman described it as a "rare sense of truth, authenticity and poetry.” The Hollywood Reporter’s Christopher Wyrick called it "purity and magic" and the Los Angeles Times’ renowned art critic Christopher Knight said Soul Stirring was "a welcome opportunity to see a variety of powerful work...some are classic examples."

“We are extremely proud to present these artists!" said CAAM’s Executive Director Charmaine Jefferson. “Our guest curator for this exhibition, noted scholar and collector Gordon W. Bailey, selected significant examples of these important artists' works. The brilliance of the artworks and significance of the stories they tell fills me with awe every time I enter the gallery.”

From the triumphs of Sam Doyle's No More, Clementine Hunter's Cotton Crucifixion and Herbert Singleton's Ain't Going Back, to the personal testimonies of Leroy Almon's Of Two Worlds, Sister Gertrude Morgan's Angels Watching Over Me and Nellie Mae Rowe's Peace and the bold expressions of Roy Ferdinand's Olive Street and Purvis Young's Strugglin’, all of the artworks are indeed stirring examples.

CAAM is most grateful to their lenders whose generosity and commitment to these artists made this show possible: American Folk Art Museum, High Museum of Art, House of Blues Collection, Gordon W. Bailey Collection, Blanchard–Hill Collection, Gilbert Collection, and Melinda J. Newman Collection.

CAAM – Soul Stirring: African American Self-Taught Artists from the South   

CAAM is located at 600 State Drive in Exposition Park, Los Angeles, CA 90037. ADMISSION IS ALWAYS FREE! Accessible parking for all of Exposition Park is located at 39th & Figueroa for $10 per vehicle. For more information on CAAM call (213) 744- 7432 or visit Find CAAM on Twitter and Facebook at and

The California African American Museum (CAAM) is a state agency charged with researching, collecting, preserving and interpreting for public enrichment the history, art and culture of African Americans. Collaboratively operating in partnership with its 501(c)(3) non-profit organization Friends, the Foundation of the California African American Museum, CAAM houses a permanent collection of over 3,000 objects of art, artifacts and historical documents, and a publicly accessible Research Library containing more than 20,000 volumes.
To bring its mission to life, CAAM hosts up to 13 exhibitions annually and tours several of its organized exhibitions nationally. CAAM also presents a wide variety of more than 80 annual public programs ranging from educational and curriculum-driven lectures and tours with scholars and experts to art workshops, film screenings, and its highly popular signature series of monthly live performances, Target Sundays at CAAM.
In furtherance of its value driven commitment to mentor the next generation and give back to the community, CAAM proudly trains and employs high school students year- round through its Young Docent program; offers Buses & Docents as a source of equitable access to field trip opportunities for school and community groups that otherwise could not afford the transportation; fosters cross-issue, cross-town and cross- cultural learning and dialogue through its Young Voices at CAAM school exchanges;

CAAM – Soul Stirring: African American Self-Taught Artists from the South   
actively advocates literacy, book reading and written expression through Heads are Turning, Children are Learning; and, creates small business development and customer out-reach opportunities for artists and craftsmen through its on-site Artpreneur vending program.

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