Personal to Political

Celebrating the African-American Artists of Paulson Fontaine Press

May 22 through July 26, 2020

On view in the Atrium, Blackmon, Goldman, Richard, and Rushton Stakely Galleries


The artists of Personal to Political capture the many personal narratives and political battles of African American artists across the country, reflecting a collective experience expressed in uniquely individual ways. Drawing on the experiences and conceptual interpretations of 15 artists, this exhibition includes a large collection of prints from Paulson Fontaine Press, a long-time supporter of African-American artists like Kerry James Marshall, Martin Puryear, the Gee’s Bend quilters, among others.

Aptly situated in Berkeley, California—a city well-known for civil rights advocacy—and drawing on the San Francisco Bay Area’s rich history of fine art printmaking, Paulson Fontaine Press (PFP) has a long tradition of supporting both established and under-represented artists. PFP’s hands-off approach and philosophy to facilitate rather than direct is evident in the wide array of resulting work that is both broad in media and conceptual approaches. Interesting fusions like abstract expressionism and formal imagery, or transforming a traditional medium—like a quilt—into a print creates an interesting dialog between the artist and viewer. Personal to Political honors the stories and wisdom of African American artists that Paulson Fontaine Press has cherished for decades.

At the heart of this show is Paulson Fontaine Press, a print studio that over the past two decades has developed an unparalleled roster of internationally-celebrated artists including Martin Puryear, Kerry James Marshall, and the Gee’s Bend Quilters.


Personal to Political: Celebrating the African-American Artists of Paulson Fontaine Press was organized by Carrie Lederer, Curator of Exhibitions, Bedford Gallery, Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, CA.



This exhibition is sponsored by the Alabama State Council on the Arts with additional support provided by co-sponsor Renasant Bank.


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