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The Cultural Arts Gallery Presents Curtis Berry: A Retrospective

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The Cultural Arts Gallery Presents Curtis Berry: A Retrospective

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Category: Arts at MC

Published: 2017-09-07 00:00:01.000

This exhibition explores the work of Curtis Berry, a long-time DC resident, Montgomery College student, and jazz-lover. The exhibit opened August 14th and runs through October 27th. A reception will be held Thursday, September 14 from 6-8 p.m. in conjunction with the opening reception at the King Street Gallery in the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Arts Center.

The exhibit showcases paintings and illustrations by Curtis Berry. Mr. Berry was a long-time Continuing Education student at Montgomery College, who passed away suddenly last summer.

After serving in the military, he used the GI bill to attend The Pratt Institute of Art, where he was among the first generation of African Americans to graduate from that prestigious program. He continued to break barriers in his career, producing illustrations for, among others, the CBS Nightly News, Meet the Press, and the Library of Congress in the 70's and 80's. He became a fixture in Montgomery College's painting classes upon retirement.

The paintings in the exhibition are colorful homages to jazz and blues greats, family, and civil rights. The illustrations included in the exhibition all pre-digital, show incredible craftsmanship in the line drawings with colored gouache acetate overlays. Dealing with the Cold War, racial inequality, and the murky presidential politics of the Nixon era, many of them are also eerily resonant in our current time.

Curtis was soft-spoken and modest in person, but a wealth of knowledge and fascinating stories if you could draw him out. He was incredibly proud of his accomplishments and his family, and a wonderful mentor to dozens of our undergrads. This exhibition was suggested by his classmates as a tribute to all he gave to us. The show will be up in the Cultural Arts Center on Georgia Avenue through October 27th.

Cultural Arts Gallery

Exhibition Dates: August 14 - October 27, 2017

Opening Reception: Thursday, September 14, 6 - 8 p.m.

Location: The Cultural Arts Gallery is on the ground floor of the Cultural Arts Center on the west side of the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus. The arts center is located at 7995 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Parking is available in the West Campus Garage, which is immediately behind the center. Additional parking is available in the East Campus Garage on Fenton Street with pedestrian access by a bridge and walking path.

For maps and directions, visit
For more information: Call 240-567-5821 or

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