Thursday, November 1, 2012
|Ferry Princess, Kathleen Stafford|
Painting and printmaking in Africa for about 20 years, Kathleen Stafford has been enriched by working with African artists and by her immersion in African cultures from one side of the continent to the other. She currently resides in Khartoum, Sudan, one of the most ethnically diverse countries on the continent.
Stafford completed her B. A. from the University of Alabama in Birmingham in 1973 and then studied in Rome, Italy, at the Accademia di Belle Arte from 1975-76, and again at the Palermo, Sicily, Accademia from 1980-81. She received her Masters in Education from Marymount University in 1991.
Kathleen Stafford has had the opportunity to travel and live in various places as the wife of a United States diplomat. In 1979, during the Iranian revolution she and her husband, Ambassador Joseph Stafford, were able to escape from the American Embassy with four other Americans. The dramatic story of them being sheltered by the Canadians and their subsequent escape from Iran is told in the film Argo which opens on October 12, 2012.
Through traveling the African continent with her diplomat husband and through every new post he has assumed, Kathleen’s life has been continually enriched by new aspects of African life and culture. The wild life, markets, textiles, language and even hairstyles provide a plethora of compelling sights and sounds to excite and inspire a visual artist. From the stunning monuments of Cairo, the regal ceremonies crowning the village chief in the Ivory Coast, the fleeting expression of the kora maker in the Gambia, or the posture of the "Obioma,"itinerant tailor in Lagos, Nigeria -- Kathleen has cataloged them all in her watercolors and prints.
Stafford’s paintings and prints have been acquired by American and foreign embassies, museums, centers of art and culture, and private collectors around the world. Her work will be featured in an Africa Green Conference in Lagos, Nigeria in 2013.
The Alexandria Black History Museum is located at 902 Wythe Street in Alexandria's Parker-Gray Historic District and is open from Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Museum is close to the Braddock Road Metro on the Yellow and Blue Lines.
For more information, please visit www.alexblackhistory.org or call 703.746.4356.