Lifetime Achievement and Legacy Awards

Anyone Can Fly Foundation
Lifetime Achievement
Award Winners

2019 Dr. Lisa Farrington
2018 Marla A. Jackson & Sara Bunn
2017 Beverly McIver
2016 Norman Lewis
2015 Juliette Harris & Curlee Holton        
2014 Carolyn Mazloomi
2013 Nelson Stevens
2012 Camille Billops
2011 Sam Gilliam
2010 Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson
2009 Dr. Margaret Burroughs
2008 Richard Mayhew
2007 Samella Lewis
2006 David Driskell
2004 Cuesta Benberry


Lisa Farrington
2019 Lifetime Achievement Awardee

with the 2019
Lifetime Achievement Award.

Lisa Farrington is an American art historian, specializing in African-American art, Haitian art, and women's art. She is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Art and Music at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice (City University of New York).[1] Farrington is one of the major scholars of Faith Ringgold, is the author of several books on African-American art, and is one of only six full professors of African-American art history in the United States. 


Farrington is a graduate of Howard University (BFA) and American University (MA), and subsequently obtained her MPh and PhD in Art History & philosophy at the CUNY Graduate Center in 1997 with a dissertation titled “Faith Ringgold: The Early Works & the Evolution of the Thangka Paintings”.[2]

Her 2005 book Creating Their Own Image was the first comprehensive history of African-American female artists, from slavery to the present day. Her 2015 book, African-American Art: A Visual and Cultural History, is an updated survey on African-American art. 
She was the William & Camille Cosby Endowed Scholar at Atlantic University/Spelman College from 2008-2007.[3] In 2009, she received a grant from Creative Capital Art and the Andy Warhol Foundation to work on a monograph on Emma Amos.[4]
On February 7, 2014, Farrington delivered a lecture, "The Artistic World before Racism: A Compelling Presentation of the African Diaspora Portrayed from Antiquity to the Present," at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.[5]


Marla A. Jackson

Read about this quilt.
Sewing the seeds
Renowned quilter passes skills to youths

Lawrence Journal World: Sunday, December 2, 2007
By Terry Rombeck 
Marla A. Jackson is one of eight children born to Fern Eaton Crum and Rufus Crum Jr., originally from Royal Oak Township (a suburb of Detroit, Michigan). Marla spent most weekends and summers with her paternal grandparents, Rufus and Zelma Crum, and Lucille Crum, her great-grandmother.
Marla remembers the hand-tied quilt, made from old clothes and scraps, that her great-grandmother kept on her bed. Marla asked Grandma Lucy why she didn't buy a pretty, new bedspread. Lucille told Marla that she made the quilt herself, using pieces from clothing that belonged to family members and reminded her of special events and relationships. 
Marla's artistic direction was influenced by these stories. Marla's quilts depict scenes and themes that capture the pride, spirit, pain, and joy of the African American experience.
Each of Marla Jackson's quilts tells a story. Most of these stories are personal, such as the birth of her first son. Others were born from stories shared by her great-grandmother, Lucille Crum, a former slave.
Marla's desire is to echo the untold stories of heroes that history has overlooked, forgotten or hidden. Stories that enrich the already rich heritage legitimately bestowed on Kansas, since Kansas' vital role in our nation's history regarding the issue of slavery is nationally recognized and renowned.
Marla depicts this history in her story quilts, a unique niche she has discovered to tell the stories of these heroes. She thereby helps shed light and restore to them honor for the great sacrifices they made for us all.
Children use these story quilts to assimilate history. They discover new heroes not found in their history books, while simultaneously being exposed to art. After all, they are our future leaders, teachers, and artists. Therefore, Marla's art is all the more valuable, not only for its visual appeal, but also because it visually captures oral history and events that might otherwise be forever lo

