Santa Maria Sun / Art
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 47
Sharing an experienceBlack History month is celebrated with a diverse art collection in Lompoc
BY JOE PAYNE
Culture is an amorphous phenomenon, constantly expanding and changing, leaving behind a wake of art, influence, and history. A collaboration among three local groups has led to an exhibition of such cultural art and artifacts in celebration of Black History Month, showing in Lompoc.
The Lompoc Museum—which cooperates every year with Club Arcturus, a Lompoc-based social club—will be host to part of a large collection of African-American-created and -inspired art from the Hudson Institute of African American Heritage and Global Arts Museum.
“There is a pretty wide latitude of what the exhibit is each year,” said Lompoc Museum Director Lisa Renken. “I have worked with Club Arcturus for 12 years now and sometimes the subject is black artists, and sometimes the artist won’t be African American but the subject will still be for Black History Month.”
Club Arcturus, which was founded in Lompoc in the 1960s, collaborated with the Hudson Institute of African American Heritage and Global Arts Museum in order to showcase some of the extensive collection. The Hudson Institute, founded in 2007, represents a lifelong passion for art collection by Albert C. Hudson, a retired peace officer and deacon at the Victory Harvest Church of God in Christ in Santa Maria.
“It’s a lifelong dream of mine to offer an opportunity for the community to learn about the different cultures in the area,” Hudson said. “And what better way, I thought, than through art.”
Though his institute didn’t start until 2007, Hudson has been collecting art since the 1980s, focusing on works that offer a perspective into the African American culture, community, and experience.
“We are dedicated to collecting, preserving, and interpreting the material and culture of African American ancestors,” he said. “It’s something that can educate and clear anything that may be a fog or a hindrance in our efforts to communicate with each other and live better.”
The show exhibits a rich diversity of media, including paintings, photography, sculpture, and even historical artifacts.
“One object is an African warrior shield, which is made from natural materials such as animal hide,” Hudson explained. “It is a couple of hundred years old, and it gives people a chance to see it and touch and feel what the actual designer or warrior felt when they carried it.”
Several of the photographs are of historical black figures such as Malcolm X or Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The exhibit opened just in time for MLK’s birthday and will run throughout February.
“We don’t want our kids to grow up in isolation or ignorance,” Hudson said. “The ‘Global Arts’ part of the name, I wanted to open up an opportunity, because we are too isolated.”
Hudson has plans for his collection that go past monthly exhibits. He hopes to open a museum in Santa Maria to display not just his collection, but art and historical artifacts from all of the various cultural and ethnic groups in the area.
“I envision the museum also as a learning center where people can do research on their culture or any culture, not just one,” he said. “This show is a unique opportunity to get a taste of the African American population in the valley, but I would like to see it going on all year, because we are so starved for it.”
Arts Editor Joe Payne is starving for culture and art. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.