This project was born from the brand mission that Group Black and The Bishop Gallery share in bringing diverse voices to the forefront of conversation. Through this exhibition campaign with Hennessy, Group Black was able to provide unprecedented access, education, and experience to six HBCU campuses by bringing the “Our Friend, Jean”, showcasing the early works of Jean-Michel Basquiat to their halls for the very first time.
In order to provide the HBCU community with unprecedented access to the earliest works of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Group Black partnered with The Bishop Gallery and Hennessy to design and execute a 6-stop exhibition tour across Howard University, Tennessee State, Texas Southern, Jackson State, Dillard University and Hampton University. At each stop, students and local public were invited to visit the gallery and partake in educational walk-throughs with the gallerists and friends of Baquiat himself, Alexis Adler and Al Diaz. They shared never-heard before stories and the legacy of the world’s most famous Black artist with the students and the community. Each tour stop culminated in an exclusive event, where Hennessy provided an evening of deeper story telling with the fine arts community, the HBCU students, and those looking to further their education at an HBCU through the Hennessy fellows program.
This is the first time in history that a Basquiat piece has hung in the halls of a HBCU, and we were able to produce a tour across 6 campuses in a 3 month time period, reaching over 10,000 students and community members with the artwork and opportunity to become a Hennessy Fellows scholarship recipient.
This is the first time in history that a Basquiat artwork has hung in the halls of a HBCU, and Group Black was able to produce a tour across HBCU 6 campuses in a 3 month time period, reaching over 15,000 students and community members with the artwork and opportunity to become a Hennessy Fellows scholarship recipient.
Jean-Michel Basquiat is the most notable Black Artist of our time, but his works have historically not been featured in Black arts institutions. GB & Hennessey & TMCF noticed a similar gap in access to arts and career resources for HBCU students and brought the access directly to these campuses in two parts. The Hennessey Fellowship program provides students with c-suite mentorship/ scholarship an exhibit featuring a sampling of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s early works from a group of collectors that knew him intimately, as friends, lovers, and confidants to be toured and discussed.