Marla's ACFF videos

Sara Bunn

2018 Lifetime Achievement Award
BunnFunn is an independent company whose creator, Sara Bunn, is a socially conscious 9-5 CEO's Executive Assistant, at home seamstress hobbyist, turned moonlighting designer. With a taste for history, culture, fashion, crafts and civic duty, has created a fashion line that includes hand sewn vintage reproduction era silhouettes, casual and conservative classic dresses, jackets, coats, and wraps; performance wearable art, whimsical textile creations, women's business attire, and glam holiday separates. We also carry a line of resort wear with multi purpose interchangeable pieces for quick getaways or elaborate destination weddings, in addition to honeymoon or special occasion pieces, all made to measure. A ten year plan projection will find BunnFunn working towards expanding in terms of creating community activities for youth in the arts and crafts fields, hosting benefits for charitable organizations geared to our youth, and seeking solutions to some of the social problems of our communities through exposure to the arts. BunnFunn wants to be a part of combatting the negative influences of social media on our youth and young adults. There is the threat of the lure of the streets, and the obvious lack of fundamental survival skills such as basic home economics in addition to the arrested development of their personal sense of purpose and responsibility, especially in our communities that are economically challenged. We look forward to educating through fashion, music and the arts and helping to spread awareness of the ever growing abuse of women and children, the destruction of the nucleus of our families, and to help cultivate in victims of domestic violence, a sense of pride in spirit, along with their style. BunnFunn wants to ultimately help beautify as well as empower women and communities, one stitch at a time.
Somewhere between Bespoke and Made to Measure, Sara Bunn, Indy Designer, creates unique personalized pieces for the every day woman on the go. BunnFunn presents whimsical pieces inspired and created from vintage patterns, unique textiles, and couture skilled hand sewing. This collection carries coat dresses, skirts, suits and wrap around pants designed for holiday wear and hosting to beautiful romance pieces. Pieces are constructed with comfort in mind as well as for our everyday woman who has small curves and those with bigger curves. From business suits that can be worn at the meeting to a late night dinner to a classy adult romper for the little party girl in you.


To create quality hand made custom unique clothing and accessories for families to enjoy and to gift others. To create fashion with a purpose and to incorporate giving back to community by assisting women's and children's empowerment organizations.

The Anyone Can Fly Foundation's 2017

Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree Beverly McIver
video interview

Beverly McIver is widely acknowledged as a significant presence in contemporary American art and has charted a new direction as an African American woman artist.  She is committed to producing art that examines racial, gender, social and occupational identity. Her work is in the collection of the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Weatherspoon Art Museum, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the NCCU Museum of Art , the Asheville Museum of Art, the Crocker Art Museum, the Nasher Museum, and the Nelson Fine Arts Museum. McIver is the subject of an HBO documentary, entitled Raising Renee. This documentary aired on HBO December 2011, and was nominated for an Emmy in 2014. McIver has served on the Board of Directors at Penland School of Arts and Crafts, and currently serves on the board of directors at Yaddo and at the Walentas-Sharpe Studio Program.She has completed many residencies, including Yaddo, the Headland Center for the Arts, Djerassi, Penland School of Crafts, and is one of the 2017 winners of the Rome Prize, awarded by the American Academy in Rome. Beverly McIver is currently the Esbenshade Professor of the Practice of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies at Duke University.

Party Hat © Beverly McIver 2015
36 x 36
oil on canvas

Daddy in A Striped Chair
© Beverly McIver 2016
30 x 30 inches
oil on canvas
American Academy of Arts and Letters

Visit Beverly's website to learn more about her and to see her paintings

The Anyone Can Fly Foundation's 2016
African American Masters Legacy Award
Norman Lewis (1909-1979)

Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Photograph © Gary Schoichet. 
Courtesy of the Estate of Norman W. Lewis and 
Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY

View lecture by Ruth Fine on the Procession Exhibition

The Foundation’s 2015
Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

Curlee Raven Holton, master printmaker, artist,
Founding Director, Experimental Print Institute  

at LaFayette College
and the
Executive Director of the David C. Driskell Center 
at the University of Maryland

Curlee Raven Holton is a master printmaker and painter whose work has been exhibited professionally for over twenty-five years in more than thirty one-person  shows and over eighty group shows.  His exhibitions have included prestigious national and international venues such as Egypt’s 7th International Biennale, Taller de arts Plasticas Rufino Tamayo in Oaxaca, Mexico, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.  His works is in many private and public collections including the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio; The Discovery Museum of Art and Science in Bridgeport, Connecticut; the West Virginia Governor’s Mansion; the Foundation of Culture Rodolfo Morales in Oaxaca, Mexico; Yale University Art Gallery; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Pennsylvania; and the Library of Congress.

