The Fisk University Art Department and Galleries are hosting a unique program on Thursday, September 19, 2019 at 6:30 pm. Elliot Perry is a noted collector of contemporary art, as well as a noted former professional basketball player. Derek Fordjour is a Memphis native whose parents are from Ghana. Together they will explore Fordjour’s art in a talk, moderated by Perry, in the Appleton Room of Jubilee Hall at Fisk University, 1000 – 17th Avenue North in Nashville.
Artist Derek Fordjour was born in Memphis, Tennessee to parents of Ghanaian heritage. He is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia and earned a Master’s Degree in Art Education from Harvard University and an MFA in Painting at Hunter College. His work has been exhibited in numerous venues including Night Gallery in Los Angeles; BAM, Brooklyn; and Josh Lilley Gallery, London. He has received commissions for public projects including The Whitney Museum Billboard Project and a permanent installation for Metropolitan Transit Authority of New York City at 145th Street Subway Station.
His work has been well-reviewed in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Hyperallergic and Brooklyn Rail. He has also been featured in publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Forbes Magazine. He frequently serves as a lecturer at numerous institutions and as a Core Critic at Yale University School of Art. His work also appears in several collections throughout the US and Europe including The Studio Museum of Harlem, Dallas Museum of Art and The Whitney Museum.
Moderator Elliot Perry is a noted collector of contemporary art, along with his wife Kimberly and daughter Morgan. They have been collecting for over 20+ years. Perry is a graduate of Memphis State University (now University of Memphis) where he played basketball for 4 years, and finished as the school’s 2nd all-time leading scorer. He graduated with a degree in marketing in 1991.
Perry was drafted in the 1991 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers, and went on to play 10 years in the league. Perry is now a minority shareholder of the Memphis Grizzlies, as well as serving as a radio broadcast commentator for the team. He is a dedicated advocate for education and mentoring in the Memphis community, while serving on many boards that support those efforts, including as Chair of the Memphis Grizzlies Foundation Board, where he also serves as a mentor for the organization’s mentoring program.
Founded in 1866, shortly after the end of the Civil War, Fisk University is a historically black university, and is the oldest institution of higher learning in Nashville, Tennessee. Fisk University Galleries maintains a permanent collection of over 4,000 objects that span three centuries of art history, with Paul Cezanne, Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder, Henry O. Tanner, Elizabeth Catlett, Diego Rivera, Aaron Douglas, Winold Reiss, Georgia O’Keeffe, Alfred Stieglitz among many of the acclaimed artists represented in the collection.