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Samella Lewis


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Samella Lewis, Professor Emerita of Scripps College, received her B.A. from Hampton University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Fine Arts and Art History from Ohio State University. Dr. Lewis is an internationally renowned artist, author, filmmaker, educator, and art advocate. She began her art career as an undergraduate student at Dillard University studying under Elizabeth Catlett. She holds honorary degrees from five colleges and universities, and is recipient of numerous awards including the UNICEF Award for the Visual Arts and the Charles White Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Lewis is a pioneer in African American Art. She is the founding editor of the International Review of African American Art (formerly Black Arts: An International Quarterly), and the founding director of the Museum of African American Art in Los Angeles. Most recently, she was appointed a Distinguished Scholar at the Getty Center for the History of Arts and Humanities.

Dr. Lewis is a curator of exhibitions that show the interconnections of art throughout the African Diaspora.

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