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*The birth of Sylvia Snowden is celebrated on this date in 1942. She is a Black abstract artist.
Sylvia Snowden was born in Raleigh, NC. Snowden attended Howard University, where she studied under David Driskell and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Fine Arts degree. Snowden received a scholarship to Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine, and has a certificate from Le Grande Chaumier in Paris, France. She has taught at Howard University, Cornell, and Yale.
She has served as an artist-in-residence, a panelist, a visiting artist, lecturer/instructor, and curator in universities, galleries, and art schools in the United States and abroad. Many museums have hosted her art in exhibits, while several have added her works to their permanent collections. She has exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Women's Museum, Montclair Art Museum, Baltimore Museum of Art, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, The Phillips Collection, Heckscher Museum of Art, American University, the Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial Museum, and National Archives for Black Women's History, and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri.
Her works have been shown in Chile, the Netherlands, Ethiopia, Australia, the Bahamas, France, Mexico, Italy, and Japan. Her 2000 exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art featured work inspired by her son's death. She has received several awards, including the Lois M. Jones Award for Recognition.
As a painter, Snowden works with acrylics, oil pastels, and mixed media to create textured works that convey the "feel of paint." The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art received grants from the Andy Warhol Foundation and the National Endowment of the Arts to feature an exhibit on American abstract art called "Magnetic Fields," including works by Sylvia Snowden and others. According to the museum, this exhibit marked the "first U.S. presentation dedicated exclusively to the formal and historical dialogue of abstraction by women artists of color." In 2023, her work was at the exhibition Action, Gesture, Paint: Women Artists and Global Abstraction 1940-1970 at the Whitechapel Gallery in London.