The West End-based Hammonds House Museum was founded in 1988 and since its inception has embarked on a mission to collect, preserve, exhibit and interpret the art of Africa and the African diaspora. But at the end of this month, the museumbs long-serving director, Myrna Fuller, is set to retire, marking the start of a new chapter in her life and the life of Hammonds House
, as well.A visual artist and graphic designer, Fuller joined HHM in 2004; during her tenure, she worked to expand museum programming, facilitate collaborations and mounted more than 50 exhibitions. Her efforts in bringing work by new and often forgotten artists b such as Tomas Esson, Ealy Mays, Lillian Blades, Louis Delsarte and more b to the institution led to HHM being one of only seven organizations nationally selected to join the Visual Arts Network of the National Performance Network in 2007. Components of HHMbs permanent collection have toured the nation, traveling from museums like Prospect 3 in New Orleans to the National Museum in Washington, D.C.Fuller leaves the museum in the hands of Interim Director Leatrice Ellzy, making her departure on the heels of a grand parting project b a renovation of the property, refurbishing the 150-year-old facility.. Both reminiscent and hopeful for the future, Fuller says in an official release: bI am confident that the growth webve achieved over the last 13 years will serve as a strong foundation for Hammonds House Museum to reach its next chapter.bIn conversation with Creative Loafing
, Ellzy adds: bIbm excited, honored and humbled to build on the foundation that Myrna and Ed Spriggs before her have left.
bThe codification of black art and culture for current and future generations is imperative in this age of fleeting fancy. As we approach the institutionbs 30th anniversary, we will focus on building capacity, updating systems, supporting the growth and development of artists, expanding our programmatic footprint and of course, continuing to exhibit dynamic art. I am thrilled about embarking on this new journey and invite everyone to come with.b