Departure by Charly Palmer Opens Virtually at Hammonds House Museum on April 30
Hammonds House Museum is excited to present Departure by Charly Palmer from April 30 through August 1, 2021. This solo exhibition features Palmer’s work from the last 30 years, including pieces that have never been seen by the public, as well as new artwork created for this show. The exhibition opens virtually through HHM Digital with a special program including an artist talk, video, a music performance and more on Friday, April 30 at 7:30 pm. Admission is free for Hammonds House members and $7 for non-members. Register at hammondshouse.org.
Departure by Charly Palmer is a retrospective of 30 years of art infused with experience, an Identity Crisis, Divided States, Eminent Domain, Introversion, and a deepening appreciation for Black beauty. He is currently exploring the multiple meanings of departure from the time of the Middle Passage, through the Civil War and Civil Rights Movement, up until now. What does that mean for Black people, and what does it mean for him personally as he embarks on a new and unexpected direction to discover what’s next. The exhibition will serve as a bridge between his older work and new art, and will include a soundscape, mixed media, and sculptural elements.
“We are thrilled to exhibit Charly Palmer’s Departure as our first exhibition of 2021,” states Leatrice Ellzy Wright, Executive Director of Hammonds House Museum. “Bold colors, strong figures, introspective messages and beautiful paintings encapsulate one’s experience with Palmer’s art. We know you’ll want to come to see the work in person when the museum reopens later this year, but in the meantime, we hope you’ll join us virtually!”
Charly Palmer was born in Fayette, AL and raised in Milwaukee, WI. He relocated to Chicago, IL to study Art and Design at American Academy of Art and School of the Art Institute. As a graphic designer and illustrator, he ran a successful design studio with a Fortune 500 clientele. As an instructor, he has taught design, illustration, and painting at Spelman College, among others. Also, he was the first African American Artist to receive the UCLA Regents Lecture Series.
Palmer’s path as an artist was inspired by his fascination in his youth by illustrations in Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day. “I could never get enough of the imagery in the book,” he says. Keats’ work was magical and planted a seed in his young heart.
For a period, Palmer worked under the pseudonym Carlos—his alter ego. This allowed him to experiment with spontaneity and fluidity. Many of the Carlos pieces were abstract and more primal than the intense paintings that were solidifying his reputation as a social expressionist. The ultimate fusion of these styles, gleaned from history and powerful life experiences became Palmer’s trademark style.
Today Palmer is widely recognized as a fine artist, a muralist, illustrator of children’s books, teacher, graphic designer, and mentor. Highly sought-after public commissions include posters for the 1996 Olympics and artwork for the 2013 Atlanta Jazz Festival. In 2016 he was selected by Fisk University to create artwork commemorating their 150th anniversary and in 2017 Howard University commissioned him for their 150th anniversary. A major project for the Green Bay Packers featuring 20 portraits of players hangs in Lambeau Stadium. John Legend chose him to create a portrait for the cover of his album “Bigger Love,” released in June 2020, and Time Magazine asked him to create the cover art for their July 6, 2020 issue. Most recently he was featured in Rolling Stone Magazine.
Hammonds House Museum is generously supported by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, Fulton County Arts and Culture, the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, The National Performance Network, AT&T and WarnerMedia.
Hammonds House Museum’s mission is to celebrate and share the cultural diversity and important legacy of artists of African descent. The museum is the former residence of the late Dr. Otis Thrash Hammonds, a prominent Atlanta physician and a passionate arts patron. A 501(c)3 organization which opened in 1988, Hammonds House Museum boasts a permanent collection of more than 450 works including art by Romare Bearden, Robert S. Duncanson, Benny Andrews, Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence, Hale Woodruff, Amalia Amaki, Radcliffe Bailey and Kojo Griffin. In addition to featuring art from their collection, the museum offers new exhibitions, artist talks, workshops, concerts, poetry readings, arts education programs, and other cultural events throughout the year.
Located in a beautiful Victorian home in Atlanta’s historic West End, Hammonds House Museum is a cultural treasure and a unique venue. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they continue to observe CDC guidelines, but look forward to welcoming in-person visitors soon! For more information about upcoming virtual events, and to see how you can support their mission and programming, visit their website: hammondshouse.org.