Present Tense

The Art of Memphis, 2001-Now

Morris Howard
Keepers Of The Dream
oil on canvas, 24x30

Artist Morris Howard

From the collection of the National Civil Rights Museum

Howard's inspiration for Keepers Of The Dream (2008) was the commemoration on April 04, 2008 of the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Lorraine Motel in Downtown Memphis. In the painting there are young and old, black and white, men and women, boys and girls, all moving forward as part of a processional tribute to the fallen Civil Rights leader and his ideals that changed the nation. Howard's complex line quality, treatment of color, and attention to detail conveys the solemn yet aspirational atmosphere of peace, hope, and harmony.

Howard was an early member of the NIA Artists Collective. Named for a Swahili language term meaning 'with purpose', NIA was a group of African American artists formed to enrich the greater Memphis community through the cultivation of black visual artists. Howard currently lives in Atlanta.

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