Spoken Word Ignites the Night during January Fourth Friday

Contact: Mary Kinney, (910) 323-1776, ext. 239
Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County
Visual Art Inspires Spoken Word for January 4th Friday

What do people think when they see Ernest Crichlow’s painting Window? Better still, what do people SAY
about it? Local artists are invited to put their impressions about visual art into words and present their poetry for a chance to win $150 in prizes.

The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County is pleased to partner with OUR P.L.A.C.E., a local cultural arts non-profit that holds monthly poetry events, for special programming at the Arts Council (301 Hay St.) during 4th Friday on Jan. 27 from 7 to 9 p.m. The free event, Poetry and Reflections,will feature local artists performing poems inspired by the upcoming exhibition,Reflections: African American Life from the Myrna Colley-Lee Collection. The exhibition, which opens to the public on Feb. 4, honors the lives, traditions and environments of African Americans in the 20th century.

The poetry event will be divided into two performance segments: open mic followed by competition. During the open mic portion, people are invited to speak on the topics of their choosing (no registration required). Individuals participating in the competition portion must perform original poems inspired by artwork in the upcoming Reflections exhibition. There is no fee to participate, but  space is limited and registration is required for competing artists. To sign up, go to the event on OUR P.L.A.C.E.’s Facebook page or e-mailourplacenpo@gmail.com. The competition will be judged by randomly selected audience members. Winners will receive $150 in cash prizes.


Friday, Feb. 3, 7-9 p.m.
Exclusive opening premiere reception with Myrna Colley-Lee featuring a one-time showing of select costumes created by the collector, sumptuous hors d’oeuvres and jazz music by Reggie Codrington. $50 per person ($45 for Arts Council members). Proceeds from this fundraiser help keep Arts Council exhibits free and open to the public. Very limited seating. (Payment due upon reservation.) Click here to purchase tickets now.

Saturday, Feb. 4, 11 a.m. – Noon
Free meet and greet with Myrna Colley-Lee and exhibit tour. Galleries remain open until 4 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 24, 7-9 p.m.
Carole Boston Weatherford shares the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, as told in her new book You Can Fly. No admission cost.

Saturday, March 4, 1-3 p.m. Youth Explosion performances of singing, dancing and more! Presented by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Fayetteville Alumnae Chapter, this is a free event offered to the public.


Featuring more than 50 pieces from the collection of renowned costume designer and arts patron, Myrna Colley-Lee, Reflections tells a story of heritage, community, and place. Organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C. in collaboration with Myrna Colley-Lee, Reflections is on view at the Arts Council at 301 Hay Street from Feb. 4 through March 4. Theexhibition is offered for free on Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.

Leading this exploration are works on paper by prominent African-American artists including Elizabeth Catlett, Gwen Knight, Betye Saar, John Scott, and Hale Woodruff. Rural landscapes captured by Maude Schulyer Clay,Gerald DeLoach, Randy Hayes, and Tom Rankin are set in contrast with urban landscape paintings by Ernest Crichlow and Rod Ivey (“Window” by Crichlow pictured above). Studio portraits by celebrated photographerJames Van Der Zee, and the more candid photography of Roland Freeman,Milly Moorhead, and Eudora Welty, provide a glimpse into the African diaspora. Works by collage masters Romare Bearden and James Denmark, along with a haunting shadowbox construction by postmodernist Radcliffe Bailey, speak to the layered histories of a strong and spiritual people. A rare painting by famed artist Charles White concludes the transformative journey and conveys the quiet wisdom of Reflections.

The Reflections collection both represents a dialogue between the artists and the ever-evolving African-American identity, and reflects the attitude and eye of Colley-Lee — artist and cultural connoisseur with great respect and understanding for the African storytelling tradition.


Myrna Colley-Lee, collector of the works featured in the exhibition, is a leading advocate for the arts, an arts patron, and a professional artist: a pioneer costume designer in the Black Theatre Movement. Born in North Carolina, Colley-Lee has been a world traveler since the age of 17, Colley-Lee collected art from small villages in African and traditional venues, supporting artists at every level. She champions the arts from her many roles of service including creating a foundation that promotes writers and their art.

To request high-resolution images and/or interviews, contact Mary Kinney at maryk@theartscouncil.com. For more information about theexhibition, collector and related programming, visitwww.TheArtsCouncil.com/reflections.


Fayetteville State University’s Department of Performing & Fine Arts

Carolina Vascular Institute PA 


Piedmont Natural Gas

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Fayetteville Alumnae Chapter

SfL+a Architects

And generous individual community donors.

With support from: Macy’s

Media sponsors: The Fayetteville Observer, WRAL-TV and ESPN Radio

Funded in part by Cumberland County, the City of Fayetteville and NC Arts Council.


Reflections is organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC, in collaboration with Myrna Colley-Lee. IA&A is a non-profit arts service organization dedicated to increasing cross-cultural understanding and exposure to the arts internationally through exhibitions, programs and services to artists, arts institutions and the public. Visit www.artsandartists.org.


The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County was founded in 1973. As a link between artists, arts and cultural organizations and the community, the nonprofit agency administers programs in partnership with a variety of local agencies to stimulate community development through the arts. The Arts Council supports individual creativity, cultural preservation, economic development and lifelong learning through the arts.


The Arts Council’s grants, programs and services are funded in part by contributions from businesses and individuals, and through grants from the City of Fayetteville, Cumberland County and the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.

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