Art Museum buys gift for the community

By Jeanne Norberg

The Art Museum has just purchased a gift for the community: "Black Friday," an oil painting by Chicago artist Gerald Griffin.

Black Friday, by Gerald Griffin

Black Friday, by Gerald Griffin

 The public can view it first at the Black Culture Center at Purdue University, where it will hang on the second floor in on long-term loan.

The 80-inch by 55-inch painting shows three black women in the foreground chained to an auction block. On one side of the hazy background is an outline of a grand plantation home is nestled in lush countryside.  While on the other side the viewer can make out an image of a lynching.

 The museum purchased the painting when it was exhibited in the museum's recent 24-piece exhibit of Griffin's work, titled “Ambiguous Reflections of Race and Identity: A Question of Color,” sponsored by the Black Cultural Center.

 Artist Griffin explained, "Today, when one hears the term 'Black Friday,' we often think of a frenzy of consumers fighting over amazing, discounted department store sales... However, only six generations ago the term, Black Friday would often mean the sale of African men and women and would denote the vast amounts of wealth buyers could amass from owning them."

The Black Cultural Center, at 111 Third St., West Lafayette, is open weekdays, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays. It also is open Sundays 2-9 p.m. It is closed on Saturdays.