Finding Faces: A Century of African-American Portraiture in Philadelphia, Feb. 2014

FindingFaces - A Century of African American Portraiture

First-Time Showing of Private Collection of Portraits by and of African- Americans Debuts as Part of Black History Month

“Finding Faces: A Century of African-American Portraiture,” is a selection of artworks that will debut at the University City Arts League gallery in cooperation with the Diartspora Gallery, from January 31 to February 28, 2014.

Begun in 1995 by collectors Michael Guerin and Katie Pfeiffer, the Diartspora Gallery focuses on images that portray the richness and creative spirit in the life and culture of the African American community. It includes hundreds of works in a multitude of media and from different parts of the globe. Through their personal relationships and with a keen eye for the incredibly unique, Guerin and Pfeiffer have acquired many works by anonymous and self-taught artists. Much of the art was found or purchased in West Philadelphia. For more information visit:

A special reception will be held Thursday February 20 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Arts League, 4226 Spruce St. Guerin and Pfeiffer will be on hand to discuss the origins of the art collected over a period of 20 years. “The urge to manifest something beautiful from their life experiences again and again trumps the creator’s lack of traditional training,” says Guerin.

“You will not want to miss this exhibit,” said Noreen Shanfelter, executive director of the Arts League especially as we present it during “Black History Month.” The range and power of the work are overwhelming. We salute the collectors for bringing this opportunity to the Arts League so we can share it with the community.”

The show will include approximately 25 paintings, small sculptures and photographs. It was curated by artist Douglas Witmer and award-winning photographer Lori Waselchuk, who are on the gallery committee of the Arts League.