Press Room

Georgia Museum of Art to host annual Black History Month Dinner

Friday, February 18, 2017

The Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia will host its annual Black History Month Dinner on February 24 at 6 p.m. The dinner and awards ceremony will feature the presentation of the Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Award and the Lillian C. Lynch Citation. The national theme for Black History Month in 2017 is “Crisis in Education,” selected by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Mae Castenell is the event chair, and Lacy Middlebrooks Camp and Janyce Dawkins are co-chairs.

The evening will begin with gallery talks in the exhibition “Expanding Tradition: Selections from the Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Collection” led by Shawnya Harris, Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Curator of African American and African Diasporic Art, and on African American artists in the permanent collection led by Sarah Kate Gillespie, curator of American art. A fashion show presented by the Young Designers Sewing Program will take place in the Shannon and Peter Candler Collection Study Room.

The awards ceremony will follow dinner. This year’s honorees are Althea Natalga Sumpter and Larry M. Walker. Sumpter will receive the Lillian C. Lynch Citation for her work as a professor, artist, producer and ethnographer. She uses digital media technology to combine stories of her own Gullah Geechee culture with traditional historical, genealogical and documentary research, and she is a founding member of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission and has served as its vice-chair and chair. Walker, who is an esteemed professor emeritus and former director of the Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design at Georgia State University, will receive the Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Award. An artist and an educator born in Franklin, Georgia, he has participated in more than 200 group exhibitions and more than 40 solo exhibitions featuring his abstract paintings, drawings and mixed-media works. The dinner will end with remarks from director William U. Eiland and a closing statement by Brenda A. Thompson.

Single tickets are sold out but sponsorships, with ticket benefits, are still available. Visit to sponsor and receive guaranteed tickets. Call 706-542-0830 for additional ticket inquiries.

The event is generously sponsored by: Lacy Middlebrooks Camp and Thomas G. Camp; Morgan Stanley Wealth Management; Ms. Valerie Aldridge; Dr. and Mrs. Louis A. Castenell Jr.; C. Becton Ford; Gordhan and Jinx Patel; Kathy Prescott and Grady Thrasher; Kendell and Tony Turner; the UGA Office of Institutional Diversity; the UGA Office of the President; Peg and Norman Wood; Lucy and Buddy Allen; the Athens (GA) Chapter of the Links, Incorporated; Dr. L. Bigelow; Travis and Susie Burch; Sige Burden Jr.; Dr. and Mrs. Mark C. Dawkins; Betsy and Blair Dorminey; Howard and Helen Elkins; Cynthia S. Harbold; Amy and Hank Huckaby; Craig H. Kennedy and Tina Hyvogen; David and Becky Matheny; C. Van and Libby V. Morris; Carl and Marian Mullis; Janet and Alex Patterson; Sarah and Chris Peterson; Denise Ricks; Julie and Ira Roth; Drs. Alonzo and Shenara Sexton; Margie Spalding. Event partners are: the Athens Printing Company, Barron’s Rental Center, Epting Events and Flowers by Posy.


Writer: Hannah McCollum,
Contact: Michael Lachowski, 706-542-9078,

Note to editors: Contact for high-resolution images.

Museum Information
Partial support for the exhibitions and programs at the Georgia Museum of Art is provided by the Georgia Council for the Arts through appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. The council is a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Individuals, foundations and corporations provide additional museum support through their gifts to the University of Georgia Foundation. The Georgia Museum of Art is located in the Performing and Visual Arts Complex on UGA’s East Campus. The address is 90 Carlton St., Athens, GA, 30602-1502. For more information, including hours, see or call 706-542-4662

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