Art House will have the incredible honor of hearing from Dr. Monique Wells at Bistro by the Tracks on Friday, May 5th. The topic of conversation? The life and art of Knoxville-born, Beauford Delaney. Delaney is considered by many as one of the greatest American abstract painters of the twentieth century. Despite battling poverty, prejudice, and mental illness, Delaney achieved an international reputation for his portraits, scenes of city life, and free-form abstractions marked by intense colors, bold contours, and expressive surfaces. This is very timely, as the art exhibition featuring his work opens on Thursday, May 4th.
A 24-year resident of Paris, Dr. Monique Wells co-founded the travel planning service Discover Paris! and created the company’s Entrée to Black Paris tours and activities that bring the African-American experience in Paris to life. Dr. Wells has shared stories about the African Diaspora’s rich history, culture, and contemporary life in Paris in newspapers, magazines, and e-publications, including the International Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and New York Times. She is co-author of Paris Reflections: Walks through African-American Paris and author of Black Paris Profiles, which features the stories of 24 contemporary African-American and Afro-Caribbean expatriates.
Her first book, Food for the Soul, was named Best Nonfiction Book of 2001 by The Sistah Circle Book Club and was featured on Al Roker’s Food Network television show Recipe for Success. With a preface by Michelin-star chef Alain Ducasse, the French edition of Food for the Soul has helped introduce African-American culinary art, history, and culture to France.
Dr. Well’s freelance writing led her to uncover the story of Beauford Delaney’s unmarked Paris burial place. She subsequently founded Les Amis de Beauford Delaney (Friends of Beauford Delaney) as a French non-profit association. In her endeavor to raise funds to place a tombstone at Beauford’s previously unmarked grave, she became increasingly passionate about this artist’s story and about his art. She recently organized the first-ever exhibition of Beauford’s paintings from Paris private collections, which may come to Knoxville in the fall of 2018.
Here is a link to her blog about Beauford Delaney: http://lesamisdebeauforddelaney.blogspot.com/
For more information about the KMA’s upcoming exhibition Gathering Light: Works by Beauford Delaney: http://knoxart.org/exhibitions/gathering-light-works-by-beauford-delaney-from-the-kma-collection/
Lastly, the New York Times recently did a piece about why the revival of Delaney’s work is so important: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/08/arts/international/beauford-delaney-returns-to-the-scene.html
Please email Carla Pare, firstname.lastname@example.org if you are able to attend, as there is limited seating. You will be able to order dinner from the full menu at Bistro by the Tracks.