African American Master Artists-in-Residency Program

In 1974, Northeastern offered studio space and a teaching position to well-known African American artist, Dana Chandler. Chandler used the studio for meetings and permitted other African American artists to use it. Chandler became the first African American artist to display work in Northeastern’s Art Gallery, which was founded in 1975 with a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Chandler’s 1976 exhibit was titled, “If the Shoe Fits, Hear It!”

The university established the African American Master Artists-in Residency Program (AAMARP) in 1977 with Chandler as its director. AAMARP’s mission was to provide awareness of the talent of African American artists and also those from other ethnicities. The program allowed budding African American artists to create works of art with unrestricted freedom. Northeastern was the first university in the country to provide an in-residence program to African American artists. The program became a success and renowned within the Boston community.

Debut Exhibit Leaflet
Grand Opening Gala Leaflet
Chandler Exhibit Program

On October 4, 1977, the debut exhibition of the AAMARP was sponsored by the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and held at City Hall’s Main Gallery. In its first year, the program welcomed approximately 3,000 visitors, including children from local public schools who created their own art at the studio. AAMARP also helped sponsor exhibitions of the works of individual artists, including Arnold Hurley (painter schooled at Tufts University, where he received his MFA at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), Milton Derr (figurative painter and draftsman who has taught at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University for 30 years), and Rudy Robinson (photographer).