June Edmonds and the Legacy of American Abstract Painting

Blacklandia Events Series and the Riverside Art Museum Present June Edmonds and the Legacy of American Abstract Painting with art historian Richard Allen May III and curator Lisa Henry

Saturdays in September 10, 17, 24, and October 1

  • 4:00-5:30 PM – September, 10, 27, 24 via Zoom
  • 2:30-4:00 PM – October 1 an optional in-person meeting at Riverside Art Museum.

Free and open to the public. Register at this link.

This workshop will be team-taught by art historian Richard May III and curator Lisa Henry. 

Coinciding with the Riverside Art Museum’s exhibition of Abstract painter June Edmonds, this four-part workshop will survey the hidden history of American Abstract art. Focusing on the vibrant work of LA based artist June Edmonds, the workshop will give participants a background on American abstract painters with a special focus on women and artists of color like Edmonds who have pursued a path of abstraction with an emphasis on color, pattern and texture to create works of stunning power. 

Each week, both instructors will present brief lectures on specific topics related to abstract art, followed by engaged discussion regarding art appreciation, interpretation and personal identity. Each class will use the works of June Edmonds as a prism for a wider consideration of contemporary abstract painting. A reading list will also be posted for participants that want to delve further into the field.

Richard Allen May III is a scholar, educator, cultural critic, and artist dedicated to the history and contributions of African American artists. He was selected as an editor and had his foreword included in the May 2020 book, AFRICOBRA: Experimental Art Toward a School of Thought by Wadsworth Jarrell and published by Duke University Press.  May has presented his research on African American art at the San Jose State Art History Symposium, the New Critical Perspectives on African American Art History at the David C. Driskell Center in Maryland and the College Art Association’s annual conference in 2010 held in Chicago. Since 2021, he has taught survey courses in art history the Bowie State University, an HBCU (Historically Black College, University) in Maryland. Additionally, as a lecturer for the African American Studies Department for California State University, Fullerton, Cal State San Bernardino and Art Center, he incorporates the study of African American artists in his instruction to students. May has contributed art exhibition reviews, curator profiles, artist interviews and book reviews for Los Angeles-based magazine, Artillery for over six years.   Lisa Henry is an independent curator and educator working in Southern California. She is the curator of Riverside Art Museum’s upcoming exhibition featuring June Edmonds. She has also organized Brenna Youngblood: Lavender Rainbow and Sheila Pree Bright: #1960Now at RAM. She has also curated shows at California African American Museum, The UCLA Hammer Museum and The MAC Center for Art and Architecture in Los Angeles.

Image: June Edmonds, Two Lillies of Ojai, oil on canvas, courtesy of Katherine Ng and Becky Villasenor