As part of his research and study as an artist-scholar he has lectured and presented demonstrations throughout the United States and abroad in Mexico, the West Indies, and Costa Rica.

His work has been described as both powerful and graceful. The breadth of his visual investigations has included traditional as well as innovative approached to his art making process. Holton’s mastery is demonstrated in his manipulation of diverse mediums and techniques including printmaking, drawing, painting and bookmaking. His deft orchestration of often complex and difficult techniques has resulted in works of force and power that have distinguished Holton and his work.

Holton earned his M.F.A. with honors from Kent State University and his B.F.A. from Cleveland Institute of Fine Arts in Drawing and Printmaking. Since 1991 he has taught Printmaking and African American Art History at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania and is also the founding director of the Experimental Printmaking Institute. Works produced by EPI have been included in such prestigious collections as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The High Museum, Allentown Art Museum and Yale University of Art Gallery.

The International Review of African American Art (IRAA) 
as represented by Juliette Harris.
Editor in Chief (retired)

Expertise:visual art, material culture, the interface of science, technology, engineering & math (STEM) and the arts, relations between mindfulness meditation and art practices, and the history of African American women's hairstyling

Juliette Harris is an editor and writer for print media, and a writer and producer for film and electronic media. Formerly editor-in-chief of the International Review of African American Art  (IRAAA) published by the Hampton University Museum, she currently edits the on-line edition of the IRAAA and edits special issues of the print journal. She also consults on special projects.
Special issues of the IRAAA edited by her include ON ARCHITECTURE (2015), VISUAL ART, DIGITAL MEDIA & POPULAR CULTURE (2013), COLLLECTING (2011), INNOVATION (2011) – Intersections of visual art and science, technology, engineering, architecture and mathematics; published with support from the Motorola Solutions Foundation. “CONNECTING THE THREE C’S: Collecting, Conservation and Collaboration” (2007) – tips from museum professionals on museum collecting and conservation operations and opportunities for institutional collaborations for an issue sponsored by the Institute for Services to Museums and Libraries and distributed to under-resourced museums. ASIAN PERSUASIAN (2007) – on African American artists who are influenced by Buddhism and other consciousness-centered philosophies and practices of the East. “GENERATIONS” (2005) - Two or more generations of visual artists and/or arts professionals in same family. HAMPTON’S COLLECTIONS AND CONNECTIONS (2005) – African American history through the prism of the arts and archival collections at Hampton University. The original collection was formed in 1868. RHYTHM OF STRUCTURE (2004) – Connections between mathematics, physics and visual art in the African Diaspora. With co-editor, mathematician John Sims. OH, I WISH I WAS IN THE LAND OF COTTON: Dixie Myths and Downhome Realities in American Visual Culture (2003) – Art historians on southern myths, symbols and public issues in art, photography and print media. With art historian Joyce Robinson, Ph.D. 25 WHO MADE A DIFFERENCE (2001) – Twenty-fifth anniversary issue of the journal chronicling a quarter century of art history through the achievement of outstanding arts professionals. THE ART OF POLITICAL STRUGGLE AND CULTURAL REVOLUTION OF THE 1960S AND ‘70S (1998) – With art historian Jeff Donaldson, Ph.D. THE COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO AFRICAN AMERICAN ART (1998) – a detailed resource for collectors. Design Force 2000: African American Designers Anticipate the New Millennium (1996; cover story by the editor) – With the Organization of Black Designers. 19TH CENTURY AFRICAN AMERICAN ARTISTS OF THE NORTH AND WEST (Part s1 and 2); 19TH CENTURY AFRICAN AMERICAN FINE AND CRAFT ARTS OF THE SOUTH (1995) – a three part series on 19th century African American visual art, material culture and society. With art historian Juanita Holland, Ph.D. KEEPERS OF THE FLAME: African American Institutional Art Collections (1994) – the history and holdings of the Howard University Gallery of Art, the Atlanta University Art Annuals, the Fisk University Galleries, the Southside (Chicago) Community Art Center and others. With art historian Samella Lewis, Ph.D. TOWARD DEFINITION: AN EXAMINATION OF AFRICAN AMERICAN CRAFT ART (1994) – developed from papers presented at the symposium for the Uncommon Beauty in Common Objects exhibition organized by the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center. With co-editor Barbara Glass.

