Lillian Blades, Homeland, 2021, mixed media on wood panel, 4’x3’

Welcome to the Spring Edition of The Gray Book

This had been a reflective year in the arts. I have had the pleasure to discuss the art world in terms of opportunities and growth.  

That’s what I have each day that allows me to enjoy sharing works of art by some of the world’s greatest artists. With each acquisition and opportunity to see works by these artists, I hope that you will feel a form of gratitude that we get to own and support works of enduring value that last a lifetime.

The Arts have always flourished and been a significant part of the conversation. With our Current Exhibition Rituals and Remembrance….We will understand it better by and by we highlighted Kevin Cole. Faith Ringgold, Lillian Blades, and Romare Bearden. These men and women are having a conversation of Relevance, Struggle, determination, opportunities, and offering us beauty in the struggle, meaning in the every day, and never once backing down from confronting the truth.

Through evoking rituals and memories through their work, they honor those who came before. The Song “You will understand it by and by” written by Charles Albert Tindley echoes the injustices and inequalities of the past and present and looks to a better, brighter tomorrow. The show pays homage to our shared histories, illustrating the corruption and cruelties we still face, the progress made, and changes still yet to come. 


The people singing that hymn understood the struggle of

Jim Crow
Voter restriction
Not being seen as a human being
Seating in a Black only section
Not being to sit at a lunch counter
Not being served in certain establishments
Not having access to an equal education
Going through the Colored only door
That’s what these artists do through their work. We are celebrating our history, our rituals, the Joys, sorrows, family, the ups and downs that make us come together, not only as a Black Community but as humanity.
Talking about the struggle and history is how to move forward. That way we will understand it better by and by.

“When I graduated from high school my grandfather took me to a tree and showed me where African Americans were lynched by their by their neckties on their way to vote. This left a profound statement in my mind.”

— Kevin Cole
Installation view of ReBORN #4.02 by Jamele Wright Sr., at the Bernard A. Zukerman Museum of Art, Kennesaw, GA. The museum commissioned the work and is the largest work the artist has created to date. The large-scale piece is one of two works by the artist from his ReBORN series on view now at the Zuckerman Museum until July 31, 2022. 

“Some artists are working through the hurts and pains in the past, but there’s always this feeling of hope and resistance and understanding that generations have gone through so much.”

— September Gray

The Invisible Artists 

An Interview by Camila Hor for Sotheby’s
Read the full article now
This week, I had the pleasure of moderating a vibrant discussion at the Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art about Jamele Wright Sr.’s textile work, on view now at the museum. The panel featured KSU professors, Dr. Jessica Stephenson, Interim Graduate Coordinator and Associate Professor of Art History, and Dr. Seneca Vaught, Coordinator of African and African Diaspora Studies and Associate Professor of History. The discussion was presented to onsite and virtual audiences. The recording will be available soon!
An investment in a work of art conveys both an appreciation of the work itself as well as a validation of the Artist’s inspiration and efforts. An artist’s inspiration might be emotionally, personally, or culturally significant, also a purchase expresses support of those experiences and becomes a personal extension of the owner. Through this transfer, the artist’s inspiration lives beyond his or her experience alone.
Over the past few years, there has been a significant increase in new collectors all over the world. This surge has had a significant influence on rising values in the art market as well as increasing the importance of art as an asset within a diversified wealth portfolio. Many of these new collectors are very serious about art. They are amassing collections to reflect cultural significance, National identity, and to reflect whom and what they value. The collections create a lasting value and portray experiences and cultural aspects valued by the collector.

Kevin Cole, Unsung for Bob, mixed media

Unsung for Bob pays homage to Professor Robert Reed, who was one of the lone African American Professors at Yale University in the Art department for over 40 years. I met Bob in 1994 at the MacIntosh Gallery here in Atlanta. We both were affiliated with her gallery.  He was a mentor and we often shared conversations about being black about abstract artists as well as conversations about artists/educators. The piece continues to explore the process of mapping with various African patterns that emphasize faith hopes and dreams. 

— Kevin Cole

During the 1960s there was a huge movement of artists coming together to unify a front on how artists could assume a meaningful placement within the social change platform of the overall movement. This started at Romare Bearden’s studio. This movement turned into Spiral. Hale Woodruff, Norman Lewis, Charles Alston, Emma Amos Calvin Douglass, Perry Ferguson, Reginald Gammon Felrath Hines, and James Yeargan’s.  There was a diversity of style and interest, but collectively their common goal was to address the essential requirements and pertinence of a racial aesthetic sensibility. When asked, Why Spiral? Bearden Responded:

“Western society, and particularly that of America, is gravely ill and a major symptom is the American treatment of the Negro. The artistic expression of this culture concentrates on themes and absurdity and anti-art” which provide further evidence of its ill-health.  It is the right of everyone now to re-examine history to see if Western culture offers the only solutions to man’s purpose on this earth. “
So when we are discussing the American Art Cannon, we are still asking that question of who and how are we acknowledging the great artist that has made indelible impressions on the world through the lens of art.
Romare Bearden, Jazz II Deluxe, 1980, Serigraph Ed. 59/200, 31 x 41 1/2 in. 
A great example of collecting with love and purpose was an article on Elizabeth Meanders, a retired New York school teacher that for more than 6 decades had one of the largest collections of African American historical Artifacts in the country.  This wasn’t done overnight.  She started collecting early. Ms. Meander’s funded her acquisitions by working several jobs at a time, buying on installment plans, and borrowing against the value of her house.  You might think that’s a bit too much, but the value of her work is worth $10 million, so it wasn’t wealth that built this collection but tenacity, sacrifice, and a reflection of what she loved and brought her joy. The best part of the article was telling our stories through art.  As quoted,
“I’ve struggled to tell a history that’s been either ignored or not told correctly, and it’s a history that’s directly related to me, she said. The more I found the more I wanted because the whole thing became a huge puzzle, and I began obsessively trying to fill in the missing pieces.  The main goal was to educate people on forgotten Black Stories.” Elizabeth Meanders.
There are still stories that are yet to be told.  
Let’s create a legacy of wealth by supporting and collecting artists that share our stories and elevate our lives internally and externally.

Let’s live beyond our own experiences and find ways to connect.  I invite you to collect not just art but collect an engaging and meaningful conversation.
As you collect meaningful work this will give you an opportunity to practice gratitude to yourself and the Artist.
Artfully yours,

September Gray




Collectors and Art Consultants
may contact the Gallery Director.
[email protected]


September Gray Fine Art Gallery (SGAG) is Atlanta’s premier gallery specializing in contemporary works by established, mid-career and emerging African American and African Diaspora artists. SGAG presents historically and culturally significant works as a means for championing the preservation of the African Diaspora cultural legacy and narrative.

Our Offerings

SGAG denudes the intricacies of the art market by assisting corporate and private collectors with articulating and executing single acquisition and long-term collection strategies that both reflect their individual tastes and advance their short-term and long-term investment goals. 

In addition, SGAG offers a comprehensive range of complementary fine art, curatorial and consulting services to private and corporate clients and is conversant in the discreet assessment, acquisition and placement of fine art within its exclusive network of collectors.

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