Anyone Can Fly Foundation Honorees

Since 2004, the Anyone Can Fly Foundation has honored distinguished artists and scholars with our Distinguished Artists & Scholars Lifetime Achievement Award. This award honors Master Artists and Scholars of the African Diaspora who have created a groundbreaking body of work that changed the course of art history.

In 2016, we honored Norman Lewis as our first African-American Master through our posthumous Legacy Award.

2016, Norman Lewis (1909-1979) The Anyone Can Fly Foundation's First African American Masters Legacy Award Honoree is Norman Lewis (1909-1979). Normal Lewis was a pivotal figure in American art, a participant in the Harlem art community, an innovator of Abstract Expressionism, and a politically-conscious activist.

2016, Norman Lewis (1909-1979)

The Anyone Can Fly Foundation's First African American Masters Legacy Award Honoree is Norman Lewis (1909-1979). Normal Lewis was a pivotal figure in American art, a participant in the Harlem art community, an innovator of Abstract Expressionism, and a politically-conscious activist.

 
2015, Juliette Harris of IRAAA and Curlee Raven Holton, Director of the Experimental Printmaking Institute at Lafayette College & Director of The David C. Driskell Center Juliette Harris is an editor and writer for print media, and a writer and producer for film and electronic media. Formerly editor-in-chief of the International Review of African American Art (IRAAA) published by the Hampton University Museum. Curlee Raven Holton is a master printmaker and painter whose work has been exhibited professionally for over twenty-five years in more than thirty one-person shows and over eighty group shows.

2015, Juliette Harris of IRAAA and Curlee Raven Holton, Director of the Experimental Printmaking Institute at Lafayette College & Director of The David C. Driskell Center

Juliette Harris is an editor and writer for print media, and a writer and producer for film and electronic media. Formerly editor-in-chief of the International Review of African American Art (IRAAA) published by the Hampton University Museum. Curlee Raven Holton is a master printmaker and painter whose work has been exhibited professionally for over twenty-five years in more than thirty one-person shows and over eighty group shows.

2014, Carolyn Mazloomi (born 1948) Carolyn L. Mazloomi is an artist, author, historian, and curator acknowledged as being among the most influential African American quilt historians in the United States. She has produced an awe inspiring body of work, much of it containing references to African American life and history, as well as harkening back to a shared African ancestry.

2014, Carolyn Mazloomi (born 1948)

Carolyn L. Mazloomi is an artist, author, historian, and curator acknowledged as being among the most influential African American quilt historians in the United States. She has produced an awe inspiring body of work, much of it containing references to African American life and history, as well as harkening back to a shared African ancestry.

2013, Nelson Stevens (born 1938) Nelson Stevens is a native of Brooklyn, a painter and print maker, whose signature works are complex stylized figurative paintings, drawings, murals and prints that focus on his African-American culture, especially his interest in Jazz.

2013, Nelson Stevens (born 1938)

Nelson Stevens is a native of Brooklyn, a painter and print maker, whose signature works are complex stylized figurative paintings, drawings, murals and prints that focus on his African-American culture, especially his interest in Jazz.

 
2012, Camille Billops (born 1933) Billops’ career has consisted of printmaking, sculpture, book illustration and filmmaking. In 1975, with her husband, Black theatre historian James Hatch, Billops founded the Hatch-Billops Collection. This impressive African American archive is a collection of oral histories, books, slides, photographs and other historical references.

2012, Camille Billops (born 1933)

Billops’ career has consisted of printmaking, sculpture, book illustration and filmmaking. In 1975, with her husband, Black theatre historian James Hatch, Billops founded the Hatch-Billops Collection. This impressive African American archive is a collection of oral histories, books, slides, photographs and other historical references.

2011, Sam Gilliam (born 1933) Internationally acclaimed abstract painter Sam Gilliam has been testing the boundaries of color, form, texture, and the canvas itself over the course of his long, productive career. Filling canvases with fields of deeply saturated color and layers of expressionistic brushstrokes, both subtle and bold, Gilliam was a part of the Washington Color School (late 1950s through mid-’70s) and has been associated with the Abstract Expressionists.

2011, Sam Gilliam (born 1933)

Internationally acclaimed abstract painter Sam Gilliam has been testing the boundaries of color, form, texture, and the canvas itself over the course of his long, productive career. Filling canvases with fields of deeply saturated color and layers of expressionistic brushstrokes, both subtle and bold, Gilliam was a part of the Washington Color School (late 1950s through mid-’70s) and has been associated with the Abstract Expressionists.

2010, Aminah Robinson (1940-2015) Combining traditional art materials with found objects and everyday materials such as buttons, cloth, leather, twigs, shells, and music box workings, Columbus, Ohio, artist Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson created magical two- and three-dimensional works of art. 

2010, Aminah Robinson (1940-2015)

Combining traditional art materials with found objects and everyday materials such as buttons, cloth, leather, twigs, shells, and music box workings, Columbus, Ohio, artist Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson created magical two- and three-dimensional works of art. 

 
2009, Dr. Margaret Burroughs (1915-2010) Dr. Margaret Burroughs, from St. Rose Parish, Louisiana, graduated from Chicago Teachers' College in 1937, then received an MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1948. During the 1940s she taught art in Chicago elementary schools, and published her first children's book, Jasper, the Drummin' Boy (1947). Burroughs is the founder of the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago.

2009, Dr. Margaret Burroughs (1915-2010)

Dr. Margaret Burroughs, from St. Rose Parish, Louisiana, graduated from Chicago Teachers' College in 1937, then received an MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1948. During the 1940s she taught art in Chicago elementary schools, and published her first children's book, Jasper, the Drummin' Boy (1947). Burroughs is the founder of the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago.

2008, Richard Mayhew (born 1924) Committed to the idea that art can play a role in racial equality, Richard Mayhew creates emotionally evocative landscapes that often feature a nondescript, solitary tree.

2008, Richard Mayhew (born 1924)

Committed to the idea that art can play a role in racial equality, Richard Mayhew creates emotionally evocative landscapes that often feature a nondescript, solitary tree.

2007, Samella Lewis (born 1924) Widely exhibited and collected as an artist herself, Lewis is also a well know historian, critic and collector of art, especially African-American art. Lewis has completed four degrees, five films, seven books and a substantial body of artworks which have received critical respect.

2007, Samella Lewis (born 1924)

Widely exhibited and collected as an artist herself, Lewis is also a well know historian, critic and collector of art, especially African-American art. Lewis has completed four degrees, five films, seven books and a substantial body of artworks which have received critical respect.

 
2006, David Driskell (born 1931) One of the world's leading authorities on the subject of African American Art, Prof. David C. Driskell is highly regarded as both an artist and a scholar.

2006, David Driskell (born 1931)

One of the world's leading authorities on the subject of African American Art, Prof. David C. Driskell is highly regarded as both an artist and a scholar.

2005, Elizabeth Catlett (1915-2012) In a career spanning more than 70 years, Elizabeth Catlett created sculptures that celebrate the heroic strength and endurance of African-American and Mexican working-class women. With simple, clear shapes she evokes both the physical and spiritual essence of her subjects. Her hardy laborers and nurturing mothers radiate both power and a timeless dignity and calm. The beauty of her subjects is matched by the beauty she reveals in her sculptural materials. - Jeff Harrison Chief Curator, Chrysler Museum of Art

2005, Elizabeth Catlett (1915-2012)

In a career spanning more than 70 years, Elizabeth Catlett created sculptures that celebrate the heroic strength and endurance of African-American and Mexican working-class women. With simple, clear shapes she evokes both the physical and spiritual essence of her subjects. Her hardy laborers and nurturing mothers radiate both power and a timeless dignity and calm. The beauty of her subjects is matched by the beauty she reveals in her sculptural materials. - Jeff Harrison Chief Curator, Chrysler Museum of Art

2004, Cuesta Benberry (1923-2007) Cuesta Benberry received the first Distinguished Scholar Lifetime Achievement Award from the Foundation.

2004, Cuesta Benberry (1923-2007)

Cuesta Benberry received the first Distinguished Scholar Lifetime Achievement Award from the Foundation.