The formation of an art gallery focusing on works created by African American artist and artist of color in Greensboro evolved from a long standing dream of Greensboro resident and nationally acclaimed artist-educator the late Eva Hamlin Miller. Eva Hamlin Miller and her former student Alma Adams conceived the idea of establishing a non-profit, professional art gallery (African American Atelier, Inc.) in the Greensboro Cultural Center.
“Atelier”, French for “artist studio” seeks to: promote an awareness, appreciation and sensitivity to the arts and culture of African Americans and people of color; educate and train in the visual arts.
Due to the hardwork and dedication from James C. McMillan, Floyd Newkirk, Vandorn Hinnant, John Rogers, Henry Sumpter, Candace Ray and Paula Young, the African American Atelier, Inc. was officially chartered and incorporated by the state of North Carolina on September 28, 1990.
The gallery opened its doors to the public in the Greensboro Cultural Center (in an 800 square foot space) on January 13, 1991 approximately four months after the Greensboro Cultural Center officially opened. The gallery’s grand opening featured works by the Atelier's founding member artists to establish the First Annual “Founding Members Exhibition”.
Generous financial support by local residents and businesses including: Gerald and Althea Truesdale; Joseph and Georgia Williams, Joe and Eunice Dudley; Koury Corporation and Mechanics and Farmers Bank provided up fitting of the facility. Local supporters, friends and corporate leaders sustained the operation of the gallery during its first year because Atelier received no state or federal funds.
The African American Atelier has evolved into a creative venue for Guilford County and North Carolina showcasing artistic works, sponsoring forums, gallery talks, educational seminars and highlighting contributions and culture of African Americans and other ethnic groups. Annually, the Atelier’s programs serve thousands of youth, adults and seniors of all socio-economic backgrounds.
The African American Atelier continues today as a viable organization and an exciting community experience providing an environment for visual and cultural exposure, educational exchange and a showcase for African American art and artists.