Media contact: 
David M. Henahan, director of communications
518-587-2100, ext. 2918
David.Henahan@esc.edu

518-321-7038
(after 5 p.m. and weekends)

February 21, 2014

SUNY Empire State College Celebrates Black History Month with “The Legacy and The Dream,” a Mixed Media Exhibition

Graduates Edwin Deloatch and Verona Rowe are proud graduates of the Metropolitan Center class of 2013.

Edwin DeLoatch, seen here with Verona Rowe at the 2013 Metropolitan Center Graduation, will read his poem, "The Dream Continues." Photo/Empire State College

(BROOKLYN, N.Y., Feb. 21, 2014) – SUNY Empire State College’s Metropolitan New York Center will host “The Legacy and The Dream,” a mixed media exhibition by current students and alumni in celebration of Black History Month and the life of Martin Luther King Jr.

The opening reception takes place from 5:30-7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 26, at the Metropolitan New York Center’s Livingston Gallery, sixth floor, 177 Livingston Street, Brooklyn.

The event is one in a series celebrating Black History Month that Empire State College is hosting throughout February at locations across the state.

“Celebrating Black History month with a mixed media exhibition about Martin Luther King Jr. is a great example of how the college’s faculty and staff involve students and alumni in the visual, written and performing arts and our country’s history as part of their overall experience with Empire State College,” said Merodie A. Hancock, president of the college. “From Buffalo to Brooklyn, and points in between, our participation in honoring Black History Month is a great example of what makes us distinctive and how we engage with the community to learn more about important events and issues.”

“Africa,” one of student Paulette Jemmott’s delicate, handmade embroideries reflects the "then and now" of African-Americans.

“Africa,” one of student Paulette Jemmott’s delicate, handmade embroideries reflects the "then and now" of African-Americans. Image supplied by the artist

“The exhibit honors the life and work of a great leader and showcases the talent of our students and alumni,” said exhibit co-curator Raúl Manzano, a faculty mentor in the arts at the college’s Metropolitan New York Center. “Our students are the continuation of Dr. King’s legacy. Through their own written and visual expressions, the artists portray personal or collective experiences that reflect and speak to the spirit of a new America.”

About the Artists and Their Art

The exhibit features the poem, “The Dream Continues,” by Edwin DeLoatch ’13. Written for the occasion, DeLoatch will read the poem at the opening reception.

Student Wade De Loe's black and white photographs are a testimony to the poverty still present in 21st-century America.

A self-described “accidental artist,” student Claudia van Holt is a visual translator. Her mixed media works on paper reflect her search for freedom to create nonlinear, dynamic compositions. A native of Brazil, van Holt lives in Brooklyn. The borough’s rich cultural diversity informs the dynamics of van Holt’s work.

Student Paulette Jemmott’s delicate, handmade embroideries reflect the "then and now" of African-Americans and the progress they have made since they were slaves.

“We Shall Overcome,” is one in a series of photographs of the 50th anniversary of the Aug. 28, 1963 civil rights march to the nation’s capital by Marvenia Knight '12. Image supplied by the artist.

“We Shall Overcome,” is one in a series of photographs of the 50th anniversary of the Aug. 28, 1963 civil rights march to the nation’s capital by Marvenia Knight '12. Image supplied by the artist

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In a series of photographs of the 50th anniversary of the Aug. 28, 1963 civil rights march to the nation’s capital, Marvenia Knight '12 recounts history through images of a diverse group of people marching for the same causes 50 years later.

Student JahLib’s mixed media portrait of President Barak Obama speaks of dreams and opportunities. “No matter where you are, people are the same,” said JahLib. “We may speak different languages, and cultures and traditions may differ, but people share life's joys and pains.”

Student JahLib’s mixed media portrait, “President Barak Obama,” speaks of dreams and opportunities. Image supplied by the artist.

Student JahLib’s mixed media portrait, “President Barak Obama,” speaks of dreams and opportunities. Image supplied by the artist.

A 1997 graduate, James Napoleon has created a three-window panel, “Abraham, Martin, and John,” that honors three champions of the civil rights movement. Martin Luther King, Jr. is presented in equal stature with U.S. presidents Abraham Lincoln and John Kennedy who, like King, were assassinated. Although King did not seek elected office, his life’s work, values and legacy paved the way for the first African-American president.

Vanessa Moore, who earned her associate with the college in 2012 and is working toward a bachelor’s, co-curates the exhibition with Manzano. Free and open to the public, the exhibition is on display from noon to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, now through March 28, and by appointment by calling 718-907-5740.

About SUNY Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 to offer adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State University of New York.

James Napoleon ’97, has created a three-window panel, “Abraham, Martin, and John,” that honors three champions of the civil rights movement: Martin Luther King, Jr. and U.S. presidents Abraham Lincoln and John Kennedy. Image supplied by the artist.

James Napoleon ’97, has created a three-window panel, “Abraham, Martin, and John,” that honors three champions of the civil rights movement: Martin Luther King, Jr. and U.S. presidents Abraham Lincoln and John Kennedy. Image supplied by the artist

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In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career. Students engage in guided independent study and course work onsite, online or through a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to learn at the time, place and pace they choose.

The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide at more than 35 locations in the state of New York and online. Its 70,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more. More information about the college is available here.

Directions: #2, 3 trains to Hoyt Street or A,C,G to Hoyt-Schermerhorn Streets.

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Media contact: David Henahan, director of communications

518-587-2100, ext. 2918

David.Henahan@esc.edu

518-321-7038 (after hours and on weekends)