Bard College at Simon's Rock: the Early College

Johnson Foundation Inaugural Artists

Monday, January 29

Daniel Arts Center - Hillman-Jackson Gallery


Bard College at Simon’s Rock, in partnership with the James Weldon Johnson Foundation, presents an exhibition of the inaugural artist-in-residence program participants from January 29 through March 9. Located in the Hillman-Jackson Gallery at the Daniel Arts Center, the exhibition is open to the public daily while the college is in session. A panel discussion and reception with the artists will be announced at a later date.

Open daily from January 29 through March 9, 2018 while the College is in session.

Five artists selected to come to Great Barrington--Daniel Hibbert, Selwyn Garraway, Susan Powers, Meclina Priestley, and Cheryl Riley--used the Berkshires as their inspiration to create new works in painting and found objects. During their residencies, which ranged from one to three weeks throughout the summer of 2017, the artists created new work in a studio space provided by Simon’s Rock, and were also given access to the former home and writing cabin of James Weldon Johnson, now owned by the Johnson Foundation, located next door to the Simon’s Rock campus on Alford Road. 

“The idea of creating an artist residency program was one of the best ways I could think of to honor and foster James Weldon Johnson’s legacy,” says the foundation’s chairperson and executor of Johnson’s literary estate, Jill Rosenberg Jones. “Partnering with Simon’s Rock has been the linchpin in making this dream come true.”

About the Artists
Daniel Hibbert, based in Brooklyn and originally trained as an engineer, deconstructs sources of inspiration such as the writings of James Baldwin and the music of Jay-Z into visual representations in paint. Selwyn Garraway, raised in Trinidad and now based in NYC, paints country homes and historic architecture in watercolor. Susan Powers, based in Westchester County, NY, paints folk art-like still lifes that focus on common everyday objects. Meclina Priestley, based in Florida, creates images using “micrography,” developing an image of a person entirely with miniscule text of inspirational poetry and writings. Cheryl Riley, based in New Jersey, creates paintings and objects through the lens of memory, history, iconography, rituals, attire, implements, and symbols. 

Cheryl Riley
Cheryl Riley
Daniel Hibbert
Daniel Hibbert
Susan Powers
Susan Powers
Selwyn Garraway
Selwyn Garraway
Meclina Priestley
Meclina Priestley

About the James Weldon Johnson Foundation
The James Weldon Johnson Foundation was founded to honor the Harlem Renaissance writer and leader of the NAACP. Its mission is to advance the legacy of James Weldon Johnson through educational, intellectual, and artistic works that impact the contemporary world and exemplify Johnson’s enduring contributions to American history and worldwide culture. The purpose of the residency program is to offer space and support for artists to create new work.