The Center for Black Culture Gallery with Nick Guzzo’s photographs on display. Photo credit: Lynn Clouser.
Drexel University’s Center for Black Culture (CBC), in partnership with the Drexel Founding Collection, the newly renamed University’s flagship collection of art, opened the Center for Black Culture Gallery on the first floor of the Rush Building to showcase artwork from Drexel students, faculty, and professional staff as well as the surrounding communities. The University’s newest space for art provides an opportunity to expand visitors’ knowledge of the talented and diverse artists both on and off campus. The gallery officially opened in the fall of 2021, and will feature a lineup of rotating exhibitions throughout the year.
The first exhibition was That Was Yesterday, May 30, 2020, by Nick Guzzo, an amateur, self-taught photographer in Philadelphia who began using his interest in photography to cope with anxiety after his military career. On May 30, 2020, during the protests in Philadelphia over the unjust murders of Black people, Nick used his art to capture the outrage he knew most people, especially the Black community, were experiencing. His photographs show the raw emotions and frustration felt by the protestors that day and the reality of what transpired. All nine of these photographs were purchased by the Founding Collection (formerly The Drexel Collection), with part of each purchase going to The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia.
In addition to the rotating gallery space, there are photographs and artwork displayed throughout the Center for Black Culture to portray Black experiences, beauty, and contributions to music, athletics, and Philadelphia. Artists with pieces on display include noted local photographers Walter Iooss, Jr.; Larry Fink, Shawn Theodore, and Drexel’s Roberta Gruber, associate professor in the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. These pieces were selected from holdings in the Founding Collection, originally donated by Albert Lord III, BS business administration ’89, founder and chief executive officer of Lexerd Capital Management LLC, in 2017, 2019 and 2020, as well as those purchased by the Founding Collection in 2021 and 2022.
Keep an eye out for new pieces of artwork purchased for the CBC and on loan from the Founding Collection that will continue to rotate through the Center. Pieces on display are available online through the Founding Collection and will soon be available on the CBC’s webpage. If you are interested in displaying artwork in the CBC Gallery or assisting with the installation and interpretation of any of the artworks, please reach out to Lynn Waddell, director of the Founding Collection, at [email protected].
From That Was Yesterday, May 30, 2020 by Nick Guzzo: