Andrea Barnwell Brownlee to receive High Museum’s 2013 Driskell Prize

By Maria Saporta

The High Museum of Art will award Andrea Barnwell Brownlee with the prestigious 2013 David C. Driskell Prize.

Brownlee is an Atlanta resident, art historian, curator and writer. She currently is the director of the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, the only U.S. museum dedicated to visual art made by and about women of the African Diaspora. As the ninth Driskell Prize recipient, Brownlee will be honored at the Driskell Prize Dinner in Atlanta on April 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the High Museum of Art’s Wieland Pavilion.

For prolific Atlanta artist “Mr. Imagination,” sleep was rare

The northwest Atlanta home of Gregory Warmack, better known in modern art circles as “Mr. Imagination,” was indeed a portal to a spiritual realm. This was no airy studio with someone dressed all in black. As a self-taught “visionary” artist, Mr. Imagination sculpted his own organic world where even circadian rhythms bowed.

In thick borders around each room and hallway, his layered, meticulously encrusted creations resembled masks, animals and common items like musical instruments. With a collection of things that had already lived once as common objects, he had wired, hammered, plastered and placed them into an extraordinary new life.

A few miles from the headquarters of the world’s most iconic brand – Coca-Cola – Warmack had compelled leading museums to carve out space for the lowly bottle cap.