Benny Andrews (1930- 2006), was an American painter, printmaker, collage artist, and educator. Raised in rural Georgia during segregation, Andrews was one of ten children in a family of sharecroppers. He was the first in his family to graduate from high school. Andrews then went on to serve in the U.S. Air Force. Afterwards, the G.I. Bill of Rights afforded him training in at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he earned his B.F.A. in 1958. His first New York solo show was in 1962 at the Forum Gallery. Andrews was dedicated  to promoting to education, the arts, and social justice. From 1968 to 1997, Andrews taught at Queens College, City University of New York and local community programs. He co-founded the Black Emergency Cultural Coalition in 1969, created the nation’s model for  prison arts program, and illustrated children’s books about the lives of prominent Black figures in history such as Langston Hughes and Josephine Carroll Smith.

Benny Andrews was a figural artist in the expressionist style who painted a diverse range of themes of cultural history, personal and familial narratives, and social justice and suffering.  Other influences of his work include Surrealism and Southern folk art. He is known for his use of fabric and paper collage within his paintings. Andrew’s work hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, the Art Institute of Chicago, IL, the Studio Museum in Harlem, NY. the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA, and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, LA.

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