Thursday, December 31, 2009

PRESS RELEASE: Martin Luther King Celebration at T.W. Wood in Montpelier

The T.W. Wood Gallery & Arts Center presents a celebration of the legacy of Martin Luther King and the contributions of African American Vermonters to our state’s rich history.

Supported though a generous co-sponsorship from the Vermont Historical Society, the T.W. Wood Gallery & Arts Center is pleased to present a program which will combine the visual art of T.W. Wood - a selection of African American genre paintings, many done during the Civil War years; the words of Vermont scholars and preachers, Lemuel Haynes and Alexander Twilight and a stirring call to arms by the great statesman and orator, Frederick Douglass, performed by noted Vermont actor Edgar L. Davis; and concluding with a program of the music of the Civil War Era and African American Spirituals presented by members of Robert DeCormier’s Counterpoint Chorus.

This very special event will held in the Gallery and the Chapel located in College Hall on the campus of the Vermont College of Fine Arts, 36 College Street in Montpelier, VT at 7:30pm on Saturday, January 23, 2010.

The program begins with Mr. Edgar Davis (shown at right) reading from the lives and works of theologian and writer Lemuel Haynes - the first African American ordained by the protestant Church in America and the first African American to receive an honorary Master of Arts degree from Middlebury College. This will be followed by a portrait and a sermon of Alexander Twilight – educator and minister – and the first African American to earn a baccalaureate from an American College – again from Middlebury College. Mr. Davis’s presentation will conclude with the stirring “Men of Color, To Arms!” delivered by abolitionist, writer and statesman Frederick Douglass, as a call to all soldiers in New England to join the Union cause during the Civil War.

The Intermission will be in the form of a reception in the gallery where a number of works by T.W. Wood from his African American Genre series, many painted during the years of the Civil War – will be on display.

The evening will conclude by musical selections by members of Robert DeCormier’s Counterpoint Chorus, performing selections from their well-known repertoire of Civil War Era songs and African American Spirituals.

Please join us for this special event celebrating the history and culture of African Americans in Vermont. Tickets are $20. General Admission, $15 Seniors (62 +) and $5 for Young People to age 18. Reservations are strongly encouraged and may be made by calling the T.W. Wood Gallery & Arts Center at 802-828-8743 or via email at woodartgallery@ And please visit our web site at for further information about this and other exciting programs at “The Wood.”

Images: works by T.W. Wood; portrait of Edgar L. Davis by Ann Marsden