Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Representing the District of Columbia

Places in Washington DC

Norton to Recognize World Renowned Artist Sam Gilliam During Metro Dedication Ceremony, Saturday

Jun 10, 2011
Press Release
 

Norton to Recognize Internationally Renowned Artist Sam Gilliam During Metro Dedication Ceremony, Saturday

June 10, 2011 

WASHINGTON, DC - Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) on Saturday will join Mayor Vincent Gray, Councilmember Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), and Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Richard Sarles during the dedication ceremony of a large-scale mural by world-renowned artist Sam Gilliam at the Takoma Metrorail Station, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.   Gilliam's piece, From a Model to a Rainbow, will be displayed at the Metro underpass at 4th and Cedar Street, NW near Takoma Station, and is on exhibit as part of Metro's Art-in-Transit Program.

In the House floor statement Norton plans to deliver on Monday, June 13, she expresses gratitude to Gilliam for "developing the next generation of artists by mentoring and teaching art classes to D.C. Public Schools students," and notes that his studio is located in the historic Shaw neighborhood.  "For a lifetime of achievements and continuing contributions to the arts, as recognized throughout the nation and the world, I ask the House to join me in celebrating the uniquely distinctive place of Sam Gilliam in the arts."

Norton's full floor remarks on Sam Gilliam follow.

REMARKS OF HON. ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON

OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

MONDAY, JUNE 13, 2011

Ms. Norton.  Mr. Speaker,

I rise today to ask the House of Representatives to join me in recognizing Sam Gilliam, a world-renowned artist, an innovative leader in artistic expression, and a resident of the District of Columbia.

Born in Tupelo, Mississippi, Sam has spent most of his distinguished career as a resident of this city.  Through the guidance and encouragement of his elementary school teachers, Sam discovered his interest in painting and artistic expression while growing up in Louisville, Kentucky.  After graduating from Central High School in Louisville, Sam earned a bachelor of arts degree in fine arts and a master's degree in painting from the University of Louisville.  Then both taught in Louisville public schools and served in the United States Army.

           

Sam Gilliam's work is distinctive in its creative artistry, using bright, piercing colors (which solidified his place at the Washington Color School), distorting geometric shapes and displaying unframed painted canvases, enabling the work of art and background to blend as one. 

As a member of the Smithsonian Art Collectors Program, Sam produced several pieces to benefit arts education programs at the Smithsonian Institution, including In Celebration, 1987 and Museum Moment, 2009.  In 2005, the District's prestigious Corcoran Gallery of Art honored Sam with a retrospective exhibit that highlighted his artistic achievements.  Sam's first solo exhibition was featured in the District's Jefferson Place Gallery, and the current exhibition of his work at two premiere galleries in the city, the Philips Collection and the Katzen Center at American University, indicates continuing appreciation of his  unique pieces.  Sam has been awarded numerous honorary degrees, and his work has been featured throughout the world, including the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DCTate Gallery, London; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New YorkHirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH; and the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France.  Sam's new piece for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's (Metro) Art-in-Transit Program, From a Model to a Rainbow, is being displayed at the Metro's underpass at 4th and Cedar Street, NW near Takoma Station.  I will be among the guests to recognize Sam, one of America's most famous artists, on Saturday, June 11, 2011, at Takoma Station.

The District of Columbia and its residents are particularly grateful for Sam Gilliam's work in developing the next generation of artists by mentoring and teaching art classes to D.C. Public Schools students.  His studio is located in the historic Shaw neighborhood, an area of the city known for its diverse forms of music, dance, and culture.

For a lifetime of achievements and continuing contributions to the arts, as recognized throughout the nation and the world, I ask the House to join me in celebrating the uniquely distinctive place of Sam Gilliam in the arts.