The GGA will achieve its mission through a multi-faceted approach that will include the following:
- Providing Exhibitions of Diaspora Artists (especially emerging, mid-career and artists of historical relevance)
- Promoting (multi-) cultural conversations which increase the knowledge and appreciation of the arts of the African Diaspora
- Exploring the interrelations of diaspora visual arts, music, dance, literature, and history.
- Developing Connoisseurs and Collectors of African Diaspora Art
- Educating Owners of Diaspora Art in the Duties of Stewardship
- Training Students in Visual Arts Management and Education
Origin of Griot Concept
In African cultures, the griot functions as a living bridge, a community’s cultural connector, generationally and geographically.
Griots were the true renaissance men/polymaths of the community. Often a single individual would occupy multiple roles: teacher, singer dramatist, poet, warrior, praise singer, historian, and advisor. They would possess the specialized knowledge that each of these roles require.
“A griot helps keep the past alive by remembering it for others. A griot sings, praises, celebrates, and announces, as well as many other things, but most of all a griot remembers.” - Quote From Bucknell Univeristy
At Griots' Gallery and Academy (GGA), we envision a new type of griot that supplements the oral tradition. The visual griot communicates via images rather than the spoken word. In the 21st century, visual presentation and representation continue to increase in importance. Visual griots, like traditional griots, are our communal guides that link our past to the future. They reinforce our cultural values, beliefs and provide the context for understanding the African Diaspora.
GGA draws for a home collection of over 500 items and over 200 artists. These images encompass a broad sampling of themes, styles, and media for the visual artists/griots.
Though blacks in the diaspora are famous for their musical and dance contributions to world, their contributions to the visual arts are much less well known or recognized. It is the goal of the gallery and academy to increase the awareness of the diverse artistic production of the black visual artists and show their value and contribution to the multicultural heritage of the United States.
The gallery provides a mirror by which diaspora artists can see themselves and understand their reality. They interpret this reality and show it to the diaspora community and the rest of the world.
The gallery endeavors to show the common threads in the visual arts throughout the diaspora irrespective of geographic origin.
We would love for you to visit us at Located in The Center for Haitian Studies:
8260 NE 2nd Avenue
Miami, Florida 33138
Hours of Operation: By Appointment
Phone: (305) 420-6545
Fax: (305) 420-6175
Web Site: griotsgallery.com