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Catharsis: Spirit Leaves A Mark Opening Reception

June 1 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm UTC+0


‘Catharsis. Spirit Leaves A Mark’ is the latest PGAAMCC exhibit, depicting the duality of our emotions and the intensity of black womens’ expression and experience. These richly textured portraits are painted by local Prince George’s County artist Vanessa R Williams.

Williams deeply political and personal artwork, highlight the inner lives and private worlds of multi generational black women, and the pressure and paradox endemic to their struggle as matriarch + mother, nurturer + needy, caregiver + celebrity, songbird + ingenue, housewife + heroine, and many more identities and responsibilities.

After you see the powerful exhibit, stick around for an intimate musical performance by Vanessa Williams herself!


Vanessa Renee Williams, a resident of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She is the very proud mother of one daughter, Lisa. Williams enjoys blogging, painting and creative writing.

On career path in the visual arts, Williams was encouraged to continue her studies by the late artist and educator, Laurie Ann Siegel. Upon graduation from The Academy of Notre Dame in 1978, Williams was accepted to study at Howard University’s College of Fine Arts. She was instructed at Howard by noted visual artists Lucille Malkia Roberts, E.H. Sorrells-Adewale, Albert Michael Auld, Winston Kennedy, Chi Chong Lee, Lila O. Asher, Alfred J. Smith, Tritobia Benjamin, Raymond Dobard, Jarvis Grant, Martha Jackson-Jarvis, Starmanda Bullock, Edward Love, Jeff Donaldson, and Doris Colbert.

Her path to the music industry began in 1994, Williams received a phone call from Richard Smallwood. She traveled with “The Richard Smallwood Singers” throughout the United States and on her very first trips out of the country from Norway to France, to Venezuela. Her first studio recording experience with The Smallwood Singers was “Faith”, a track featured on the compilation project, “Verity Records Presents: A Tribute to Rosa Parks”. In 1995, when he signed with Verity Records, she accepted Smallwood’s invitation to become a part of a larger, recording choir for a one-time event and project. This choir, however, continued to record and is the musical family known as “Vision”. She also sang simultaneously in Yolanda Adams’ background vocals trio. Vanessa is thrilled to be showing her work for the first time in decades and debuting it at the Prince George’s African American Museum.


4519 Rhode Island Avenue
North Brentwood, 20722 United States
+ Google Map
(301) 809-0440


4519 Rhode Island Avenue
North Brentwood, Maryland 20722

Phone: 1 + (301) 809-0440


Tuesdays 12:00pm-5:00pm

Wednesday-Friday: 10:00am-5:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am-5:00pm

*Evening Hours Upon Request


To celebrate and inspire the community through the cultivation, preservation, and presentation of the cultural and artistic contributions of African Americans in Prince George’s County, Maryland.