Souls Grown Deep Foundation is the only non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, researching, preserving, and exhibiting this work of these self-taught African American artists. Through the use of its 1,200 artworks and thousands of field photographs, the organization’s goal is to bring this vital and quintessentially American art form to a wider audience, to see its inclusion in the “real” American art dialogue, and ensure its recognition as one of the great American contributions to the history of art.
Some of the question opened to the dinner table were –Are categorical, descriptive terms like “self-taught, outsider, visionary, or folk” helpful or relevant in today’s contemporary art discourse? Why or why not?, Why do you think modern art history has been reluctant or reticent in acknowledging the influences that Western artists have drawn from non-Western sources (i.e. Picasso’s inspiration from African masks)?, What other areas of cultural or artistic expression can we think of where this is/was also true?