Black Art in America

The Bo Bartlett Center at Columbus State University has dedicated space in the Woodruff Lobby to serve as a spotlight for our national and regional partner in arts. The concept for this project is to showcase some of the best artworks from our partner’s collections and to develop a synergy between these arts organizations that will lift and raise awareness about the creative community in Columbus. It’s our pleasure to launch this project with our partner Black Art in America (BAIA) to exhibit and showcase Alfred Conteh’s Mary P painting from the Two Fronts body of work.

Alfred Conteh (b. 1975)
acrylic paint and atomized steel dust on canvas
74″x 42″
Mary P (from the Two Fronts body of work)


“Alfred Conteh’s Two Fronts, works to convey the warlike atmosphere under which black men, women, and children exist. The likeness to camouflage that overlays the portraits of everyday people is not rendered accidentally. As black life is in a constant struggle to survive, Conteh recognizes the material circumstance under which black people battle economic and psychological injustice. Alfred Conteh’s portraits feature people he has encountered on the street and in whom he recognizes a uniqueness. The realistic portrayals of Conteh’s subjects delineate the circumstances of black life as more than merely theoretical, as scholarship on the condition of the people might suggest; their conditions are existential. While these are no more than portraits of everyday people, Conteh uses technique and style to suggest that there is conversation to be had underlying what the viewer can readily see. As far as portraits go, his execution is masterful, but as far as our perception goes, it is up to the viewer to viscerally experience the exchange.”
Shantay Robinson

Najee and Seteria Dorsey have cultivated a passion for collecting art and objects of cultural and aesthetic value while building the international brand of Black Art In America. Black Art In America is the leading online portal and multi-faceted media company focused on African-American Art. The Dorsey collection to date consists of over 400 works in various mediums and genres by both legacy and leading contemporary artists. Lending works from the collection for public exhibition is a way of furthering Najee and Seteria’s mission as a family and company to document, preserve and promote the contributions of the African American arts community.