Artist Shares Stories Behind Her Lynchburg Exhibit - - ABC13

Artist Shares Stories Behind Her Lynchburg Exhibit


Lynchburg, VA--An art exhibition highlighting the struggles and triumphs in African American culture is wrapping up this weekend in Lynchburg.

It's titled "Lives and Loves," and it's been at downtown's Riverviews Art Space since January. The artist, Avis Collins Robinson, traveled from Arlington to be at the exhibit Saturday. She says she got the inspiration for her pieces from the hearts of her ancestors. Behind each painting and every quilt there is a deep story.

It's been more than 50 years since Vivian Malone Jones walked through the doors of the University of Alabama.

"I have her walking over African American history. And she's going from the past and breaking through to the University of Alabama," said Robinson.

Taking a step that could have had her killed.

"It goes from yellow-green to red-orange literally she's going into hell," said Robinson.

For Avis Collins Robinson, these pieces of art are more than just paint and canvas.

"I remember as a child people telling me to go back to Africa," said Robinson.

She started the collection in honor of her mother who before her death, said she thought no one would remember her.

"And I said, 'I assure you that they will.'"

Her paintings and quilts are dedicated to her family and heritage. She's even incorporated pieces of fabric from her ancestors.

"My goal was to basically tell the story of African American History through artifacts, art, and textiles," said Robinson.

Riverviews Artspace Manager Sylvia Noyes says it's rare for art viewers to meet the person behind the work; which makes this exhibit all the more special.

 "It can be really enlightening to find out what the artist was thinking when they created something, what their motivations were," said Noyes.

"It's really an honor to be in Lynchburg. It's really neat. I'm really surprised at the people that have come out to see the exhibition. I'm stunned," said Robinson.

Robinson says she has never taken an art class in her life and has only sold one painting. That painting is of President Lincoln and resides at Ford Theater in Washington D.C. The next stop for Robinson's exhibit will be Baltimore, a place her ancestors migrated to. If you want to see her art, it will be on display in Lynchburg until Sunday.


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