Soul Inspiration is a visual art exhibition to honor six African American figures who inspired a generation of human and civil rights workers in Philadelphia, and the nation: William Still, James Forten, Richard Allen, Cecil B. Moore, Rev. Leon Sullivan and Paul L Robeson. To keep the spirit and history of these influential men alive six local visual artists will be invited to participate in this exhibition to deliver a commentary about one of these historical figures with their own personal artistic discipline.
Curator John Abner is a human and civil rights activist working in Philadelphia Pa. He is a graduate of Tyler School of Art, Temple University, where he studied graphic design and earned a BFA in painting and art history with emphasis on American photography. He is currently a special education teacher and teaching artist in Philadelphia. He has coordinated several projects with the Mural Arts program in Philadelphia and has exhibited his artwork in juried shows locally and nationally. John has coordinated several special outreach programs to inmates at the Camden County Correctional Facility (Camden NJ) and Holmesburg Prison (PA). His community commitment has included acting as art instructor and mentor to teen aged boys at the Southwest Community Enrichment Center, a no-profit facility which promotes promotes broad familiarity with the arts in underserved community settings. He is the recipient of the international award for excellence in mixed media from the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies, Philadelphia, PA. He received the Critics Choice Award from Intermedia Arts Gallery, Minneapolis, MN. His activism has also included published photographic material in service of political commentary. Publications include, Roll Call: A generational Anthology of Black Literature by Third World Press. In Defense of Mumia: an anthology published by Writers and Readers Publishers, Inc.His artwork was selected for publication in the Patterson Literary Review Patterson (NJ).