I Was Always Here Before You (detail), 2012,  by  Michael Platt,
I Was Always Here Before You (detail), 2012, by Michael Platt,

Artists Lovers: Exploring the Muse

view the exhibition | watch artists’ talk

About the Artist

Maya Freelon Asante and MK Asante
Maya Freelon Asante and MK Asante
Maya Freelon Asante is a visual artist whose work has been described by poet Dr. Maya Angelou as “observing and visualizing the truth about the vulnerability and power of the human being.”

Her work has been exhibited internationally and is included in the collections of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum and the U.S. State Department. Her latest work—a combination of tissue paper, printmaking, collage, and sculpture—was hailed by the International Review of African American Art as “a vibrant, beating assemblage of color.”
MK Asante is a bestselling author, award-winning filmmaker, hip-hop artist, and professor who CNN calls “a master storyteller and major creative force.”

Asante is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Buck, described by Maya Angelou as “A story of surviving and thriving with passion, compassion, wit, and style.” Buck is a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick. His other books are It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop, Beautiful. And Ugly Too, and Like Water Running Off My Back.

Asante is a tenured professor of creative writing and film in the Department of English and Language Arts at Morgan State University.

Carol Beane and Michael Platt
Carol Beane and Michael Platt
Carol Beane is a Washington, D.C.-based poet/artist. She was awarded the 24th Larry Neal Poetry prize for Poetry (funded by the DC Commission for the Arts+Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts), and she received the 2009 National Museum of Women in the Arts Library Fellows Book Arts award for the streets of used to be, done with artist Renée Stout. Beane, collaborating with Michael B. Platt, also has created artists’ books and broadsides of poetry and images widely exhibited in the U.S. and abroad, most recently in Australia.
Michael Platt’s imagery has centered on the transformation of the human spirit that occurs when it confronts imagined or actual events and circumstances. Using the female figure, he creates images intended to express traces of the human spirit, often inspired by spaces with a history and the presence of things left behind. Empty spaces are as much storytellers as those filled with living. Exploring the visual possibilities of such circumstances, Platt has addressed issues of slavery, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the levees, waiting, searching for home; and celebration.
Leslie King-Hammond and Jose Mapily
Leslie King-Hammond and Jose Mapily
Leslie King-Hammond was born in the South Bronx and grew up in South Jamaica and Hollis-Queens, New York and was educated in the New York City public education system. She won a full stipend-tuition scholarship awarded under the SEEK Grant (Search for Education, Evaluation, and Knowledge) at the City University of New York, Queens College (BFA degree, 1966-69). In 1973, she began to teach art history courses at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). In 1976, she completed her Ph.D. and was appointed Dean of Graduate Studies at MICA. In 2008, she retired to become Graduate Dean Emerita and was appointed the Founding Director of the new Center for Race and Culture at MICA.

Major exhibitions and publications include Celebrations: Three Generations of African American Women Sculptors: A Study in Paradox; Vice President and essayist for the Jacob Lawrence Catalog Riasonné Project, Over the Line: The Art and Life of Jacob Lawrence (University of Washington Press, 2000); Sugar and Spice: The Art of Bettye Saar (Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, 2003); Aminah Robinson: Aesthetic Realities/Artistic Vision in The Art of Aminah Robinson (Columbus Museum of Art, 2003); and Inner Being/Altered States: Painting the Life-Worlds of Beverly McIver’s Realities in The Many Faces of Beverly McIver (40 Acres Gallery, 2004). Most recently was her book, Hughie Lee-Smith, (2010) Pomegranate Press
Jose Mapily was born on August 13, 1941 in Washington, D.C. Mapily attended and graduated from Howard University in 1965, earning his B.A. degree in architecture. In 1972, Mapily earned his M.A. degree in city and regional planning, also from Howard University.

Mapily has also begun a career as an artist. His artwork can be described as gridlike paintings made out of white dots on a dark ground that resemble schematic drawings of buildings or circuit diagrams for electrical components. Mapily’s artwork appeared at the Gala Auction Exhibition at the WPA/Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.