Sankofa Society: Friends of African-American and African Art

In West African language and culture, sankofa reminds one to remember and learn from the past. Sankofa, often symbolized with a bird looking backwards or a stylized heart, also means to bring forward the good from the past and use it in the present in order to progress. This grounds the Sankofa Society: Friends of African American and African Art.

The Sankofa Society: Friends of African American and African Art is a congenial group of people who appreciate, collect, and support African American and African art. Our purpose is three-fold: to support the Birmingham Museum of Art in acquisitions, to educate about art created by people of African descent, and to promote art of the Diaspora locally, regionally, and nationally. We fulfill our mission through membership dues, educational travel, seminars, lectures, and reaching out to other institutions and groups who are interested in African American and African art. Additionally, the Sankofa Society invites and welcomes artists to our city as a way to cultivate a meaningful and long-term relationship with the artist, the museum, and most importantly, Birmingham.

$250 per member
$100 per junior member (under 40)

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Upcoming Events

Decoding Black Art
Monthly series

Kelli Morgan, Ph.D. Candidate and Ford Fellow in residence at the BMA will offer a lecture series on African-American art beginning this fall. All lectures are free and open to the public, with private gatherings for Sankofa Society members before. The series will analyze and illuminate important works of African American art within the Museum’s permanent collection:

“We Are Roses From Our Mother’s Gardens”: The Visuality of Self-Making in African American Women’s Art
October 19, 2014
1:30 PM Private reception for Sankofa Members
2:30PM Lecture
Members Room

Easing The Tension: Lorna Simpson and Black Women’s Identity
November 16, 2014
1:30 PM Private reception for Sankofa Members
2:30PM Lecture
Members Room

“So Now I’m Looking Dead At You, Now What Are You Going TO Do?”: Mickalene Thomas and the Black Female Gaze
December 16, 2014
12:00 PM
Members Room


Meet artist Basil Watson

at Paperworks Local

Monday, March 30

5:30 pm

3815 Clairmont Ave S

Birmingham, Alabama 35222

Basil Watson

Inspired by the energy, vigor, and emotive quality of the human figure, renowned artist Basil Watson explores the language of the body through drawing and sculpture. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Basil studied at the Jamaica School of Art. From busts to life-size sculptures, his work can be seen across Jamaica, including the National Gallery of Jamaica, Jamaica’s three major universities, and the National Stadium.

Now residing in the U.S., Basil’s influence continues to grow as he is represented in galleries across the states. Recent major accomplishments include his participation in the 7th International Sculpture Symposium in Changchun, China where he completed the life-size sculpture Earth to Heaven and the installation of the 15 ft. sculpture Balance on Doctor’s Cave Beach commemorating their 100th anniversary.