In the Paint: Art, Athletics & the Spirit of the Games showcases works of art, presented for the modern Olympic and other international games, which were created by African American artists. Guided by the spirit of Olympism, the creations celebrate fair play, human dignity, equality, and determination. By placing artists who created these exemplary works alongside the stories of the athletes who helped break down racial and other social barriers, In the Paint fulfills Pierre de Coubertin’s original mission for the Olympic games—to present the combined beauty of art and athletics.
Divided into six thematic sections, In the Paint commemorates the legacy of the ancient and modern Olympics, celebrates triumph in the face of racial discrimination, honors women athletes, presents sport as a service to humankind, recognizes civic pride within nations, and demonstrates the expanding traditions among African American athletes who strive to compete at this elite level.
This exhibition would not be possible without the contributions of artist Steve R. Allen, whose 21 Olympic works and generous spirit were the inspiration for this project. The exhibition also includes works by Ernie Barnes, Jacob Lawrence, Chris Ofili, Paul Goodnight, Emma Amos, Charly Palmer, William Tolliver, Maya Angelou, Juliet Seignious, and more.
Above right: Steve R. Allen, "The Stretch", Acrylic on Canvas (30" x 40")
Exhibit Sponsors: Kresge Foundation, Erb Family Foundation, Ally Bank, MCACA/NEA, the McGregor Fund