She also edited general issues of the IRAAA journal, 1992-1013. A complete listing of general issues and special issues is available at:
Other publications: Harris edited the anthology, Tenderheaded: A Comb-Bending Collection of Hair Stories (New York: Pocket Books, hardcover edition, 2001; paperback, 2002). She contributed an essay on women’s hair forms and head treatments to the World of a Slave: Encyclopedia of the Material Life of Slaves in the United States (Greenwood, 2010) and wrote the lead essay, “A Rap on Rhythm” in This Is How We Flow:Rhythm in Black Cultures (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1999). 
She is co-author, “Toward a STEM + Arts Curriculum: Creating the Teacher Team” in Art 

Education, the peer-reviewed journal of the College Art Association, September 1, 2012.
Her video documentary writing credits include being a scriptwriter for the video documentary, Stories of Illumination and Growth: John Biggers’ Hampton Murals which won a regional Emmy, the Juba television series on African and African American folklore produced at Washington, DC-area, PBS affiliate, WETA; and a documentary on abolitionist Harriet Tubman’s experience in upstate New York produced by Syracuse CBS affiliate, WHEN.
M.A., American studies, The College of William and Mary
M.S., television/radio/film (writing & production), Syracuse University

B.A., history and government, Virginia Union University.

2014 Carolyn Mazloomi

The Foundation’s 2014
is the celebrated quilt historian, quilt maker, 
author, curator a and artist
Carolyn L Mazloomi, PhD.

video interview 6/29/2014
Carolyn L. Mazloomi (born August 22, 1948) is an American authorcurator and quilter. She is a strong advocate for presenting and documenting African-American-made quilts.
Carolyn Mazloomi video interview and blog page

2013 Lifetime Achievement Winner
Nelson Stevens

Nelson Stevens, artist
The Foundation’s 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner is the 
celebrated artist, Nelson Stevens.  Nelson Stevens, born in 1938
is a native of Brooklyn, a painter and print maker, whose signature works are 
complex stylized figurative paintings, drawings, murals and 
prints that focus on his African-American culture, 
especially his interest in Jazz.

2012 Lifetime Achievement Winner
Camille Billops

Click here to see Video Interview, June 2012

Known as a filmmaker, Camille Billops has produced and directed six film documentaries. Suzanne, Suzanne was chosen by the Museum of Modern Art for its New Directors Series in 1983. Finding Christa won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 1992. Her last film, A String of Pearls was chosen “premiere” film for the Planet Africa series at the Toronto Film Festival in 2002.
In 1975 Camille Billops, together with her husband, founded the Hatch-Billops Collection, Inc. an archives of African American cultural materials. This library has interviewed over 340 minority artists and published their lives and work in 24 annual journals of Artist and Influence.
Billops has exhibited at the Studio Museum of Harlem, as well as in Hamburg, Germany; Cairo, Egypt; Los Angeles and New York. She wrote and published The Harlem Book of the Dead, featuring the poetry of Owen Dodson and the photography of James Van Der Zee. In 2003 she lectured on the Bob Blackburn Printmaking Workshop at the Library of Congress.
Billops has received grants from the New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Rockefeller Fellowship in Filmmaking and the Skowhegan Award for contribution in the arts. This year she exhibited in the photo retrospective for Percent for Art Exhibition in NYC, at the Parsons School of Design, and was elected to the Advisory Board of WAAND—The National Directory of Women Artists Archives at Rutgers University at New Brunswick.

2011 Lifetime Achievement Winner
Sam Gilliam

The Anyone Can Fly Foundation is proud to honor Sam Gilliam. Acclaimed for his use of saturated color and his highly improvisational spontaneous technique, Gilliam is regarded as one of the most important and inventive colorists of the last 30 years. His works are in museums across the United States and the world including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, and the Art Institute of Chicago. 

Video interviews

2010 Lifetime Achievement 
Award Winner

2009 Lifetime Achievement
Award Winner

Learn more about the Anyone Can Fly Foundation.
Call Grace at (201) 816-1374 or (858) 576-0397 for more information.

Anyone Can Fly and images of artwork

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