Elijah Pierce Gallery

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ONE LOVE... the community collects AMINAH 

Opening Reception:
February 17, 2023, 4 PM – 6 PM

Elijah Pierce Gallery

 

On View:
February 17 - March 6, 2024

 Tuesdays through Fridays by appointment from 1 PM to 5 PM
Group Tours are available to be scheduled
Elijah Pierce Gallery

An exhibition of works by international artist, Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson (1940-2015).  Local collectors present their prized artwork to be displayed in honor of one of Columbus' most illustrious artists.  Aminah was an artistic talent who created a body of art that addressed the ideals and life stories of a people.  With integrity, humor, and wisdom.  She created more than 28,000 artworks that honor the orals she heard as a child and capture the sights, sounds, and experiences of a community.  For her, art and are intertwined.‍

 

Robinson received international recognition for her very distinctive art.  She incorporated a variety of techniques, spinning, weaving, sewing, sculpting, painting, writing, and drawing.  Her impressions of Mt. Vernon Ave. restored the potency the “Avenue” once had, making permanently visible that which no longer existed.

The art of Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson was fresh and engaging. Her spontaneous imagery belied hours of painstaking research.  Whether creating art about Mt. Vernon Ave., Poindexter Village, Sellsville, Senegal or Sapelo’s Hog Hammock Community, Robinson dissected her subjects to recover displaced and forgotten facts.  Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson earned many honors, awards and fellowships. She exhibited extensively and has published two books and illustrated six others.

Operating supporters include AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER Foundation, Bath and Body Works, City of Columbus, Columbus Foundation, Crabbe Brown & James, LLP, Easton Community Foundation, Greater Columbus Arts Council, Martin Luther King Breakfast Committee, Inc., Nationwide Foundation and Ohio Arts Council.

The Elijah Pierce Gallery presents a wide range of historical and contemporary exhibitions that include painting, sculpture, graphics, photography, and decorative arts. The gallery is named in honor of the late Columbus Near East Side resident Elijah Pierce, America’s foremost wood carver of 20th century folk art.

Services

At the Gallery, a rich variety of programs and services are available to the public that include:

  • Exhibitions of local, national, and international artists
  • School tours of exhibitions
  • Gallery talks and hands-on workshops in art education
  • Study guides and resource materials
  • Junior Docent guided tours
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The Elijah Pierce Gallery Hours

The Elijah Pierce Gallery is currently only open to the public on Thursdays from 6 PM to 8 PM. However, you can Schedule a Group Tour Monday through Friday from 1 PM to 5 PM.

Sunday: Closed
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 1 PM - 5 PM (by appointment only)
Wednesday: 1 PM - 5 PM (by appointment only)
Thursday: 1 PM - 5 PM (by appointment only) and 6 PM - 8 PM
Friday: 1 PM - 5 PM (by appointment only)
Saturday: Closed

 

About Elijah Pierce

Elijah Pierce was born to a former slave in Baldwin, Mississippi and began to carve at an early age when his father gave him a pocket knife. He developed a hobby for woodcarving and began carving wooden farm animals and other figurines from wood scraps he found. In his teens Pierce had taken an interest in barbering. He learned the trade from a barbershop in his hometown and decided to make it a career. He moved to Columbus in 1923 to be with his wife Cornelia and opened a barbershop on East Long Street after her death in 1951.

After his move to Columbus, Elijah began to carve wood more seriously. By the early 1930s, be began mounting his three-dimensional figures on cardboard or wooden backgrounds. In 1932, Pierce completed the Book of Wood, which he considered his best work. As an evangelistic lay minister, a number of his later works were also inspired by biblical stories and proverbs, Old and New Testament topics inspired him. “Every piece of work I got carved,” stated Pierce, “is a message, a sermon.” His early work also depicted African-inspired fables, Freemasonry symbols, African-American heroes, and a veritable “Noah’s Ark” of animals.

During this lifetime, Pierce received international recognition for his work and is regarded as one of the most talented and influential woodcarvers of his time. In 1973, Pierce won first prize in the International Meeting of Native Art in Zagreb, Yugoslavia. In 1982, the National Endowment of the Arts awarded him a fellowship as one of 15 master traditional artists. After his death in 1984, the Martin Luther King Jr. Performing and Cultural Arts Complex recognized his work by naming the Elijah Pierce Gallery in his honor.

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