This grant is being used to develop an infrastructure for digitizing, preserving and exhibiting the Redd Family Black Art Collection. In 1990, Redd’s parents, Melgenia and Vernon Redd, opened “Miracles Fine Art,” the first institution of its kind in his hometown of Macon, GA that specialized in exhibiting the work of Black artists. Inspired by an activist passion forged in an era that saw the end of Jim Crow, they were determined to contribute to the preservation and celebration of Black art and culture. Over time, they built a collection of approximately 500 items, including paintings, sculptures, masks, mixed media works and woven fabrics. In the late 90’s, the gallery was closed due to flooding and challenges related to Redd’s father’s struggle with several illnesses. The entire collection was then stored in closets and the garage at their family home.
“After I moved to Pittsburgh to begin my career as a multimedia artist, filmmaker, sculptor and independent scholar, my parents bequeathed the Redd Family Black Art Collection to me,” says Redd. “It has been outside of the public eye for over two decades, and I would like to properly conserve and digitize this archive so that it can be used to advance the ecosystem of Black arts in Pittsburgh.”
Redd says this grant will have a tremendous impact on saving an important archive of Black art from further deterioration. And once this collection is stabilized and digitized, it can serve as the basis of a wide variety of collaborative, innovative projects that will activate Pittsburgh’s arts workers.